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EDITORIAL Mobile is now at the heart of digital and physical retail

Mobile is the key to ecommerce

EDITORIAL Mobile is now at the heart of digital and physical retail

Research out this week finds that leading retailers worldwide are now wedded to the changes that have been wrought by the pandemic and are adamant that digitisation is now here to stay.

A study of 50 of the world’s largest retailers finds that 90% of them agree that online transactions will stay at their current levels or grow.

The study, by Taulia, a fintech based in San Francisco, also found that nearly one-third of the largest global retailers believe the impact of the pandemic on their industry will be permanent. The study suggests that businesses must prioritise building out their online retail channels and investing in the digital technologies required to facilitate these channels.

Chief among this has to be mobile. A separate study from Liftoff, a global performance-based mobile app marketing optimisation platform, in partnership with the global data and analytics company App Annie and native mobile app platform Poq, reveals a 30.1% increase in purchase rates through apps between Jan 2021 to May 2021 – growing from 15.3% 19.9%). Purchase sizes also spiked, with baskets hitting a high $88 in June 2021, compared to January’s $74 – a 15.8% increase.

Interestingly, the study also points to Android’s outperformance of iOS in key marketing metrics. In the ongoing “platform wars,” Android shows great promise—especially in retail. Android users were highly-engaged with shopping apps, spending a collective 2 billion hours a week on these apps as of May 2021, a 51% increase year-over-year.

What the survey doesn’t touch upon is how this increasing use of apps is also going to change the face on online and mobile retail. As more consumers demand the richness of apps along with the convenience of the web, there is going to be more interest in technologies such as progressive web apps.

These Google-backed development where websites effectively can sit as app-like ‘buttons’ on the desktop, combining the richness of apps, the ability to work offline to some degree, yet to be updated really easily, are set to be a game changer – once retailers get to grips with them.

In an  interview with Penny McLachlan of Google, we take a look at what PWAs actually are – you may be surprised – and learn just how to make them work for retail businesses.

With the high street reestablishing itself, the role of mobile is set to become even more central to how consumers shop. Yes, the levels of ecommerce we are currently seeing are only set to grow, but they will also grow alongside and within physical retail. With this in mind, having the right – and the most adaptable – mobile strategy is now a retail essential.

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