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Closer to fine?

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Has the backlash against mobile started? Of course not. But that got your attention, I’m sure. But there are issues with mobile. Many consumers are abandoning transactions because the experience is lacking – often being slow and payment processes either unfamiliar or untrusted. Apps, it seems, fare no better either: with most being deleted within three months of being loaded.

So what’s up with mobile? Part of it is that it’s a victim of its own success. The closer it comes to fine, the more people want from it – it now forms a central part in an ever more complicated shopping ‘journey’ and just because people aren’t completing the transaction on it, doesn’t mean it isn’t part of the shopping experience.

In fact, retailers that really understand mobile get that it is an integral part of the process for many shoppers, but it is not where they buy many still go to the store on to the desktop to complete.

A lot of this is to do with familiarity. Most people are used to shopping on a ‘computer’, many distrust mobile. This of, course, will change as tablets become the replacement for the home desktop, but for now we have to contend with mistrust and (ill-founded) security fears.

But change is afoot. Many ‘cool’ brands are starting to see more ‘brand love’ coming from consumers on mobile and tablet. With some brands – and with some people – there is a growing need for interaction and, dare I say it, a relationship.

And this, perhaps, is more where mobile plays a role in the retail experience: mobile as the interaction point with a brand that will eventually lead to sales? This is an interesting area for retailers to explore: are they after just a sale through mobile – or any channel for that matter – or are they after some tweets, some recommendations, some reviews, some research, some complaints leading to a sale somewhere?

Today’s consumer is very much different from that of 10 years ago and mobile has inspired that. Retailers now face the demand to provide the right service, on the right platform, at the right time. Sounds challenging, but really this is just an extension of personalisation – something that all retailers and marketers therein have been chasing for years.

Embracing this is going to be key to retail development. Only today we saw ONS sales figures dampened by the unpredictable British weather. The first question in my mind is ‘Who hasn’t learned not to rely on the British weather?’, but a swift second question, for retailers and holiday makers alike, should be how can technology help us? Retailers need to use mobile – and the relationships it can build with consumers – to iron out the ups and downs of fluctuating sales and our soggy summers.

Never mind, eh? It’ll soon be Christmas – and that’s always predictable, right?

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