By Emily Bannick, Director of Client Services
Whether you’re looking for a Christmas gift or just treating yourself, mobile shopping has definitively changed the face of retail.
Consumers have shifted from shopping primarily in brick-and-mortar stores to buying their goods and gifts online. And now, another change is occurring as customers bypass their laptops in favor of mobile shopping on their smartphones.
Responding to the Mobile Shift
At the heart of this shift is digital disruption, changing the market as we know it forever. So as this trend continues, it’s important to be aware of consumer buying patterns to take full advantage of the mobile channel. So here are 15 statistics that show how mobile shopping is shaking up the retail industry:
1. 54 percent of respondents in a recent retail survey buy products online weekly or monthly. (PwC, “Total Retail Survey 2016”)
2. 20 percent of consumers confirmed they made purchases on their mobile phone in 2015 — up 8 percent from the previous year. (PwC)
3. During Thanksgiving weekend/Cyber Monday, as much as 37 percent of U.S. online purchases were made on a mobile device — up from 29 percent the year before. (PwC)
4. Overall, mobile commerce reached $100 billion in 2015. (PwC)
5. Mobile commerce represents one-third of total online transactions. (PwC)
6. 34 percent of consumers agree that their mobile phone will become their main purchase tool. (PwC)
7. 20 percent of “satisfied” customers still intend to leave or do business somewhere that reduces effort or improves their experience. (Corporate Executive Board, “Shifting the Loyalty Curve”)
8. In the last 15 years, Amazon has grown from $1 billion in sales to a $90 billion plus company. (PwC)
9. During that same period, some well-known brick-and-mortar retailers that had more than $40 billion in sales 15 years ago have seen revenues drop by more than 75 percent. (PwC)
10. A study by Enkata stated that preemptive service can reduce inbound call volumes by as much as 30 percent. (Maximizer, “Why Your Company Needs Proactive Customer Service”)
11. Preemptive service can also increase customer retention rates by 3 to 5 percent. (Maximizer)
12. Almost 40 percent of millenials buy products online monthly. (PwC)
13. Close to 30 percent of millenials shop online weekly. (PwC)
14. More than 80 percent of millennials use their mobile devices while shopping in-store to access coupons, research products, compare prices and even pay for purchases. (PwC)
15. On average, one in four calls to inbound contact centers are either unnecessary or avoidable. (Sabio and the Customer Contact Association, “Challenging Demand Is the Real Key to Fixing Call Centre Queues”)
Getting Proactive with Mobile Shopping
But knowing how mobile shopping has affected retail isn’t enough. There are a few simple steps you can take to get proactive with your customers and make the most of this growing channel:
1. Map your customer journey.
Understand your customers’ attitudes, behaviors and triggers. Look at interactions from their perspectives. Then prioritize gaps that can be closed with proactive communication, like sending relevant coupons or order updates.
2. Invest energy to create business value.
You have to make the investment to get the return. This can include time, energy and patience as you improve your customers’ entire experience. To start, invest in the proper technology to do the job right. Also, invest in your people through onboarding, continual training and motivation techniques. Getting proactive and creating exceptional customer experiences is a journey that begins from the inside out, so develop employees who will serve as your most loyal brand advocates.
3. Keep an eye on trends and the competition.
In order to be ahead of the curve, you must analyze and evolve. Start by looking at what your competitors are doing and what is drawing consumer attention. Consumer trends are made up of basic human needs and innovations. So with that in mind, understanding your customers’ motives helps you predict their intent and plan on where you need to be tomorrow.
4. Make intelligent use of the right data.
Don’t just collect the data. Do something with it. Before making changes, get a 360-degree view by profiling customers, mapping their journeys and identifying common pain points. These become opportunities to test out proactive communication strategies. But don’t forget about other data sources. Listen to what your customers say on social media, surveys and other channels, too.
5. Get rid of the one-size-fits-all mentality.
Millennials, baby boomers and other groups all have different opinions when it comes to smartphones and mobile shopping. So you can’t expect one strategy to resonate with everyone. Tailor your messaging and tactics to each segment to create personalized experiences based on customer preferences. It’s a large task, but by stepping back and tackling the strategies you can handle first, you can start increasing customer satisfaction and creating moments of delight. Learn how to achieve this in our blog post, 5 Steps to Creating Proactive Engagement Strategies.
For even more information about mobile shopping and these five steps, check out our whitepaper, Proactively Responding to the Mobile Shift. Then feel free to call or text a West Interactive Services proactive communication specialist at 800.841.9000.
As customers continue to rely on their handheld devices, proactive customer support will become more and more important not only for retailers, but for businesses in all industries. Keep an eye on consumer trends and continually adapt your proactive strategy to ensure your company can keep up with changes in the mobile shopping revolution.
Emily has more than 10 years’ experience in sales and building client relationships with companies in multiple industries. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before receiving her master’s degree at University of Nebraska-Omaha. Emily now serves as a director of client services at West, where she helps tailor communication technology solutions to business’ individual needs, with a special focus on the retail industry.