What Is the Role of Mobility in the New Commerce Experience?

September 8, 2021

The retail industry has witnessed a paradigm shift with the increased availability of smartphones and tablets. As a result, a sizable majority of mobile device owners frequently use their smartphones for shopping. Study shows that in 2013, more than 90% of smartphone users accessed e-commerce sites through their mobile handsets. That's compared with the 78% of desktop web users that accessed e-commerce sites. The importance of e-commerce on mobile devices is further reinforced by the study's finding that 35% of visitors to the most popular e-commerce sites only access those websites from mobile devices.

The use of smartphones and tablet is not just limited to m-commerce. More than 70% of smartphone shoppers use their phones in-store to help with shopping in every industry, including household items, apparel, and pet care. For example, two-thirds of baby product shoppers compare prices on their phones in-store. Currently, consumers have product details, price comparisons, and reviews available instantly at their fingertips. In addition, a study shows that consumers are turning towards retailers who provide an enhanced experience through smartphones vis-à-vis retailers who do not optimize their mobile experience.

Retailers are increasing mobility to enhance the consumer experience in the following ways:

  1. Providing an effortless cross-channel experience across devices - The Omni Channel Commerce
  2. Leveraging mobile offers and coupons to increase in-store shoppers
  3. Using QR codes to provide quick access to more information
  4. Letting customers locate items easily using in-store navigation
  5. Enabling mobile payments to reduce waiting lines
  6. Driving mobile consumers to the nearest offline store using a store locator
  7. Making consumers confident about their purchases using product ratings and reviews

Mobile is a great way to give customers the best of both worlds – researching products online and interacting with knowledgeable employees at the time of pickup. It also helps customers start their journey on one channel and complete it on another, thus creating seamless experiences that increase convenience and engagement.

Walmart is an excellent example in the making, focusing on enhancing customer experience. Sales through mobile channels have been low for Walmart. However, sales through mobile channels have increased drastically in the last few years. Walmart’s mobile sales grew 130.1% in 2012.

Walmart emphasizes enhancing customer experience. Walmart’s 'Scan & Go' is a classic example of how retailers enhance the shopper experience. 'Scan & Go' is a way for customers to use their smartphones to scan the items they’re buying as they shop. Walmart introduced it to increase customer engagement. As a result, tech-savvy customers well accepted the technology. Similarly, Walmart launched 'in-store mode' with its app, and within two weeks, roughly 60% of its shoppers opted to use it. Currently, about 12% of Walmart's sales that come through its app come from customers inside a store and using 'in-store mode.'

The retailer has also improved its mobile offerings for Sam's Club, with an updated mobile app contributing to a 25% increase in basket size. In addition, shoppers using the Walmart smartphone app can also search store inventory via voice recognition or barcode scanning with a new integrated shopping list feature. Walmart also leverages MCX mobile wallet to give consumers a faster and more convenient shopping experience while eliminating unnecessary costs. The MCX platform provides secure technology to deliver an efficiency-enhancing mobile solution available to all merchant categories.

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