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Shortening the long game

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This week we are very long on predictions. And they are very long predictions too. It seems that between 2019 and 2024, mobile is really going places in retail and commerce.

As our lead story points out, consumers are going to be spending £53billion a year via mobile in 2024. In 2019, 32 billion tickets will be issued via mobile. A flick through the past few months of M-Retailing will reveal a wealth of other predictions all pointing to stellar growth for mobile.

But what of today? Right now, only 30% of retailers surveyed by Barclays have a mobile strategy. Our own IRUK500 research found a similar lack of engagement, finding only 169 of the 500 retailers looked at having an app (OK so that isn’t the only indicator of a mobile strategy, but its gives you an idea, right?). Of those only 93 were transactional.

This is all very concerning. As I have said many times before, consumers are digging mobile commerce and mobile payments to a huge degree and, while these stats stories point to great times ahead, the disconnect between what consumers are doing and what retailers are giving them is gulfing.

The mobile proportion of traffic to retail sites is at 46%, according to the latest monthly figures from Affiliate Window – that’s a number that is slowly but definitely moving towards the 50% tipping point THIS YEAR.

91% of consumers are set to use mobile payments of some kind or another THIS YEAR, according to Oxygen8.

Hey, even the Welsh are getting it – they lead the way with 12.7% of consumers there shopping on mobile. That is more than happens in “that London”.

The launch of the Apple Watch is starting to get some real attention and there will be people wanting to transact with it. A few, but it does set a precedent. I even saw an ad on a kids TV network for a smart watch for kids… the age of the wearable is nearly upon us.

All this is happening right now.

The consumer – even the kids it would seem – just get tech and are no longer umming and awwwing about whether they should use their phone (or watch) to buy stuff. They just expect to do it. They also expect the omni-channel thing to just work: researching, browsing and buying across all manner of channels.

Of course getting it right is a tall order for retailers, but apart from a few key players, most don’t seem to be really on top of omni-channel or mobile. And they wonder why people use Amazon and other start ups.

Tech – especially mobile – is extremely disruptive. Look what it has already done to newspapers, TV, the music industry and books. Retail is next. Those that have their eye on the long predictions are not going to be around in 2020 as you can bet that some spotty 16 year old is already working on an app that is going to put you out of business.

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