Mobile Plays a Crucial Role in Holiday Season Shopping

Joseph Fantozzi PicMobile continues to play a crucial role during the holiday shopping season. We sat down with our very own Strategic Technical Innovation Lead Joseph Fantozzi to discuss how mobile is key to this year’s holiday shopping season.

Q. How will mobile play a vital role in Black Friday shopping compared to last year?

Mobile shopping in general has overtaken desktop shopping since 2014. There are over 1,800 million global mobile device users in 2015, according to comScore.

People feel more comfortable shopping from their couches or while waiting for public transportation on handheld devices than they do on a desktop computer. Most people now only use a desktop computer while they are at work in the office. The last thing anyone wants to do when they get home is sit in front of another computer again.

People are now used to and prefer touching a screen instead of using a mouse and keyboard. Since there are more mobile devices out there, more apps will be downloaded. The reality is that 89% of time spent on media is through mobile apps as opposed to 11% through mobile web, according to Nielsen.

Mobile shopping plays a very significant part of businesses’ bottom lines, not just on Black Friday, but all throughout the year.

Q. Will retailers start their Black Friday deals early this year and make it last longer on mobile? And do you think it’s a good idea considering Amazon’s Prime Day?

I personally believe that retailers will start their Black Friday deals earlier this year and make it last longer because they can sell more and don’t have to spend money on the resources of having their stores open later, pay employees overtime, and the ability to fulfill more orders via a drop ship supplier. Retailers don’t have to worry about losing a sale to a competitor because they ran out of physical inventory.

Amazon Prime Day showed that people are willing to shop online for special deals, however not all vendors participated in “Amazon’s Lightening Deals” or “doorbuster discounts.” Most of the items that were significantly discounted were Amazon’s own products. Anything that wasn’t an Amazon product, but was highly discounted, sold out so fast that customers on the West Coast were out of luck and put on waiting lists.

The shopping experience was considered a bust by many econsumers, but the proof lies in the pudding. It worked. Amazon sold so much product that they had to put people on waiting lists just to complete and fulfill an order. When you sell out of so many products and add your customers on waiting lists, you had a pretty fantastic day in regards to sales and revenue.

Q. How do you think customer’s mobile shopping behavior will change this year and what should retailers do to quickly adapt or stay ahead of their game?

Mobile Apps. People feel more secure downloading an app, creating an account, and feeling like they have a direct connection to the retailer, in addition to getting notifications of items that they may be interested in based on their previous order history. I don’t know about you, but when I log into my Macy’s app and can make a payment, view recent transactions, or get notifications of a particular sale, it makes me want to shop.

Whether it be browsing within the app and purchasing in store or finalizing the transaction on the spot, I will return to the app regularly to see what’s new, what’s on sale, and view all of my account information with just a click away. Companies like eBay and Etsy has made online shopping on their app too easy by allowing users to simply add an item to their cart and click “Place Order.” Checkout does not get any simpler.

Q. What are some last minute key points retailers must remember before executing their Black Friday experience on mobile?

Make sure you have the bandwidth to handle the increase in traffic and shopper volume. Make sure you have alternate vendors who have drop ship available in the event they you sell out of an item, because you certainly don’t want to lose a sale to your competitor. Also, offer better discounts and lower prices on the mobile channels because there is less overhead and can automate the entire order fulfillment process as opposed to having disgruntled customers waiting in long lines at the physical store only to be even more disappointed when their item is out of stock.

Q. How will retailers optimize mobile in-store?

Retailers should enable beacons to help shoppers quickly navigate to a particular item that they may have added to their wishlist, or if it was a logical recommendation based on their previous order history.

Retailers should have in-store kiosks that the customers can use themselves to place an order if a particular color or size is not in stock. They may have gone to the physical retail store just to feel the softness of the cashmere sweater or the way the shoe fits with a particular pair of jeans. Even though they won’t be leaving the store with the item they intended to buy, they at least completed the transaction, again on a touch screen device without having to wait 20 minutes searching for or following a sales associate.

Don’t miss Joseph Fantozzi at Shop.org where he will be giving live demos every hour on Skava’s mobile and in-store solutions at booth 917.

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