With the end of the holiday season just around the corner, one emerging retail trend has been impossible to miss: the explosive growth of mobile-based commerce (or mCommerce) among consumers.
According to the Adobe Digital Index, online sales for Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday (November 26th-30th) totaled $11 billion this year. This represents a significant sales increase from 2014. Adobe’s statistics indicate that sales were 25% higher on Thanksgiving ($1.7 billion), 14.3% higher on Black Friday ($2.7 billion), and 12% higher on Cyber Monday ($2.98 billion) as compared to the previous year.
One of the big drivers of this growth in sales has been the increasing prevalence and reliance on mobile devices in the shopping process. According to the Adobe Digital Index, mobile purchases accounted for approximately one third of all holiday buying, with 37% of online sales coming from mobile on Thanksgiving, 33% on Black Friday, and 28% on Cyber Monday.
This trend doesn’t look like it will be slowing down any time soon. In fact, a recent study by eMarketer, predicts that 25% of all retail eCommerce sales in the U.S. will take place on mobile devices by the end of 2016.
Fueling the trend further, this holiday season also saw the rise of “social commerce.” Over the past few months, some of the major social networks including, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, have introduced “buy” or “shop now” buttons to their platforms. The goal behind this move has been to significantly simplify and streamline the purchasing process from these networks particularly for consumers on mobile devices.
It’s important to note that much of this increase in mCommerce is originating from smartphone users, and it is affecting even offline sales. According to research conducted at Google, over 80% of smartphone users say they consult their phones about the purchases they are considering while in a physical retail location. Moreover, the majority of purchases following a mobile search (73%) are actually taking place in a physical store.
So what does this all mean?
It’s not just about online sales anymore, and it’s not enough to just maintain a mobile friendly website. Consumers are increasingly looking for integrated, interactive buying experiences, and all indications point to the fact that the digital experience often precedes the physical one. So, just as you put in the time, money, and other resources into the physical experience of buying from your business- regardless of whether you offer products or services- you need to be investing in your digital experience as well. In this face-paced, noisy world, it’s the one area where your customers are directing their attention. You’ll have a better chance of being successful if you meet your customers there.