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IREU Top500 The Customer Report: 2018

IREU Top500 The Customer Report: 2018

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Mobile: the corner stone of IRX16?

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Mobile: the corner stone of IRX16?
Mobile: the corner stone of IRX16?
Next week I shall be joining my colleagues and everyone who’s anyone in ecommerce at Internet Retailing Expo (IRX16)– and what a time to be mingling with the great and the good.

I am hoping that there will be much discussion around mobile: not just because I am mobile editor at Internet Retailing, but also because despite many people still seeing mobile as a fringe activity (our own IRUK Top500 research for 2016, shows that just 23% of Top 500 retailers in the UK have a transactional app –  with only a fifth having an app at all), traffic figures out this week suggest that actually the bulk of e-commerce traffic to the top 25 UK retailers by sales comes from mobile.

If that wasn’t enough we have seen throughout the tail-end of 2015 and the first few months of this year that e-commerce sales on mobile are routinely now hitting or surpassing the 50% mark for many retailers – Debenhams being a prime example.

And this is where people get confused. Sales through mobile are growing and have in many cases hit the high 40s and low 50s in percentage terms, but the real story I think lies in the idea that traffic is almost entirely coming from mobile.

The picture this paints is one of shoppers reaching for their mobile whenever they get the urge to do some online shopping – which is often at ‘dead’ times such as commuting, watching TV and, it has to be said, sitting on the toilet.

Mobile is where the journey starts and, for half of consumers where it also ends. The fact that sales are around half online and half on mobile merely shows that the actual purchase is made on a PC. The grunt work and the bulk of what people do is now mobile.

And this is why retailers have to mobilise. It is no longer a ‘nice to have’ or even something that we should be debating at IRX16 – you have to have mobile in all its forms (app, web, transactional, adaptive-responsive et al) or you will die.

This move to mobile by consumers – and retailers – is something that I am hoping to see a lot more of at the show. While there is one track out of eight dedicated in name at least to mobile, it is unlikely that the other seven tracks aren’t all going to have a heavy degree of mobile mentions therein too.

Mobile is now inescapable in retail and will be a cornerstone of all of the other facets of retail life so ably mapped out at the show: connected store; experience; international; fulfillment; marketing; merchandising; and operations.

A visit to IRX16 on 27 and 28 April is your best bet for getting your mobile strategy sorted and making sure that your business is ready to be where your customers want you to be: everywhere.

Oh and if that wasn’t lure enough, there will also be robots. See you there…
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