‘Generation Consumer’ – those UK shoppers that are comfortable with online shopping – are now using the smartphone more frequently to complete end-to-end shopping experiences in a dramatic shift in online behaviour.
So claims the latest research from Tryzens, a managed service provider of eCommerce solutions. Its research of 1000 shoppers who have completed at least one online purchase in the past quarter finds that smartphones are the preferred shopping device among 65% of the sample, replacing laptops as the way people shop.
Anecdotally, this reflects a growing mood for shopping online with a mobile “anytime, anyplace, anywhere”, says the company’s CEO, Andy Burton.
“Whilst laptops formally remain the favourite device used by consumers when online shopping, the biggest year-on-year change has been the stratospheric growth of expectation around the ability to shop solely on a mobile device,” he explains. “The smartphone is now rated as the preferred device by 65% of our research base and tablets by 52%. Desktops have dropped from second preference to fourth in a year! This really is a move to shop anytime, anywhere and on the move.”
Interestingly, 82% of shoppers who buy in-store research their purchase online first, but it is the freedom to shop at any time that was cited as the most significant benefit of mobile shopping according to 85% of women and 77% of men, followed by the ability to find the widest range of products quickly and efficiently (63%), and the ability to access the best price before purchasing (62%).
Fashion and apparel retailers need to take heed perhaps more than any other vertical, as the research shows that they have very different pressures on them when trading online, ranging from a need for richer content experiences to convey the look and styling both on images and videos, as well as making links from social media, blogs and shopable content to the eCommerce site.
Uniquely clothing retailers must also make it easy to order the right size in order to mitigate returns.
“The Swiss Army knife of the modern digital world – the smartphone – has come of age. Improved connectivity, faster processors, bigger and better screens and a huge range of apps have now made its core function one of access to digital content and data rather than voice,” says Burton. “It is now a permanent part of a consumers’ day-to-day life and as rich application technology has finally caught up with the device our research is clearly indicating that the smartphone is the device of choice in the critical 16-45 year age group.”
He continues: “As a result we would argue that it is now essential that retailers adopt a robust ‘mobile first’ approach when it comes to redeveloping or enhancing their eCommerce site. I would argue that any new site needs to be built first and foremost around the smartphone consumer perspective. In practical terms that means reworking the customer experience to favour fewer key taps, simplifying the Search/PLP and easing the completion of checkout for deliveries to regular addresses as well as adoption of mobile payment services.”