How Google is Driving the Mobile Retail Revolution
Mobile and e-commerce have a lot more in common as status quo disrupters than you might think. For one, they're both taking over their old-fashioned predecessors (although one is clearly more widespread than the other). We all know that mobile is a big deal. Communication technology provider Ericsson confirms this, estimating that "90 percent of the global population over six years old will own a mobile phone by 2020," according to Bigcommerce.
Sure, you could argue that lots of people still use landlines and stop by a store in a pinch, but no one can deny the force of either of these technologies. The marriage of mobile and e-commerce is poised to have a big impact on retail, thanks to Google.
For a while now, retailers have been bombarded from all sides to get their mobile sites in order to avoid getting overlooked by mobile shoppers. I'm sure you've searched for something on your smartphone and noticed the gray words "Mobile-friendly" after the URL in some of the top results. As of tomorrow, Google is upping the ante by prioritizing mobile-friendly sites in its new search algorithm.
This means that the time for mobile in retail is now — and every other industry for that matter. Mobile optimization quickly went from a nice to have to a must have, and for good reason. Overall, 10 percent of internet users are mobile-only, and this figure increases to 13 percent for online shoppers, according to January 2015 data from comScore. Once you dig into the top 10 retailers, 48 percent of customers only visit their websites on mobile devices.
"Most consumers use both desktop and mobile for commerce," says Andrew Lipsman, vice president of marketing and insights at comScore. "Which channel they use depends on time, location, occasion and retailer. But because mobile often is the only channel by which a shopper might engage with a retailer, it's of critical importance that mobile apps and mobile sites be optimized for conversion."