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The smartphone: the 21st century shop window


The smartphone has become a permanent fixture in the pockets, bags and hands of 70% of the population in the UK, with Ofcom reporting users browsing the internet for 2 hours a day on mobile devices, twice as long as on laptops and PC’s. What are the implications of this shift in consumer behaviour for small businesses and how can retailers ensure they keep up with this growing trend?


Drapers, the leading communication channel for fashion retailers reported more than 50% of web traffic directed to large retailers is from smartphones. Many omni-channel retailers such as Levi’s and Jack Wills are acknowledging the increasing importance mobile shopping plays, something small retailers should also recognise if they want to compete with their corporate cousins.

Giulio Montemagno, senior vice president of RetailMeNot, an international organisation operating the world's largest marketplace for digital offers, says "Mobile is now the driving force behind e-commerce growth, accounting for more than one in four pounds spent online in the UK this year" An Adobe survey of marketeer's announced 63% of participants consider the quality of the mobile experience to be more important than the desktop experience. E-commerce is big business and with consumer behaviour dictating increased mobile usage, it’s imperative SME websites are mobile friendly to keep up with demand.

The introduction of 3 and 4G internet have secured the smartphone as the primary device of choice. It’s a fast, responsive point of reference that's always with you, making it the perfect shop window opportunity for your business.

The smartphone: the 21st century shop window

The benefit of mobile shopping from a customer standpoint is it can be done anywhere; on a train, waiting at the dentist or during your lunch break. There are no closing times, no queuing and no limitations on the number of retailers you can visit. Physical stores are increasingly becoming collections points for click and collect initiatives or acting as a product showrooms. Last year it was reported the UK’s mobile e-commerce market was the largest in Europe, with Barclays predicting a 9% expansion representing £32 billion by 2019.

It’s important to bear in mind the mobile shopping is not limited to online purchasing, it also extends to browsing. Your mobile site must be easy to navigate, appealing to the eye and enhance the brand experience. Take a look at large omnichannel retailers for inspiration on how to craft an engaging online shopping experience. Take a look at our previous example of Levi’s; They showcase their clothing in different collections and layouts with full descriptions of each product. They also include blogs, interviews and eye-catching photography to draw the shopper in. There’s a detailed account of the company's history and the option to sign up to a free newsletter, capturing the customer's data for the opportunity to create and send personalised ad’s to the customer on a regular basis.

When the shopper is fully immersed in your brand and engaged with your website, browsing becomes buying. When a customer spends more time in your physical store they are more likely to spend more cash, it’s the same premises for your e-store.

Take a look at our 5 top tips to maximise online sales;



AUTHOR

Erin Heenan

Erin joined Epos Now in 2016 as an in-house content writer for the marketing department, making use of 10 years experience working in busy restaurants. An avid fan of shopping and eating out, she is committed to helping retail and hospitality SMEs get the most out of their businesses.



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