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Mobile Commerce and the Evolution of Retail

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Mobile Commerce and the Evolution of RetailSince the earliest days of mobile commerce, industry analysts have been forecasting ominous predictions for its impact on brick-and-mortar retailers. The predictions have come home to roost this year, however, in the form of a report from the marketing firm Tradedoubler on the impact of smartphones and mobile commerce on the retail market.

Since the earliest days of marketing and retail analytics, ‘footfall’ (foot traffic, to the layperson – essentially, the number of potential customers entering a store) has been the gold standard for measuring retail and marketing successes. This metric has finally lost its value in this day and age, however, with an astonishing 92% of customers adopting mobile shopping to fill their needs. Deal hunters from all demographics are responding to newer, technologically-based approaches such as performance marketing, in the form of vouchers and coupon codes. Brick-and-mortar stores are increasingly being left to act as mere showrooms for products that are actually purchased online, with upwards of 70% of customers using mobile applications to scan barcodes in order to search out the best possible deal.

This must strike the entire retail industry as a clarion call to adopt new practices and strategies, all the way from the high street to individual marketers. Footfall can no longer be considered an accurate metric of success, and performance marketing is paving the way for a new retail order. More than half of all mobile consumers are actively searching for better deals on in-store products using their mobiles, and almost as many are using these vouchers from the beginning of their purchasing plan.

As with any major change in the industry, retailers will need to adapt in order to stay above water. This particular shift in tendency offers a great deal of potential for forward thinking retailers who are able to adapt their business models and marketing tactics to integrate this change into their strategies.
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