Why Retail Businesses Can’t Afford to Ignore the Mobile Shopping Trend

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By Boris Dzhingarov

The face of retail is changing fast, and so are the habits of online consumers. Mobile has now officially surpassed desktops when it comes to searches and this trend will only continue to grow. This is having an impact on how people decide to make purchases as well.

In 2019, it was estimated that about 44.7% of all US eCommerce sales were made through mobile. If the trend continues, we can expect mobile eCommerce, or mCommerce for short, sales to reach over 54% in 2021. This means that those providing a suboptimal mobile experience to their clients can expect to see a drop in conversions. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why retailers can’t afford to ignore mobile shoppers anymore.

Mobile Searches Lead to More In-Store Visits

Not all searches are created equal, and when it comes to retailers, we could say that mobile searches are much more valuable. That’s because those usually reflect high intent that is local in nature. It was estimated that 75% of all mobile searches resulted in an in-store visit within the next 24 hours.

So, if you think mobile shopping can only benefit online sales, think again. They can make a significant impact on foot traffic too. Not only that, but it was estimated that for every visit, about 30% made a purchase. This is a very high conversion rate and one you definitely can’t gloss over.

Apps can Outperform Websites

Having a well-designed app will ultimately result in more sales for your business. It’s undeniable that a good app will provide the best experience to online shoppers by making the process much faster and efficient.

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Search functions are often simplified. The checkout process tends to be streamlined as well. This means that there are fewer chances of people abandoning a cart when purchasing through mobile than through a desktop.

Google’s Mobile-First Initiative

Also, if your goal is to improve your visibility on search engines, then you will have no choice but to ramp up your mobile efforts. That’s because Google recently announced that the mobile version of a website will be the most important version when it comes to ranking. This means that sites that underperform for mobile customers will be penalized.

So, if you want to stay in Google’s good graces, we strongly suggest you have your site audited to see how well it performs across all devices. You also want to consider looking at accelerated mobile pages. The code on these pages has been stripped down to make them faster without affecting quality.

Mobile Integrates Better with Social Media

This is something fashion retailers should pay special attention to. People want to share the things they like nowadays, and mobile apps make this much easier than websites. By focusing on mobile, you will get a lot of social activity, which will not only benefit your sales but other metrics that could end up helping your site’s SEO.

Mobile is Used In-Store as Well

Go to any retail store and notice how many people are staring at their smartphones. That’s not only because they’re trying to keep up with their friends. According to a recent study by consulting firm BRP, it is estimated that about 34% of people use their phones to look for deals while 28% use them to compare prices. It is also estimated that 57% of people have used a retailer’s app in their store before.

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This means that mobile apps can be used to complement the brick-and-mortar experience instead of rendering it obsolete. Your mobile offering could also make a direct impact on your sales. It has been estimated that about 67% of consumers will choose a store based on whether they can find online coupons and 64% will make their decision based on information they‘ve gotten on an online platform.

Mobile Allows You to Access Precious Metrics

One of the biggest advantages of mobile shopping for retailers is that it gives them tons of metrics they wouldn’t be able to get offline. People can also leave reviews about products. Customers want to know as much as they can about a product, and the review section is often what seals the deal for them. Most would rather listen to independent unbiased customers than a manufacturer’s sales pitch.

Mobile Allows for More Personalization

A recent survey found that about 62% of gen-z customers wanted to have as personal an experience as possible when shopping at their favorite retailer, and mobile shopping makes this very easy. For instance, you can easily send offers and notifications to users for products that they regularly buy or would be interested in. You can send them time-sensitive and highly targeted offers, which will allow you to get lots of visibility with minimal effort.

Higher Conversions and Window Shopping

Many retailers who are using apps report getting not only higher conversions through their mobile app but a higher average value on purchases as well. People also often overlook the window shopping effect these apps can have.

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In one study conducted by ABI research, it was found that about 40% of people who downloaded a retailer’s app reported buying more from them. 45.9% also stated that they visited the site more often as a result. Walmart also reported that those who used their app tended to spend 40% more on average than those who don’t.

Increase Loyalty

Loyalty is a major issue with retailers, but it could be because they either don’t have a mobile app or aren’t using it correctly. In reality, a mobile app can be an incredibly powerful tool. Push messaging allows you to get in direct contact with your customers wherever they are. And, when you add things like geo-fencing to the mix, you can practically generate sales at will.

As you can see, retailers cannot afford to neglect their mobile offering at the moment. This is why you have to make sure that it is up to par and do everything that you can to optimize it.