Breakfast waffle… Mobile boost for Christmas sales

breafastwaffle2 Breakfast waffle... Mobile boost for Christmas salesLiverpool Daily Post’s latest business column from Ben Hatton looks at the rate of mobile growth and the role it will play in the overall shopping experience for retailers.

“Benchmark data just issued by IBM reveals a rise in the use of mobile devices – both smartphones and tablets – for researching and buying.

Compared to the same period in 2011, online sales this year increased by 18%, with the iPad alone accounting for 10.8% of online shopping, an increase of 205%.

When the data is broken down into channels the study shows the number of consumers using a mobile to visit a retailer’s site reached 21.5%, up from 12% in 2011 and those using mobile to purchase increased to 15.7%, up from 9.8%.

Some 69% of customers in an IAB and Crowd DNA study say mobile optimised sites are a necessity for brands next year. Deloitte says £3.5bn of retail sales will be purchased or influenced by smartphones this Christmas.

Yet, despite this increasing demand for mobile, the IAB last month said just 37 of the top 100 advertisers have mobile-optimised sites.

Consumer behaviour towards mobile is moving too fast for brands to do nothing.

It’s easy to make the mistake of treating mobile like any other marketing channels – but mobiles and tablets are really much more personal devices than PCs ever were. That makes a massive difference in terms of putting the consumer front and centre of the experience.

The IBM study shows an increase in researching and buying – not all purchases will be made online. For retailers expecting in-store traffic to slow down, ensuring their mobile site is optimised for those who want to research and check stock is vital, as those who have a bad experience of a retailer’s digital offer could be put off visiting the store.”

The next instalment of Breakfast Waffle will be online on Friday 14 December.

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