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November 27, 2013

Is M-Commerce the New E-Commerce For the Holiday Season?

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Assuming most people know what E-Commerce is, we should explain a bit about M-Commerce. It is essentially a retail outlet in your pocket, or more officially: E-Commerce capabilities via wireless technology.

With the 2013 Holiday Season officially kicking off this week with Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday right around the corner, retailers are hurriedly preparing for the influx of customers, but are they prepared for the influx of M-Commerce customers? In December 2012 consumers spent six times as many minutes in retailers’ apps than they did in December 2011. WalMart claims that 40% of all visits to their internet shopping site in December 2012 was from a mobile device and mobile retailers in the UK alone expected to increase revenues up to 31% this past year.

Now, what exactly is Cyber Monday you may ask. Cyber Monday refers to the Monday after Thanksgiving in the US. In 2005 77% of online retailers said that their sales substantially increased on the Monday after Thanksgiving – a trend that is giving way to major online discounts and promotions for Cyber Monday. Brace your servers! It’s going to be a big day and we don’t want any crashing.

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An interesting trend that has developed is the idea of ‘Showrooming’ when customers try an item in a store then look for a better price online after. According to Entrepreneur, 73% of shoppers have done this in the last six months. M-Commerce is not limited to the mobile phone but is also very pervasive on the tablet with 55% of mobile commercial sales happening on tablets.

As app usage reveals much about the interests and passions of device owners, Flurry has compiled a list of potential gifts based on their data of how app users spend their time – with entertainment enthusiasts on Android and iPhone spending more than 30% of their time on games; 50% (iPhone) and 32% (Android) on entertainment; 9% (iPhone) and 16% (Android) on Social Networking. Business travelers seem to spend even more of their time on games, over 40% for both iPhone and Android.

Keeping this information in mind, Flurry suggests the following items as good potential gifts…

Entertainment Enthusiasts:

1) GoPro Camera

2) New set of headphones or earbuds

3) Stuffed version of ‘Talking Ben The Dog’ and ‘Talking Tom The Cat’

Business Travelers:

1) Subscriptions to news apps such as the Economicst, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Guardian

2) Gift cards for stores like PotteryBarn and Crate and Barrel that have gift cards that can be saved to Passbook for seamless shopping (Great for moms too!!)

3) Luggage with good device compartments

Health & Fitness Enthusiasts:

1) Read reviews about best fitness apps, compile a list and give a gift card to buy them.

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Despite the up-going trend in M-Commerce, many retailers are failing to meet the demands of mobile shoppers, i.e. websites that take too long to load and break users’ flow. Many E-Commerce retailers are too afraid to invest in M-Commerce regardless of how lucrative it is. Time to wake up retailers! It is time to embrace the era of M-Commerce. Those who don’t will be left behind in the race for the quickest, simplest and cheapest purchase that people have become accustomed to and are now demanding.

Here are a few tips from Marketing Land for retailers on how to optimise their M-Commerce:

1) Focus on the mobile site – give the user a good experience

2) Focus on the content – understand what your users want and try to give it to them

3) Focus on conversion – Map out all possible micro and macro conversions that aid in the ultimate purchase goal, tracking mobile’s role in analytics.

Best of luck retailers!

Happy Shopping!