What Retailers Need to Know About Today’s Hyperconnected Economy
Smartphones account for a large segment of m-commerce sales. An eMarketer study reported that sales initiated by smartphones alone currently stand at $40 billion annually. Furthermore, a Deloitte Digital report said that all mobile-influenced in-store transactions account for $593 billion in sales per year.
Here's what retailers need to keep in mind when it comes to today's hyperconnected marketplace:
- It truly is a worldwide market. Nearly 3 billion people worldwide have internet access, and there are nearly 7 billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide. Taken together, these stats mean retailers have the potential to reach literally billions of customers around the globe.
- Online consumers use their mobile devices for many shopping-related activities. The traditional shopping model has changed. There's more information at shoppers’ fingertips than ever before. With a few clicks, consumers can find items and compare prices, features and availability from wherever they are. They also use their mobile devices to locate stores, find coupons and search for deals.
- Consumers are using their mobile devices in-store. Once in-store, consumers use their smartphones to take pictures of products, call or text friends or family about products, and send pictures of products to friends or family. They also access the store's site or app for online discounts.
- Mobile device sales are going nowhere but up. By the end of 2014, according to Forrester Research estimates, 29 percent of all online retail sales in the U.S. will take place on smartphones and tablets. The firm also predicts that smartphone-enabled retail sales will total $26 billion this year, or 9 percent of total e-commerce sales, while tablet-enabled sales for retail and daily-deals websites are expected to be $61 billion this year, or 21 percent of total e-commerce sales. The overall volume and percentage will continue to grow.
All of this adds up to one thing: The hyperconnected economy is having a profound effect on how consumers engage with retailers. The buying process is becoming more technology-driven than retailers imagined even a few years ago. Underpinning these new engagement models is a slew of software that must work as quickly and precisely as hyperconnected consumers can buy.