Shoppers are Moving to Mobile Apps

The future of shopping is in your hands. Literally. The Wall Street Journal reports that mobile sales are spiking as “snacking” turns smartphones into all-day impulse-buy shopping carts.

Olivia Bryant, a 19-year-old Starbucks barista in Bakersfield, Calif., said she spends up to two hours a day shopping on her iPhone through apps such as marketplace Etsy Inc. and fashion retailer Poshmark Inc. “It’s much simpler to shop on my phone,” she said. “There aren’t a lot of distractions.”

The article explains that major retailers are getting savvier about making it easier to shop on the small screen of a smartphone.

…as consumers spend more of their days glued to smartphones, retailers are getting savvier with apps that ease browsing, offer rewards, suggest the right products and simplify the purchase to one click.

The so-called “appification” of shopping promises to radically transform the retail industry by creating new shopping habits, reshaping sales tactics and carving out winners and losers. Instead of placing one big order from a computer, people are increasingly making smaller purchases in short bursts throughout the day on their phones, a phenomenon retailers call “snacking.”

For those shops that sell online through their own website, there is another trend worth noting: nearly 40% of desktop purchases began when a customer visited the retailer’s app or mobile site. In other words, the customer may be shopping on their phone, but they complete their online purchase from a desktop computer.

Even if you don’t sell online, the implications are clear: shoppers are spending more time on their phones to shop and browse merchandise. You’ve probably already seen the trend with your customers. Just a desktop computer changed the rules of retail, so now mobile is changing the rules again.

Read the full Wall Street Journal article: Mobile-Shopping-Article (PDF)

Russell Droullard

Russell Droullard is an online marketing expert with a speciality in search engine marketing for independent retailers. He has over 20 years of experience directing marketing programs for startups, consumer brands and global manufacturers. Russell can be followed on social media at @rusdroullard and +RussellDroullard.

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