Eric Tobias, Founder and President, iGoDigital: Yes, we believe that this metric is obtainable since consumers continue to go online for their shopping needs. In addition to competitive pricing and 24/7 convenience, retailers need to be ready for 2012 shoppers with improved website speed, a more engaged shopping experience where customers can find the product(s) their shopping for faster and in less clicks. We believe retailers who can master these factors will be better positioned to be leaders in the e-commerce space. Unless the US experiences severe economic conditions, we expect to see additional growth in the online, social, mobile and tablet shopping channels through 2012.
Kristina: What impact are tablets/mobile devices having on traffic and purchasing?
Eric: In the fourth quarter of 2011, 41.8% of all mobile subscribers age 13 and older used smart phones, online and mobile research firm comScore Inc. finds. That’s 97.9 million out of 234.2 million mobile subscribers. iGoDigital predicts by the end of 2012 nearly half of all mobile subscribers will have smart phones in their pockets. That being said, we believe mobile and tablet devices will continue to drive more and more traffic in 2012, but the way shoppers utilize these devices is vastly different. iGoDigital’s retailers saw up to a 30% increase in mobile traffic in 2011. Most retailers saw that the greatest source of conversions is still from their website, but conversions from tablet shopping are also increasing at a greater rate than mobile. Consumers still seem to be utilizing a mobile device to browse but are actually using tablets to make purchases. We’re also seeing the concept of “Responsive Web Sites” become a growing trend since the website layout changes based on the size of the screen and it is a more cost effective way to approach mobile and tablet site design.
Kristina: What trends are you seeing in m:commerce so far this year?
Eric: On the mobile side, there are still discussions on WAP, app, or m.site is the right strategy, but new technologies such as the release of HTML 5 and the idea of responsive website might be game changers in the mobile and tablet channel. Another trend we’re seeing for 2012 is the idea of cross-channel customer experience. Cross-channel is having a greater impact than originally perceived. Retailers need to ensure they have a consistent message in each channel their customers are interacting with them while still understanding the ‘nuance’ of each shopping channel and how customers interact with it. People are using their mobile devices to do a lot more than just buy – they’re checking store hours, locating nearby stores, using special mobile shopping apps, but a majority of sales are still being made online or in-store.
Courtesy – BizReport
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