The Yankee Group and Mobidia today published a survey of worldwide mobile shopping trends. Although it is called “Does Your Mobile Shopping App Stack Up”, it’s in fact a much wider review of mobile’s impact on retailing. One piece of data stands out above all the others.
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A small number of companies really get mobile shopping and what sets them apart from their competitors is their use of Apple iOS compared with Android. The big difference between good and bad is Apple.
While many companies had on average a 3 percent difference between iOS and Android (with iOS coming out on top), the companies shown in Exhibit 8 (below, extracted from the Yankee Group/Mobidia report) register significant differences in engagement rates across the platforms. Interestingly, H&M, Victoria’s Secret and RetailMeNot are leaders overall primarily due to their strong iOS applications.
Coinciding with the Yankee Group report, research group Juniper today published new estimates of future mobile retail shopping growth:
…. annual retail payments on mobile handsets and tablets are expected to reach $707 billion by 2018, representing 30% of all eRetail by that time. This compares with mobile retail spend of $182 billion last year, when mobile accounted for around 15% of eRetail.
Two of the big winners in mobile shopping, according to the Yankee Group and Mobidia, Swedish retailer H&M and Victoria’s Secret, are bricks and mortar retailers.
The usage rates of their iOS apps are much higher than the usage rates of Android apps, by some 30 percentage points. And across other measures some bricks and mortar enterprises come out ahead of born digital experiences like Amazon. They tend to maintain high engagement rates with shoppers throughout the year, not just seasonally or in response to special offers. The Yankee Group attributes that to broader omnichannel experiences such as inventory checks, rewards, lookbooks and cross-channel shopping tools.
The main focus of the report is on building better and more immersive apps. It claims that there is now a class of super-mobile shopper. Just as a small number of retailers really get mobile, there is a group of customers who have moved ahead of the pack and make much more use of mobile apps (66% among advanced user) compared to the average user (27%). Significantly for app builders 50% of advanced users now respond to location-based offers (compared to 17% of average users).
The conclusion from these variations though is that app developers need to be more creative in devising apps that are more customized. We might now be looking at advanced v average so much as targeted v non-targeted. Put another way, there is no point assuming that average users will graduate to advanced users unless apps become better focused on narrower channels of need.
On the whole though leadership lies with companies who use iOS – begging the question is that because the app developers have more to work with? Because of Apple’s overall lead in user-experience? Or because Apple users are more affluent?
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