Breaking records with smartphone shopping

22.11.2017 08:20

Chinese vendor Alibaba posted record sales of $25 billion on Singles' Day this year. What really stands out from these figures: Some 90% of all sales were made via mobile. In 2015, this figure was still at 69%. In 2016, it had climbed to 82%.

One record after the next

Similar figures can be seen in the United States, where "Black Friday" likewise saw peak figures. For 30 years, this day has been the highlight of the pre-Christmas season. Year after year, new records are made, first in terms of online and later in terms of mobile purchasing. Today, most users look to mobile apps. Black Friday 2016 saw a break through in e-commerce (or better said: m-commerce) with $1 billion in mobile shopping sales.

These results show just how much consumers are looking to mobile devices as their primary channel. Retailers across all industries need to rely on this, in combination with personal contact and direct, targeted, 24/7 smartphone services.

When it comes to shopping, we do not see the topic as an "either-or" question: either e-commerce or brick-and-mortar shops. Instead, we believe in the intelligent combination of both concepts. For us, the point-of-sale (POS) of the future must be smart – intelligently and independently interacting with visitors via smartphone.

The advantages for brick-and-mortar trade are clear – namely the immediate availability and the opportunity to experience products directly.

Pop-up, shop-in-shop, flagship – as long as it’s mobile

In addition to flagship stores, brands are increasingly looking for other ways to present and sell their products. Private labels that primarily operate via online shops and smaller brands in particular are experimenting with pop-up and shop-in-shop concepts, as well as temporary showrooms to present their digital product ranges live. The centrally accessible points of sale also form the basis for click-&-collect, as well as rental concepts.

This trend unites many formats, from the staging of a single product to the construction of a connected retail network with a modular principle – consisting of branches and pop-up shops, as well as autonomous self-service kiosks. For the year 2018, we expect to see further development of such concepts, with companies seizing opportunities to create modular, experience-oriented presentations of products and services.

According to App Annie, AliExpress is set to dominate mobile shopping during Black Friday 2017. The online retailer showed strong growth leading up to Singles’ Day on November 11. When the holiday hit, AliExpress took first place among shopping apps in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany in terms of combined daily downloads on iOS and Google Play.

For retailers, events such as Black Friday are a great opportunity to prioritise their acquisition strategy – the perfect chance to score new app downloads or reactivate existing customers. App Store Optimisation (ASO) updates should also be made, encompassing descriptions, screenshots, logos, and old versions in order to make the most of app store search traffic. We have recently updated our whitepaper on app management, which you can download online here (currently available only in German).

The alliance between consumer and smartphone

It's by now undeniable that consumers are using their phones and apps on the go. For marketers, bridge technologies – such as beacons – open up an array of options for reaching consumers in a targeted and timely manner at the POS. This allows context-specific information, such as current promotions, discounts or vouchers, to be played as a personalised message directly on the customer's smartphone.

In addition to this, location-based services can help address aspects around your own POS – or that of your competitors.

The possibilities for targeting strategies are diverse, from On Promise Targeting to "Nearby" Targeting, Audience Targeting, Retargeting, and Store Visitation. We have summarised all of this information in two blog posts. Part 1 is here: Part 2, which discusses the new Groundtruth technology, is here:

We have further summed up solutions for the retail trade here: We discuss the topic of beacons in depth and examine current developments with our white paper, which you can access here (currently available in Germany only):


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