Online shopping from your personal computer is a natural part of our daily lives. Researching the options, reading reviews from satisfied customers, and purchasing through shopping carts is a commonplace activity for many people. A purchase that could have taken many hours of driving between shops and checking out the alternatives is now smooth and streamlined.
However, online shopping via your mobile phone is increasing quickly. Busy shoppers on the go do not have time to sit down at a computer and look for the best deal. Instead, they let their mobile apps do the heavy lifting, and with a few swipes they make their purchases. This trend has retailers looking for new, innovative ways to attract business, both in their shops and via their mobile-responsive websites.
How Mobile Shopping is Expanding
It is not enough for retailers to simply set up an ecommerce website online and wait for customers to begin shopping. If their website is not one of the top choices in the search engines, it is unlikely to be found at all. Retailers must spread awareness of their brand, so customers seek them out directly, and make efforts to bring mobile shoppers into their business to complete their purchase.
While some customers prefer shopping completely online, others use their mobiles to research their options, then complete their purchase in the store. Some retailers offer special promotions that only take effect when buying in person, drawing mobile shoppers in so they can experience the shop’s customer service, while not having to wait for a product to be shipped to them.
Some retailers take this even further, by using mobile technology to learn more about their customers’ shopping habits. By tracking their movements in the store from their mobile phones, and matching it up to demographic information supplied by mobile providers, retailers can discover how shoppers move about the shop, what displays appeal to them, and how long they spend browsing. This marketing information allows business owners to improve their offerings and make the in-store shopping experience a pleasant one.
What Mobile Shoppers Are Buying
Most people are comfortable with the idea of online shopping, buying products such as clothes, housewares, tools, and other physical products that will be shipped to your home within a few days. However, mobile shoppers have expanded their reach, as they purchase different types of items along with the traditional products. Their busy lifestyle has lead them to spend more on takeaways and grocery delivery services.
Grocery-related mobile searches increased by 17 per cent during the second quarter of 2015. These searches are not just for grocery delivery options; they include recipe ideas and weekly shop promotions as well. This trend points to mobile for all aspects of shopping, from generating ideas about what buyers want to where they can find the best prices on their chosen items. Busy shoppers do not have time to plan their weekly shops, and instead make decisions in the moment, sometimes visiting their grocer on a daily basis on their commute home.
Mobile shoppers also seek out retailer apps that reward their shopping loyalty. Instead of the frequent shopper punch cards of yesteryear, shops can create mobile apps that track purchases, offer discounts, and notify customers of special promotions. Without a carefully-tailored mobile app, a shop could be neglecting an important segment of their demographic.
The convenience of online and mobile shopping makes it a smart choice for busy customers. All aspects of their lives can be influenced by their smartphone searches, including what they want to purchase, where they will buy from, and how they will pay for it. Retailers who want to appeal to the busy shopper need to integrate online techniques both on their websites, in their shops, and directly on their customers’ mobiles with well-designed apps. This trend is not going away any time soon, so business owners must bridge the gap between mobile users and their shops.