Mobile and Emerging Technologies

Back-to-School Series: Influence of Mobile

With graduation parties coming to a close and the 4th of July has come and gone, we are halfway through the summer and school is right around the corner. Cue the boos and wahs now from kids and young adults but parents are excited to get them back into a regular schedule and retailers are ready for an increase in sales as the back-to-school season begins! In order to do this though, retailers need to make sure that their online and in-store experiences are excellent and seamless.
The 2015 back-to-school shopping season, like other shopping seasons (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas), is experiencing a lot of changes, mostly due to the growth of technology, increased amount of mobile consumers and their reliance on mobile devices for information and product search, promotions and purchases.  Even though consumers may not utilize their smartphone to complete a final purchase, 80% of them are still being influenced by the mobile channel.  Mobile is affecting the way consumers shop regardless of whether or not they are on their smartphone in or out of the store.
Mobile devices currently account for 34% of retail sales, reported by IBM’s annual Retail Report. The report also states that 50% of online traffic is occurring on a mobile device and 26% of this year’s retail sales will be made with a mobile device.  These numbers alone show how imperative it is for retailers to have a mobile presence in their back-to-school strategy, aligning with their overall goals.
We know that consumers are not just using their mobile devices to make purchases, they are using them to look for lower prices and the best deals.  A consumer could completely leave the store if they search on their find and find a better price elsewhere, meaning they could literally walk out the brick-and-mortar store due to mobile eCommerce!  96% of parents utilize their mobile smartphone to compare prices for school supplies – 96%!!!!!!! Whatever retailer has the lowest price is the retailer they are going to purchase their school supplies from.  In the 2014 back-to-school season, a lot of consumers did not even make it into the store and shopped online:

online shopping

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25% back-to-school shoppers

33% back-to-college shoppers

Many people are turning to their screens to purchase their supplies which is why without a mobile presence a retailer’s back-to-school revenue could be detrimental. As back-to-school season gets closer (last two weeks of July, first two weeks of August), the urgency of consumers increases to make purchases or final purchases. Mobile has become the way we do things in this day and age so retailers mobile presence is important to make it easy for consumers to find and purchase from you.
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