A recent study from PayPal Australia highlights that while mobile commerce (often called mCommerce) may have begun as a convenient way to shop on-demand, it has rapidly developed into an entertainment experience, otherwise known as 'retailtainment'.
This social shift is not only changing the way retailers engage with mCommerce, but also their expectations for the mobile shopping experience.
To build the 'fun factor' and make the shopping enjoyable and engaging, retailers are experimenting with next-generation technologies such as Apps, augmented reality and voice assistants. However, the study shows that almost half of Australian retailers have not optimised their websites while two-thirds (67%) of smartphone users browse retail mobile sites for fun without a purchase intent.
Although these new technologies are an important part of customer engagement, retailers need to go back to the basics and ensure that their websites are built and optimised mobile first, as well as launching complementary App based solutions, says eCommerce systems integrator Tryzens. Whilst there is a rich seam of innovation around ecommerce, arguably retailers will drive far higher performance by having an engaging mobile-first optimised experience.
Commenting on the figures, Andy Burton, CEO of Tryzens, said: "These findings represent an opportunity and a challenge for the retail sector. With consumers looking for mobile-first shopping experiences that also provide rich content for leisure and entertainment – it's no surprise that retailers are adopting technologies such as Apps, augmented reality (AR) and virtual try-ons to keep customers particularly younger shoppers engaged."
"This report is indicative of the fact that there has never been a better time to leverage the power on mCommerce in its broadest form. To take advantage of the 46 per cent shoppers that are 'window shopping' on their mobiles, retailers must take a moment to reassess their mobile offerings, making sure they don't lose sight of the basics like demonstrating good value and having great products. In addition they need to reimagine customer experience and interaction including offering alternative functionalities such as one-click ordering, to improve the customer purchase journey."
"The key is to be intuitive, easy to navigate and engaging. While many retailers have a mCommerce capability presently, we are seeing many of our clients enhance their existing investments in mobile to drive greater persistence of personalisation for customers across devices as well as responsive designs and App based experiences for regular customers to improve mobile engagement and conversion."
"Consumers now have an unparalleled level of convenience when it comes to mobile shopping, allowing them to make purchases at any time, from any place. Therefore, retailers' need to focus on improving the customer journey by offering functionalities such as one-click payment to geo-location that creates a highly personalised, highly intuitive shopping experience for customers. By fully integrating promotions, look-books, merchandising, sales and delivery into their eCommerce platforms, retailers can convert 'retailtainment' into sales," Andy concluded.