Mobile Trends for 2013

eMarketer predicts that $37.44 billion worth of goods will be purchased by consumers on their smartphones and tablets in 2013. The option to shop via mobile devices is becoming easier than ever with the development of new technology and platforms that make purchasing simple for consumers. With more access to apps and mobile web sites with higher quality and functionality,  it even seems that consumers will ultimately prefer to shop mobile,  according to Huffington Post Tech.

It’s estimated that there will be 118 million mobile shoppers in the U.S. this year and with this comes the preference for using mobile devices for research as opposed to computers. eMarketer predicts that eight out of ten digital shoppers will also be using mobile within the next few years.

Tablet use will also continue to increase as consumers use them for research and to complete purchases even more than smartphones. According to Business Insider,  tablets tend to drive more traffic to online retailers than smartphones and tablet consumers spend more per transaction than PC-based users.

As retail spending habits change, retailers must implement new ways to meet their needs. This includes experimenting with services such as location-based price discrimination and investing in apps to cater to the need for immediate retail therapy. Nine of out ten consumers own a smartphone,  tablet or cellphone in the United States alone. That’s approximately 216 million possible mobile device owners to reach.

According to a study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA),  37% of these owners are currently engaging in some form of mobile commerce, which includes shopping,  purchasing items to be picked up in-store and using coupons or gift cards. IBM found that 24% of shoppers used a mobile device to visit retailer websites during Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2012,  up from 14.3% in 2011.

“There will be many more unpredictable changes in mobile in 2013,  but if these emerging trends are any indication,  we’re in store for a new world — built,  consumed and reinvented by the wireless generation,” says Huffington Post Tech.

A recent example of mobile commerce success is Sephora,  a beauty product retailer. Sephora saw a 167% increase in mobile orders in 2012,  with a 75% rise in mobile traffic, as well as 50% of email opens coming in from mobile devices,  according to Johnna Marcus, director of mobile and digital store marketing at Sephora. Marketing Pilgrim,  says that Sephora’s goal is to use mobile as a personal shopper that offers reviews,  tracking of favorite brands and showcases new items. Sephora has also invested in a mobile wallet concept that can be used with gift cards. By scanning a barcode on a product, you can instantly see reviews and buying options.

“Between our collective move towards e-commerce,  the new technologies being introduced into stores and an increasing reliance on smartphones and apps,  retail is undergoing a massive tech transformation,” according to Forbes

While traditional commerce has always struggled with location targeting,  mobile can “entice” shoppers into stores for items they are personally in the market for. “With in-store mobile marketing,  an indecisive consumer can be nudged toward a specific brand or product,” says Business Insider.

With mobile commerce only getting bigger,  another way to drive growth could be increased mobile payment options, which create value while providing a direct link between the brand and the consumer.

“That’s the direction being taken by Passbook,  which sidestepped payments to start with coupons,  loyalty rewards and ticketing. Established mobile payments players,  such as Square and Google Wallet,  are building on transactional solutions to offer shopping-related services,” says Business Insider.

In some cases,  e-commerce and mobile are actually replacing physical stores. For example,  Toys “R” Us plans to open mobile-friendly sites in China, Australia and France. Instead of opening traditional brick-and-mortar stores in certain areas,  virtual ones will ultimately replace them.

More and more companies are accepting that this is where real opportunity lies. With smartphones and tablets come easy access to global information on any product. The growing use of mobile devices persuades retailers to keep prices competitive and websites active.

As always, we welcome your input and look forward to the conversation;  click here to leave a comment. For an overview on the purpose of this blog,  take a look at the initial post here.

This article was written by:
Bethany Richard,  Sage Tree Trade Marketing Associate



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