For retailers, Covid-19 has accelerated the changes in shopping habits they were already experiencing. The benefits of the shopping experience – browsing the aisles, checking the inventory, engaging salespeople, and in-store events – no longer apply. The trend in the past decade or two has been toward shopping while customers are at home – or at work or waiting in line for take-out. And increasingly, this activity is happening on mobile apps.
eMarketer just released a study from App Annie that finds in June, six in ten (59%) Americans preferred to shop using their mobile phones. And as the chart below indicates, this surge is happening among most age groups, led by an astonishing nine in ten (90%) of 25-34 year-old millennials.
Since this trend began long before the pandemic, experts in retailing expect this shift in shopping behavior to be a permanent re-alignment in the way Americans are going to make purchases in the future. Yoram Wurmser, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence notes “We expect that the effects of the pandemic will accelerate long-term trends in mobile usage.” Although some gains with mcommerce and other mobile activities will not last beyond quarantines, the baselines for mobile activities will be higher than they would have been otherwise.”
The retailing world has been upended by Covid-19. But those retailers that have a mobile strategy in place are much more likely to evolve their businesses and survive. Key to that survival are elements like:
- An up-to-the-minute “catalog” or “showroom” of products and/or services.
- User registration to better serve the consumer and maintain a closer relationship via email, push messages and other communication channels.
- Easy access to customer support
- Simple, ecommerce transactions that are secure, easy and remember things like product preferences and payment methods.
- The ability to expand your trading area – more customers outside of your radius will have access to your “store” than ever before.
Most businesses can be improved by establishing a relationship with the consumer on the device they spend almost 4 hours a day on. Whatever you’re selling, redefining, streamlining, and expanding the way you connect with customers is now just a tap away.