Mobile commerce is a necessity say fashion retailers
An overwhelming majority of fashion retailers believe mobile shopping should form an essential part of their business according to a new survey commissioned by leading mCommerce experts MoPowered.
A staggering 84% of the small-to-medium sized fashion enterprises (SMEs) that were surveyed by independent online and mobile research agency, OnePoll, did not have a mobile site, but 89% believed mCommerce to be essential to the future success of their business.
Dominic Keen, chief executive of MoPowered, a provider of mCommerce solutions for SME retailers, said: “Fashion retailers are amongst the most visionary in the retail sector and they are right to think that creating an m-Site for consumers to shop on their smartphones has now become essential to the success of their business. They recognise the importance of increasing the touch points with potential customers and the importance of becoming mobile friendly in order to survive. With comScore reporting that more than 28 million smartphones in use across the UK ‒ an increase of 38 percent since a year ago ‒ more consumers will be using mobiles as their primary point of internet access over the next decade, making being mobile-compatible critical to the survival of retail.”
“Recent research by Google shows that at least 15% of all online traffic is now coming through mobile meaning not being handset optimised is equivalent to shutting your online store for a day of every week. With recent British Retail Consortium figures showing a slump in retail sales during the Olympics (August 2012) and with autumn ranges set to be rolled out as well as the looming Christmas period, fashion retailers can’t afford to risk missing out on this additional business as consumers want to shop anytime, anyplace and anywhere.”
Whilst retailers recognise the need to go mobile, those surveyed said they were prevented from doing so by the perceived high cost, lack of resource and security concerns. 33% were concerned about the risk of mobile payments; while 36% thought it would be too time-consuming. Despite hesitating to go mobile, retailers reported that they believed mCommerce sales would increase by an astonishing third over the next 5 years. MoPowered helps overcome these perceived barriers to going mobile.
One SME retailer that has quickly integrated onto the mobile channel using MoPowered is speciality hat and accessory business Zaini. Founder Miranda Harper commented: “We were acutely aware of the how many people accessed the internet through their mobile phones and were keen to exploit this to generate more business. It became clear that it was a necessity to have a mobile-optimised site. However, we had no knowledge of websites and mobile and this lack of technological expertise prevented us from making the leap to mobile commerce. Through working with MoPowered, we had a fully-operational, fully-functional mobile site within three weeks. It was customer friendly and didn’t leave visitors with memories of an awkward shopping experience."
Keen added: “Many of the reasons retailers gave for not going mobile are myths, providing they choose the right mobile service. For example, we have created a mobile commerce platform that enables SMEs to quickly, easily and cost effectively integrate onto the channel with a level of security that is PCI-DSS compliant. Whereas previously a retailer would be looking at a high up-front cost to develop a mobile site, it is now possible for retailers to pay-as-they-use similar to the Google PPC pricing for online ads. Retailers that don’t offer mobile shopping are losing out on sales because mobile transactions are not being converted due to users’ difficulties in navigating non-mobile optimised sites. This is an easily avoidable situation.”
The survey found that when retailers had used non-optimised sites to make a purchase, more than a quarter had completely abandoned the transaction as it had taken too long, whilst 79% said they found the process slow and difficult to navigate.
Independent retail expert Clare Rayner says multi-channel retail is essential for business to remain competitive: “SME retailers need to take every opportunity possible to ensure that they continue to be part of our retail landscape. When you look at consumer choice via mobile, the landscape is dominated by enterprise level retailers. Shopping is becoming more and more about multi-channel accessibility and it is therefore essential that independent retailers embrace the opportunity offered by mobile commerce.”
300 higher managerial professionals from within SME retailers were surveyed for this research conducted by online and mobile market research agency OnePoll on behalf of MoPowered.
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