With the advent of the Internet the way in which people play, work and shop has changed dramatically. It was not too long ago that the only choice available to people in their shopping decisions was the good old fashioned brick and mortar store; however as more and more businesses are learning to build integrated platforms where their customers can search for, select, customize and purchase goods online, this is all changing.
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The advantages to the business were obvious – a greater reach, lower overhead and the possibility to provide their customers with a fuller catalogue of products and services (in comparison to the space available in a store) and they were also able to link products and items that a customer might not have previously considered.
From a customer’s perspective the advantages were obvious also in terms of ease of use, breadth of product and perhaps most importantly price. As more and more businesses took themselves online, businesses found themselves competing not just with the store down the road, but with businesses and companies located around the world and as such, prices needed to be appropriately set.
The Mobile Game Changer
Now, just as the Internet changed the way in which we shop, work and play Mobile phones are undergoing a similar revolution. In the past 3-5 years Smartphone’s have become the norm and are very much a mainstream product. As their growth continues year upon year (the Smartphone market has grown 22% this year alone), it is up to businesses to look for new and innovative ways to capture the mobile market which is very different to the Internet market.
An assumption that most retailers make with regards to the mobile market is that their existing website will suffice – unfortunately what they have not realized or considered is that while Smartphone’s have access to the Internet and can browse their website, the simple interaction on that site through a device with a 3”-5” screen is less than ideal. Having to “pinch” and zoom your way across a site that has not been customized for mobile usage tends to leave most users frustrated and despondent and while there are options, currently only 12% of the top retailers in the US have specific mobile “friendly” sites and an even smaller proportion have apps that have been designed to take advantage of the Smartphone’s capabilities.