Mobile eCommerce Trends for Retailers of 2020

Black Friday is always a good time to look for patterns in retail. The sheer volume of sales and brand interaction provides vast swaths of data that we can analyze. Combine this with the fact the Black Friday occurs in the latter portion of the year and it provides a great opportunity to deduce some of the trends we can expect for 2020.

Black Friday 2019 was another stellar period for the retail industry as shoppers laid out a massive $29 billion over the weekend. However, the majority of those sales were (predictably) online, with in-store shopping falling 6.2% from the previous year and internet sales increasing by 19.6% to reach a staggering $7.4 billion.

Mobile Matters

When it comes to the clear winners of Black Friday 2019, mobile comes out on top. Mobile orders during Black Friday grew by 35% with 65% of all ecommerce transactions occurring via smartphones — 2.9 billion in sales.

"Black Friday broke mobile shopping records with $2.9 billion spent through smartphones alone," said principal analyst and head of Adobe Digital Insights, Taylor Schreiner . "The imminent arrival of Christmas in this shortened season makes jumping on the phone preferable to standing in line. Even when shoppers went to stores, they were now buying nearly 41% more online before going to the store to pick up."

Moving away from the madness of Black Friday, mobile is still a powerful force in online retail. Over half of online store traffic comes from mobile and, while most transactions are still completed on desktop, the tide is turning in favor of smartphones, with mobile transaction processing up 23% compared to 2018.

However, many brands are still treating mobile as an afterthought instead of the powerful tool it really is. In 2020, we can expect to see more brands wake up to the opportunities presented by mobile. It's the perfect tool to provide their customers with amazing and personalized experiences while gaining deep insights into their behavior. With the digitally native generation z now coming of age, mobile is only going to grow in popularity as time marches on.

Physical Retail and Mobile

At this point, you may be reading this and wondering whether mobile is simply another nail in the coffin of the brick and mortar retailer. While mobile is primarily a tool for online retail, there are ways you can bring the power of this technology into traditional retail operations.

Smartphone apps can help customers better navigate their in-store shopping experience. We mean that literally as well, as many brands provide mobile-powered maps of the store layout. This means customers can locate products, sections, departments, or even the bathroom, without having to find a member of staff to assist them — freeing up associates to assist customers with more complex queries. Being unable to find the products they want can lead customers to quickly become frustrated, resulting in missed sales.

Personalized communications can deliver information to customers as they browse the store. Promotions can be suggested based on historical shopping data and preferences can be stored for later use. Customers who feel their favorite store knows them and wants to help them find the best deals on the products they love will be more likely to remain loyal and return for repeat business. Remember that it's far cheaper to retain existing customers than it is to acquire new ones.

Showrooming is a big problem for physical retailers. Customers visit a store to try on or view items, only to purchase them online from a different brand. The practice has become such an issue that some retailers even block the use of certain apps — such as Amazon — in their stores.

However, some brands are incorporating showrooming into their customer experience. Brands can track customer data and use artificial intelligence technology to offer product suggestions and similar items. The technology can also provide tips on how the items can be worn or used and suggest complementary products as well. By providing customers with all this extra information and experience, brands increase the chance of them completing the purchase in-store instead of looking elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

Mobile is going to continue to be a big deal throughout 2020 and should be considered a norm as far as retailers are concerned. Those brands which are unable or unwilling to bring mobile into their customer experience strategy are likely to struggle to attract and retain business as an increasingly tech-savvy populous looks for those brands which can.

Mobile is set to be a hot topic at Future Stores West 2020, being held in June at The Sheraton Seattle.

Please download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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