Mobile Shopping Trends

dynatraceDynatrace has an interesting free report (pdf) on shopping trends based on a four country consumer survey of smartphone and tablet users conducted by Harris Poll.

Millennials (age 18 to 34) are the vanguard of shopping via mobile with 60% of them doing shopping on their devices for this holiday season compared to 42% of all adults. The activity not just the buying itself but also comparing prices, reading product reviews and downloading coupons.


It’s not just Dynatrace who are identifying these trends. Gartner also has new research that claims 50 Percent of Consumers in Mature Markets Will Use Smartphones or Wearables for Mobile Payments by 2018.

However, the uptick in mobile shopping can bring new hazards for retailers. The restricted screen size and less effort put into mobile apps than web sites can lead to abandoned transactions and tarnishing of reputation. As Shay Ben-Barak says on LinkedIn, User Experience (UX) Is Not a Step in Your Project! Consumers are now sophisticated enough to seek the experience rather than features.

Top Retailer Strategies

appannieAppAnnie has a new report on the use of apps by top retailers, particularly in the US, UK and Japan. They conclude that apps are increasingly vital to strategy.


The report gives some great examples of how top retailers are using apps. For example, US drug stores are building in loyalty through repeat prescriptions and personalised dose reminders. Boots in the UK links to the customer loyalty card and provides personalised offers. Low cost retailers in UK such as Asda and ALDI have apps that allow people to find the best deals. Large stores, such as Target in the US, have interactive maps to help people find items.

These examples demonstrate how the same kind of app (i.e. retail) can differ a lot from store to store. I think the key is to ignore the stereotypical retail ‘shopping’ app and instead find what’s unique or different about the store, from a consumer viewpoint, and play on that strength within the app.

Shopper Study

zebraZebra have a new free 2015 Global Shopper Study (pdf)
that has some useful information if you are creating retail apps.

On the positive side, shoppers are very interested in WiFi and location-based services. This bodes well for the iBeacon related apps I have recently been working on. On the negative side, only 38 percent of respondents trust retailers to protect their personal data. This emphasises that we should explain what we are doing with their data in app store descriptions and in some cases inside the app.


If you are looking for areas in which to innovate, consumers are increasingly seeking customised offers. They are also eager to have email receipts, receive shopping maps, use WiFi hotspots and receive location based assistance.

Mobile and Retail

criteoCriteo has a great free report and slides on the State of Mobile Commerce Q2 2015. The slides include some very useful country specific data towards the end of  the presentation.

Takeaways include…

  • Mobile is very significant in all retail categories with 1 in 3 transactions being in fashion and luxury.
  • The majority of transactions come from smartphones as opposed to tablets.
  • In the US, iPhone makes up 66% of transactions compared to 5.6% for Android.
  • Quality apps can currently generate up to 42% of mobile transactions for sellers.
  • Cross device shopping is important and makes up 40% of purchases in the US.
  • Android produces more transactions in many countries…


State of Mobile Commerce

criteo.pngCriteo has some new analysis "State of Mobile Commerce Q4 2014", covering over $130 billion of annual sales across more than 3,000 online retailers globally. There are lots of insights and the research upends many assumptions.

Consumers are buying on mobile. Smartphones have overtaken tablets and the average order value is reaching desktop level. Criteo say "It’s now important to reach Android shoppers"

If you are using apps to sell something real then you can’t ignore mobile and you can’t ignore Android.

Mobile Retail Behaviour is Changing

gfk.gifGfK has new research into mobile consumer behaviour showing double-digit point changes in metrics that measure where and how people are shopping.


Gfk says that companies should “build out an up-to-date and nuanced shopper insights platform” to provide insights, without which brands will be in a ‘hit-or-miss’ mode in execution. This dovetails well with my Does OS Market Share Matter post where I encouraged analysis of users on a project-by-project or case-by-case basis.

Retail and White Label

iab2.pngRecent research by the UK’s IAB reveals that (UK) retailers are struggling to have a mobile accessible offering. However, mobile is a lot more than just having a catalog and purchasing available via mobile. As Google and M/A/R/C Research recently showed, retailers need to also use mobile to get customers to the store and keep them there.

The problem is that it can get costly. One way to cut the costs and complexity is to look for a white label solution. Movanta’s Lassi  is one such solution that I happen to have recently ported from iOS to Android. It’s a sophisticated solution that provides pushed offers, geofenced offers, a noticeboard, loyalty via barcoding ‘stamps’ and mapping of store locations together with measurable results via extensive reporting.


The last two solutions I have created for clients have happened to both be white label. Such solutions provide interesting opportunities, for startups/entrepreneurs, to sell the same thing lots of times. Even within white label there are different degrees in which an app can be ‘labelled’ from re-implementing the UI for each client to just having one that that’s dynamically re-skinned. The art, or tricky bit, is choosing the right level of customisation for end clients without the whole thing becoming too complex. Coding up a dynamic skinned app isn’t as trivial as a normal app because it’s often necessary to change look/feel/colours of screen elements dynamically rather than statically. This takes a lot more coding using APIs that are more obscure.

Another thought. If you already have what you believe to be a great app but are having trouble selling it, you might be able to think about a pivot to white labeling so that others can use your technology while providing you with an alternative source of income.

Mobile in Retail

deloitte.pngI am interested in retail at the moment because I am porting an iOS app to Android for a London startup in the retail/payment/loyalty space.

Deloitte have some very useful reports on mobile in retail. The Dawn of Mobile Influence (pdf) talks of how retailers are struggling to fund initiatives that they need to pursue to capture consumers’ changing behaviours. While many retailers are concentrating on what seems to be an obvious need to pay via mobile, Deloitte say that the effort might be better spent on using mobile to drive sales. 

Another Mobile Retailing report (pdf) uncovers the following…
  • When customers know more, they buy more
  • Data analytics is a must have capability
  • Instant gratification is the retailer’s best friend
  • The boundaries between social media and retail apps are blurring
  • Mobile payments are more efficient for everyone
  • Mobile-empowered associates may deliver better service to shoppers
  • An app alone will not do it

The Transforming Retail report discusses trends in retail across various retail categories, and provides some very useful concrete examples of how mobile technology can be used to to implement retail strategy.