The convergence of mobile and commerce is sending ripples across a number of industries. Those sectors that capture the momentum of these waves will be best positioned for success.
In a world where retail showrooming is becoming the norm, it's very interesting to look at how brick & mortar retailers are handling this shift. I sit firmly on the side of embracing the rise of smartphone-enabled shoppers.
Based on the conversations at Wednesday night's New York Mobile Meetup, retailers who dedicate worthwhile resources to mobile are reaping the benefits. Take Nine West, for example. The shoe retailer recently launched an associate-based iPad app that both assists in-store sales and augments employee education. Stores using the iPads are seeing increased sales of 20-75%. The technology executive from The Jones Group, the parent company of Nine West, also made sure to note that delivering HR materials through the iPads has led to significant cost savings on printing.
The twin brothers behind mobile development shop Dom & Tom articulated mobile shopping as quickly translating gesture into demand. Something about the comment struck me, as it dutifully expresses the immediacy of mobile. The two won me over even further when they stated, "The future of mobile e-commerce is CONVERGENCE." Such convergence promises fully integrated billboards that facilitate direct purchases in parallel with increasing brand awareness.
The final presentation of the night came from the mobile team at flash sales site Gilt. With over 30% of the company's revenue and 45% of all traffic now coming from mobile, the two posited that the entire company was now part of the mobile team (which leads one to question if the moniker "mobile" is even required anymore in companies like Gilt). I loved hearing about the level of data analysis Gilt is conducting on mobile engagement. The company is uncovering greater distinction between consumer behavior as a result of different devices than apps.
By offering "pre-shop" exclusives and special deals through mobile, Gilt is constantly filling the mobile funnel to reap the channel's long-term rewards. Whether an e-commerce startup like Gilt or a more traditional retailer like Nine West, embracing mobile opens companies to a world of new possibilities.
Labels: e-commerce, iPad, m-commerce, mobile apps, mobile commerce, retail