Retailers have yet to wake up to the mobile opportunity in their industry, according to a report commissioned by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by enterprise software provider SAP SE.
In a global survey for the report, 69% of consumers said they use smartphones and desktops for shopping in equal measure — but 81% of millennial respondents said they mainly use smartphones for online shopping.
In a few years, a generation whose shopping habits have matured alongside the emergence of mobile technology will become the mainstay of retail spending in developed economies, the authors of the report pointed out. The increasing use of mobile shopping threatens retailers that fail to meet this generation’s expectations for more sophisticated mobile shopping services, especially as the group’s purchasing power grows, the report added.
Across all age groups, the survey identified certain obstacles holding back consumers who are unsure about switching to mobile devices for shopping tasks. Of those who shop infrequently via mobile, 63% blamed small screen size and 38% cited awkward navigation as a deterrent.
According to the EIU, in response to these issues, retailers are fine-tuning the ease of use of their mobile services — and anticipating the shortcomings of users’ devices and infrastructure.
Carolyn Whelan, the report’s editor, said: “Mobile shopping continues to grow in its reach and breadth. But as demand for more sophisticated services picks up, particularly among millennials, shoppers will be less forgiving of services that fall short. As retailers shift or expand their mobile service offerings, a cohesive strategy considering consumer capabilities and needs across multiple touchpoints, from the physical store to desktops and smartphones, is paramount.”
Tags: mobile shopping