We live in an exciting time for retail. It’s a time when technology has caught up with science-fiction in a way that allows marketers to create customer experiences that are, in many cases, better than fiction.
Mobile technology has reached the point of seemingly endless possibilities. Consumers can preorder lattes, interact with augmented reality, and skip the lines at stores with alternative payment options. We are now able to access limitless goods and services, connected devices, and digital experiences at any point and time. It makes rethinking the way you do business a necessity.
Businesses are starting to understand that retail is not only about creating products and services. It’s about creating experiences. And mobile is at the center. It’s the tool that bridges the gap between the digital and physical. But research shows that many companies still haven’t put mobile in its place—first.
Adobe, CMO.com’s parent company, recently released the results of the “2017 Mobile Maturity Survey” and found that 92% of respondents consider their smartphones to be their primary device. Mobile now dominates in both number of visits and time spent online. And, yet, desktop still rules retail revenue. It’s important to understand why.
Mobile has changed how people shop. When you chart a customer’s journey, it’s likely you’d find that mobile played a key role many times along the way. The average consumer checks his smartphone 85 times a day. Customers use their phones for everything. They’re researching products, responding to emails, reading news, signing mortgage contracts, making dinner reservations, engaging on social media, and, yes, making purchases.
For consumers, mobile has taken center stage. But many businesses are still building experiences around desktops. And therein lies the disconnect: Understanding how mobile enables connected experiences across a customer’s journey will help retailers bring their digital and physical experiences together in a way that increases conversions around the board.
In 2016, smartphone revenue grew 65% year-over-year, while desktops and tablets both shrank 2%. Yet, desktop still boasts 75% of retail revenue. Customers are spending more time on mobile, but they’re not spending as much money. There are reasons for that. One is retailers are not focusing enough on the customer experience. The opportunity resides in creating highly engaging, personalized mobile experiences that encourage conversion.
According to the “Mobile Maturity” report, consumers get frustrated with mobile and switch to desktop:
- For ease of navigation (30%)
- To see images on a bigger screen (26%)
- To enter payment information (16%)
Understanding what drives consumers away from mobile can help you adapt your experiences to make sure customers don’t get lost in the gaps of frustration. Many consumers are starting with mobile, which means retailers should, too. Building experiences from mobile out will help you create journeys that flow in the same way consumers now shop. With mobile first, you can make sure your experiences are intuitive, seamlessly connected, and free of frustrations.
Collectively, Americans check their phones 8 billion times a day. Those are 8 billion impressions you can be a part of. From the internet of things devices to wearables and interactive screens, new technologies are emerging all the time that marketers need to begin weaving into their customer journeys.
You need to be where your customers are, and your customers are mobile. Rethinking how you do business and how to best engage customers will help you give your customers more than products. You’ll deliver experiences that adapt to the way they live and help make their lives easier. We live in a time that the best retailers are the best experience makers. Becoming an experience business is a reality—a reality that is even better than fiction.