The Impact of the New Mobile Shopper: Today’s Challenges and What Enterprises Will Need for Tomorrow’s MarketAugust 26, 2014 By Jason Wallis
Though digital retail began taking shape in the 90s, the experience has transformed dramatically since the advent of personal technology. The 21st century brought the rapid adoption of mobile devices, compelling retailers to maintain both traditional and mobile-friendly sites. The evolution to mobile and consumers increasing comfort with online shopping across all platforms has created a number of challenges for enterprise businesses. Here are three challenges that retailers need to address in order to meet the changing needs and demands of their customers:
Challenge No. 1: Consumers are increasingly moving to mobile for purchasing and now demand mobile-optimized experiences. The mobile experience has redefined the human experience. According to Cisco, mobile devices will outnumber the world's population by the end of this year. The new realities of our connected world reveal new consumer habits. IDG reveals in its 2013 mobile survey that 56 percent of smartphone owners and 73 percent of tablet owners use their device to shop online. These numbers are only expected to climb.
Forrester Research forecast that the percentage of traffic and total online orders placed via mobile devices would increase in virtually every market worldwide in 2014, and as a result a growing number of brands will launch new mobile websites and apps in response.
However, because most commerce platforms were built before the advent of our mobile lifelines — and because their derivatives are still largely in use today — both customers and companies suffer the frustrations and fallout of software and hardware systems that fail to adapt to the evolving needs of consumers. As a result, the gap between their current commerce platform and their customers’ desired shopping experience continues to widen.
Retailers must focus on closing this gap and building sites with the user experience in mind. Align to mobile design best practices from the beginning to ensure optimal user and brand experiences, including the following:
- remember the universal axiom of "function over form";
- focus on performance as the single best way to rise above the noise; and
- keep simplicity as a cornerstone and optimize design for performance and usability in all user environments.
Another powerful way to accomplish this is to implement a commerce platform with public APIs. Many APIs are being used to deliver digital content and connect to mobile consumers, regardless of location. An extremely flexible API can easily adapt to new mobile technologies and is a critical element to meeting future consumer needs.