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With mobile payments coming of age and with more time spent shopping on devices such as tablets and smartphones, retailers really need to have a robust mobile strategy. And nowhere will it be more important that click and collect, argues Juan Ageitos, Senior Marketing Manager, mGage

This year the amount of time UK adults spend daily with mobile devices will surpass the amount of time spent online via desktop and laptop computers. Indeed research from insights provider eMarketer indicates that UK adults will spend an average of 2 hours, 26 minutes each day with mobile devices.

Brands can no longer afford to ignore mobile, especially those in the retail industry.

Mobile payments coming of age

Mobile payments look set to hit the tipping point we’ve long been waiting for in the coming months, with Apple Pay expected to do a lot to raise consumer awareness and trust of paying via their phones. However, the real challenge for retailers will be to integrate mobile into another of the retail sector’s hottest topics – click and collect.

Click and collect as a whole is on the rise and smartphones and tablets provide almost infinite access to stores from practically every sofa all over the country. Once exposed to this unprecedented level of convenience, today’s increasingly time-poor consumers are unlikely to revert to their pre-tech habits.

The perfect partner for click and collect

At a recent event, we heard how Hummus Bros is already using mobile to enable consumers to pre-order and pay for their lunch so that they can avoid the queues and spend more of their lunchtime enjoying their lunch. And it’s not just them that have jumped on this trend. Many other brands are now rolling out click and collect platforms – Debenhams, O2, KFC, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Starbucks are just a few who are continuing to push digital innovation as part of their mass personalisation and customer convenience strategy. By ramping up their mobile offerings through mobile ordering or payment services, consumers can order and pay for their product and collect it at a time and place that suits and this is something we expect to see a lot more of over the coming months.

With consumers now spending more time on mobile, being able to pay through a mobile device has become more popular than ever. All of the major retailers are now looking at this as it plays well to the convenience trends consumers are demanding. The business model for retailers will be improved as they don’t have to factor in delivery costs, giving click and collect the perfect platform to expand, not just in-store but also in remote locations like train stations, as well as through partnerships with eBay, Argos and Café Nero.

Deloitte forecasts a 20% increase in click and collect locations across Europe to around 500,000 as this becomes “a fundamental part of ecommerce”. With home delivery unable to cope with the volume of ecommerce, click and collect will spread, with more lockers being set up for example, and more partnerships such as that between eBay and catalogue store Argos which allows consumers to purchase items on the online retailer’s and have them delivered to the catalogue store for pick-up.

Credit cards could be extinct before they know it

This is an exciting time for mobile payments – it is an opportunity for marketers to grab with both hands and enhance their customers’ experience with mobile. With the anticipated launch of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay attracting many customers, there is a lot more focus on m-commerce and mobile payments. As more people adopt mobile payment services, they will see how easy and convenient the process is. The momentum is rapidly building so brands need to move quickly or risk the very real possibility of being left behind.

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