Why is US still behind on mobile retail sales. What should retailers be doing?

Current state of mobile retail

2012 — Mobile retail was only 3% of all US online retail sales. 2017 — Mobile retail will account for only 9% of total online retail transactions. Reason — mCommerce is still just a buzzword.

  1. The shopping experience for a mobile user is still cumbersome with a not-so-easy to use checkout feature.  People still feel safe and secure with brick and mortar stores. Of course with the exception of stores like Amazon and eBay which provide top-notch checkout features like remembering the shipping and payment information to start with. And retailers obviously haven’t gotten out of the brick and mortar mold of thinking.
  2. Online for them is a means to ‘check out’ stuff not to really checkout (buy). So mobile is being used to improve the in-store shopping experience and features such as product/price information, rating and reviews are given importance.
  3. Only a few categories of products have become popular on mobile — may be apparel for women and electronics for men. The rest of the categories still stay ‘mobile irrelevant ‘in the minds of the consumer.
  4. Retailers continue to create apps but consumer interest in these apps still stays low and the download ratio for these apps is low. Consumers still rely on clicking on various emails or links from their mobile searches which result in a choppy experience.

Current priority for retailers:

Source: Forrester Report — US Mobile Retail Forecast, 2012 to 2017

 

 

What should retailers do?

Forrester recommends:

1)       Make the experience transaction-friendly — a sleek check out solution with Pay Pal Express or Google Checkout. Fewer keystrokes lead to higher conversions

2)       Responsive design — retire one-off solutions. Budget for responsive design to adjust to multiple devices with multiple platforms.

3)       Think tablets — tablets could be a great way to increase traffic and sales and gain critical mass. It provides a better user experience for shopping for sure. So think about tablet instead of smartphone solutions.

 

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