Our shopping experiences continue to change. Today, we use smartphones, tablets and laptops to shop, purchase and track shipments online, from anywhere at any time. We bring mobile devices into retail stores to compare prices and learn more about products on the shelf. We search for available inventories, the nearest store locations, and for new, used, shared and auctioned products and services. These digital transformations are profoundly altering the nature of retailing, and their velocity will only accelerate.
Mobile commerce now represents 34% of the world’s e-commerce transactions — a figure that is expected to rise to 47% by 2018. We are racing into the digital unknown and reacting daily to changing consumer behaviors.
Extraordinary advancements in mobile technologies are impacting nearly every aspect of retail — placing intense pressure on CIOs and CEOs to transform their operating models, strategies, processes and infrastructures, while answering consumer demand for more personalized, contextually relevant experiences as well as instant access to products and services. Unfortunately, this is widening the gap between retailers that are prepared for mobile commerce and those that are not. What was cutting-edge just 24 months ago — the “mobile app” popularized by Apple and Google — is already heading for extinction. Consumers are no longer satisfied with apps designed to serve mass markets; rather, they look for a real-time experience that reflects their personal preferences, activities and lifestyles, illuminated by Code Halos — the digital information that surrounds people, processes, organizations and devices.
These expectations present both a challenge and an opportunity for retailers and marketers. To succeed — and avoid the perils of unforgiving, rapid transformation — companies must refine their strategies, operating model, business processes and IT infrastructure and carefully examine their budget priorities. Increasingly, consumers use multiple devices, apps and websites from different locations at different times of the day to do their mobile shopping — leaving retailers with a fragmented, limited view of customers and their behaviors. As a result, they miss sales opportunities — often operating “blindfolded” — unable to recognize and influence consumers on their path-to-purchase journeys. Removing these roadblocks requires fresh strategies and updated business models. It also obliges companies to leverage customer data-sharing through partnerships, and utilize advanced data collection, analytics and real-time information logistics to improve recognition and engagement.
In my new report, Cutting Through Chaos in the Age of Mobile Me, based on proprietary and secondary research sources, we identify the major challenges retailers confront with mobile commerce, and what they imply for the industry and every consumer-facing organization. It also offers concrete recommendations for developing and implementing more personalized, even curated, shopping strategies that can help your business take advantage of new waves of technology and keep up with unyielding change.