If you’ve been paying attention, by now you’ve already read the studies, articles and syndicated research that underscore the growing importance of mobile to the world of commerce. Goldman Sachs estimates that by the end of 2018, global mobile commerce alone will total the entire amount of e-commerce transactions conducted in 2013—a total of $626 billion. And this is likely to be a conservative estimate.
It may seem obvious to point to the growth of mobile since everywhere you look, people are engrossed in the tiny screens they hold in their hands. Yet, for many brands and retailers, the reality still hasn’t hit home. This isn’t entirely surprising—it’s not always easy to take a step back to look around when the methods and infrastructure that support your business are out of date—designed for a different kind of consumer, in a different time.
Mobile technology has changed consumers forever. They have evolved their behaviour and their expectations to such a high degree that companies who fail to impress in the mobile realm lose their confidence and their business. Being unprepared for the mobile commerce revolution will leave you unable to engage the largest and most influential markets in the world: the global millenial market and emerging markets all over the world.
Millenials are the first generation of digital natives and they continue to elude marketers, many of whom have not figured out how to properly engage them. What’s more detrimental are studies showing that when millenials lose faith in a brand, it’s nearly impossible to win them back. So how do you win their confidence? Having a strong, mobile-optimized presence on your website or specially developed brand app is a good place to start.
Countries like China and India have extremely high smartphone penetration and this is driving mobile commerce in Asia up at a rapid rate. Forrester’s Asia Pacific Online Retail Forecast, 2014 to 2019 expects mobile to overtake PCs in 2016 in terms of sales and reach $19 billion by 2019. This growth has been driven by both customer demand and investment from key players in the online retail space such as Amazon and Flipkart.
Right now, you may be asking yourself what share your company will have in the piece of the mobile pie. The good news is, how much of that $626 billion you can have is entirely dependent on how quickly and adeptly you are able to meet the demands of this immense change in retailing focus.
Mobile optimization is only the first step. The future is a seamless blending of all consumer touch points. This will demand an investment in the right technology, targeted messaging and engagement and above all else, a cohesive marketing strategy with mobile at its forefront.
How ready are you for the Brave New World of Mobile?