As part of our continuous plan to evolve and grow, we are moving our blog to become part of the www.dynmark.com website here: http://insight.dynmark.com/blog.We would love you to join us there, and continue following our industry insights and news by subscribing to receive our blog updates.
A significant increase in the number of app downloads has been predicted for 2013.
New data published by Gartner has predicted the annual number of app downloads in 2013 is set to breach 102 billion – up from 64 billion in 2012.
Overall, the mobile app market is predicted to grow in value from $18 billion (£11.27 billion) last year to $26 billion this year, with free apps continuing to dominate the sector at present, although there is growing uptake among consumers for paid-for content.
The significant rise in the number of individuals owning smartphone and tablet devices has driven this major growth in the market over recent months, with the Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker from the International Data Corporation recently showing a 7.3 per cent growth in mobile phone usage across the globe this year.
Apps have become a mainstay of mobile commerce in recent years, with Gartner revealing in-app purchases (IAP) will make up 48 per cent of all app store revenues in 2013 – up from just 11 per cent in 2012.
Looking to the future, research director at Gartner Sandy Shen commented: “We expect strong growth in downloads through 2014, but growth is forecast to slow down a bit in later years.
“The average downloads per device should be high in early years as users get new devices and discover the apps they like. Over time they accumulate a portfolio of apps they like and stick to, so there will be moderate numbers of downloads in the later years.”
Furthermore, Brian Blau, another research director at the firm, stated many consumers are not being put off from additional IAP even after they have paid for the app in the first place.
He noted it appears that as long as customers are happy with the services provided by the app, they are more than happy to spend more via IAP – something retailers with mobile apps might like to bear in mind when considering their own application strategies.
Businesses offering mcommerce capabilities must make their shopping sites as responsive to the consumer’s needs as possible.
Businesses embracing the world of mcommerce – and let’s face it, savvy retailers across the UK would be fool not to – have been advised on the importance of making the overall experience of shopping via mobile as responsive to the consumer’s needs as possible.
Ecwid senior marketing manager Jesse Ness told eCommerce Bytes online retail has exploded over recent years, as more consumers have purchased smartphonmes and tablets that have allowed them to shop on-the-go.
As such, businesses keen to capitalise on this growth in ecommerce opportunities must remember there are a number of factors that will either drive a growth in sales via their online portal or, conversely, will put off potential buyers in their droves.
Classically, companies moving into the mobile retail market have attempted to develop complete standalone sites for mobile users, but this could now be a practice that is costing them both in terms of consumer connection with their brand and also sales.
As such, savvy businesses creating mcommerce options for buyers now have to take into account a number of factors that not only make the shopping experience as enjoyable and straightforward as possible, but which also ties in seamlessly to the other channels in which the company operates.
Shopping carts need to be “lightning fast”, Mr Ness argues, as consumers today will not wait for clunky mobile sites to load and will simply shift their attentions elsewhere.
Furthermore, it is imperative mcommerce sites are optimised to offer exactly the same functions as desktop PC sites – for example, if consumers have the option to change the colour of potential purchases on a PC, they should have the same functionality via mobile.
Indeed, Mr Ness stated: “As companies consider adopting responsive design strategies, they must not forget the all-important shopping cart.
“For responsive design to flourish, the shopping cart must be extremely user-friendly and automatic. And it must deliver the best display experience for what is arguably a site’s most important content – the online store.”
Many businesses may be overestimating their expected levels of growth from mobile sales over the coming months.
New research published by retail consultancy Peerius has revealed many brands may currently be overestimating their levels of growth in mobile and social retail.
According to the organisation, 75 per cent of retailers believe consumers will be using mobile channels for 40 per cent of sales or more within the next two years, while 50 per cent of these respondents believe this figure will rise as high as half of all purchases.
However, Peerius revealed the attitude held by current online shoppers is actually far more reserved, with just 13 per cent expecting to make 40 per cent of their purchases online – excluding grocery shopping – by 2015.
As a result, retailers are being encouraged to amend their outlook for mcommerce – as although this sector will undoubtedly have a considerable role to play in the future of retail activities, it may take a little longer than many expect for the technology to fully catch on.
