While some analysts predict the shift to mobile commerce will be gradual, others are more optimistic.
Midyear data from the MarketLive Inc. second quarter 2015 Performance Index, which tracks the buying behavior of millions of consumers shopping online, suggests a turning point in mobile commerce could be closer than many analysts have projected.
According to MarketLive, small-screen shopping experiences are finally engaging enough to attract mass-market consumers, who purchased 335 percent more via their smartphones than they did a year ago.
The data showed triple-digit gains in mobile-generated revenue and traffic across all retail sectors.
“Consumers have shifted their buying patterns to mobile commerce faster than many retailers realize,” said Ken Burke, founder and chief executive officer of MarketLive. “We’re now seeing merchandise traditionally purchased in-store, such as home furnishings, increasingly being purchased online from smartphones.”
The retail sectors showing the strongest improvement in mobile-generated sales year-over-year were catalog (374 percent), brick-and-mortar (207 percent), and furnishings and housewares (163 percent), indicating that traditional retailers are beginning to leverage digital channels more effectively. Apparel, footwear and accessories; beauty and health and brand manufacturers also saw significant gains in mobile-generated sales.
MarketLive attributes much of the recent rise in mobile commerce to enhanced capabilities in two key areas: responsive websites and one-click payment options.
Both capabilities address serious friction points by making it easier for shoppers to see products, search prices, and make purchases whenever and wherever convenient.
This trend moves us another step closer to becoming a cashless society. While mobile commerce might not yet be a top priority, there is no denying the proliferation of smartphones has made a mark on American lifestyles.
A new report from Bank of America details how important these devices are to consumers. Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) of U.S. adults never disconnect from their smartphones, and only seven percent shut down their devices entirely while on vacation, according to BOA’s second annual Trends in Consumer Mobility Report.
More than half of those surveyed (1,000 randomly selected from throughout the country in April 2015) describe mobile or online banking as their preferred channels. Less than one-third (and only six percent of millennials) complete the majority of their banking transactions at branch offices.
Among consumers using mobile banking apps, 63 percent use mobile check deposit services, and 81 percent use mobile banking alerts.
That panicky feeling you get when you are 10 minutes away from home and you don’t have your cell phone is becoming all too critical. The acceptance of electronic transactions via smartphone is moving us closer to making cash as obsolete as the old princess phone.
Michael Novitski is director of sales and marketing for Merchant Service Center of Hilton Head Island. www.mschhi.com