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Global tipping point

Read more of Paul Skeldon’s insight into the fast changing mobile channel

Mobile is about to surpass desktop as the global path to ecommerce, with the UK and Japan leading the way. So finds the performance marketing technology company Criteo in its H1 2016 State of Mobile Commerce Report, which reveals insights into consumer shopping habits and forecasts predictions for mobile commerce across the globe.

“Mobile commerce has reached a turning point and is surpassing desktop purchasing as retailers continue to evolve their mobile shopping platforms,” says Elie Kanaan, EVP, Marketing, Criteo. “Retailers need to create a truly seamless mobile and cross-device experience and be prepared to engage with users no matter where they are along the path to purchase. Brands that master the mobile trend will have a head start on competitors and the momentum to lead the pack through the shopping seasons ahead.”

Criteo’s research shows brands can no longer ignore mobile platforms as a primary means to drive ecommerce sales. While technology enhancements have facilitated shopping on mobile, marketers are challenged with targeting consumers across every environment along the path to purchase. Retailers must employ both strong app and mobile web presences together with mobile targeting strategies to engage with shoppers wherever and whenever they browse and purchase to boost revenue.

According to the report, the number of shoppers going online – be that via desktop or mobile – to both browse and purchase products continues to grow with a higher rate of transactions captured on mobile devices than via traditional purchase paths.

Interestingly, Japan and the UK have surpassed parity with desktop and now sell more on mobile devices. The biggest year-over-year increases in mobile’s share of retail transactions were seen in Brazil, Australia and France. Mobile conversion rates are highest in Japan, the UK and South Korea.

Countries with the highest percentage of mobile-friendly sites – including South Korea, Australia and Japan – also saw the greatest share of mobile transactions.

Front row at New York Fashion Week

The fashion world opened its door for the annual New York Fashion Week on 8 September to parade the latest trends and styles of the season. The event, attracts A-listers, industry insiders and shoppers alike, who are all able to view a livestream of the catwalk on mobile.

Fashion Week has made an online presence on social media with SnapChat set to have exclusive stories which follow the different catwalks, bringing the world of luxury fashion closer to the customers. While Instagram provides polished and refined images, SnapChat offers a raw glimpse behind-the-scenes of shows, allowing users to get exclusive access to top brands. Luxury brands need to explore the value of social media to strengthen relationships with customers.

Burberry is leading the way in this regard, with investment of more than 60% of its marketing budget on digital. According to Contactlab’s “Digital and Physical Integration: Luxury Retail’s Holy Grail” study, Burberry is also bringing together online and offline operations, with click and collect already representing 15% of Burberry’s online sales. While Burberry paves the way for luxury brands, others are still struggling to grasp the significant impact engaging with customers online and offline will have on their brands.

Contactlab found in its Digital Frontier 2016 study that customers with a digital presence who are digitally contactable are high spenders in-store and account for 27% of in-store revenue and 73% of ecommerce revenue. With the rise of ecommerce and digital engagement tools, luxury brands have access to customer data which allows them to create a dynamic and personalised approach which integrates people preferences within the customer interactions.

Book by video

A picture paints a thousand words – a video tour many more. That is the thinking behind a new ‘Book by video’ service being trialled on UK Airport Car Parks site and app, which could usher in a new era in how people shop, especially on text-unfriendly mobile screens.

Users can now view and experience airport car parks, hotels and lounges before deciding which one to book with the service. The unique feature means that customers can see elements first hand, such as the level of car park security, hotel amenities and airport lounge facilities, before deciding to buy, rather than simply reading about them from the company’s perspective.

Chris Fryer, Developer at UK Airport Car Parks, explains: “The way people want to shop has changed, they no longer want to read about what they should expect to receive but see footage of it with their own eyes, giving them a better understanding of what to expect and pick out a product or service that best suits them and their needs. By embracing modern technology and listening to what our customers want they can now watch short video clips and view available airport car parks, hotels and lounges for themselves through UK Airport Car Parks.”

Fryer continues: “Our new View and Book by Video function was developed with mobile users in mind. Just imagine being on a small mobile device and having to read through endless text to get an idea of what an airport product is like. Instead from our site simply watch the video and click book if it meets your requirements!”

To access the new feature users simply need to go to the UK Airport Car Parks website and select ‘View & Book Products by Video’ in the top right corner of any of their pages. From here they can select their chosen product or service to view an informative video and will be shown similar offerings at the same airport to ensure they have the best deal.

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