Furthermore, mobile shopping portals will also have to move with the times, as delivering a seamless and enjoyable retail experience will lie at the heart of convincing consumers that purchasing online is better and more efficient than in the real world.
Indeed, the research also revealed that seven per cent of UK consumers list ‘websites that are difficult to access via a mobile device’ as one of their personal pet hates.
In response, director at Peerius Roger Doddy said: “The focus … should be on delivering sophisticated mobile commerce experiences that engage the early minority of consumers who are ready for mobile commerce.
“Embedding innovative capabilities like personalisation are proven to drive up mobile engagement and those retailers getting it right are likely to garner a sustained advantage when the more reticent majority of consumers catch up with the early adopters.”
Meanwhile, in terms of social retail and the likely impact this will have on shopping habits over the coming years, the Peerius data revealed 50 per cent of all consumers currently value the personal interaction they get by shopping in-store, while just 18 per cent claim to get this same level of satisfaction from the online retail experience.
However, this is a growing trend, with more brands utilising social networks to interact with their customer base and to offer promotions, meaning social commerce will undoubtedly also have a role to play in any well-optimised multi-channel retail experience of the future.
Mr Doddy concluded: “It is clear that social channels like Twitter and Facebook are a long way from replicating online the social aspects of shopping in-store. However, the small group of consumers who do value online social shopping experiences are likely to be disproportionately influential.”
Indeed, social could actually be a far better fit for many smaller companies at present, as many do not have the massive marketing budgets of their larger and more well-established competitors.
Figures published earlier this month by OC&C Strategy Consultants revealed small businesses that have embraced the world of social media have actually witnessed 1.5 per cent faster revenue growth over the last 12 months than their more illustrious counterparts.
There is set to be a surge in mobile shopping across the UK in the run-up to this year’s festive period.
A significant upturn in the number of people using their smartphones to make purchases is set to take place this festive season, new data from IMRG has revealed.
According to the latest eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI) from the e-retail consultancy, 64 per cent of UK smartphone owners say they will spend more this Christmas via their handsets than in the same period of 2012.
Furthermore, one-quarter of respondents to the survey stated they feel their shopping experience is “better” during the festive period than at other times of the year, thanks largely to special deals and the greater range of products on offer from retailers.
Overall, 44 per cent of all smartphone owners plan to carry out some or all of their festive spending using their handset this year.
This correlates with a significant upturn in the proportion of consumers who will be taking to the internet to make purchases this Christmas (96 per cent of the 2,000 respondents), with 48 per cent of Brits planning to make at least half of their purchases using the internet.
Andy Mulcahy, editor at IMRG, commented: “It is little wonder that such a high percentage of people (64 per cent) say they are planning to do more shopping through their phones this Christmas; we’ve seen sales through mobile devices – smartphones and tablets – grow rapidly over the past few years, accounting for 23 per cent of online sales in Q2 of 2013, with site visits at 34 per cent.”
He added the rate at which the uptake of mcommerce has grown over recent years across the UK has been impressive, as just three years ago overall sales through mobile devices stood at just 0.3 per cent.
Derek Eccleston, commercial director at eDigitalResearch, added that this Christmas, UK retailers are likely to see their largest quantity of online sales to date through mobile devices and apps.
Issues like long queues, busy stores and a limited number of staff on hand to help consumers were highlighted as some of the main reasons driving people from in-store purchases to online sales over the festive season, while Mr Eccleston noted the seamless transition from shopping to purchase is one of the many plus-points that are also attracting ecommerce buyers at present.
Launched in 2008, the eCSI study tracks UK shoppers’ habits and over recent years it has demonstrated an increasing trend for mobile devices and online sales to figure to a much larger extent in consumer behaviour.
Carried out between July 29th and 30th using a nationally representative sample of respondents, the report aims to provide a fair reflection of shoppers attitudes to online commerce in the current financial climate.
IMRG also recently published its latest Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index for August, which showed an 18 per cent annual rise in ecommerce sales during the month.
Furthermore, consumers were shown to be spending more on average, with a four per cent increase in the typical value of online shopping baskets from £72 in July to £77 last month.