I’ll sound like a broken record in saying this but in light of recent research by eBay revealing that we are about to spend much more time shopping on our mobiles, I’ll say it again. Those retailers without a mobile website at least in 2012 are woefully behind.
This morning eBay revealed forecasts that by 2014 we’d be spending two hours and 30 minutes on average researching and then purchasing an average item thanks to the growing ubiquity of mobile devices (nma.co.uk 10 Sep 2012).
This comes after it has upwardly-revised its mobile takings for the second year in a row, confident of a $10bn global haul in 2012 alone amid a flood of other predictions (see below).
This is all excellent news for those in the digital media industry who can site back with a self-satisfied look on their face and say ‘I told you so!’ But for those of you in agency land with retail clients that are still not signing-off on launching a mobile site, alarm bells should be ringing!
One of my favourite quotes about brands – and retailers in particular – not having a mobile site comes from Google’s director of mobile and social Ian Carrington who has gone on record as saying that: “In general, people that search on mobile are much further down the purchase funnel. Not having a mobile site [to drive mobile users to] is like closing your shop on a Tuesday!”
In the days when a six day working week is being suggested as a possible solution for digging Western Europe out of its current commercial slump, can we afford an extra day out of the office during the five day week?
When Carrington first came out with this line he added that only 25% of advertisers on Google’s network have mobile optimised sites however I’m in no doubt that this has since changed (nma.co.uk 25 Apr 2012).
Recent research from the IAB casts a more favourable light suggesting that nearly 40% of the UK’s top 100 advertisers have mobile optimised websites and are seeing dwell time increase by up to two minutes as a result (nma.co.uk 21 Aug 2012).
While this may have been trumpeted as an achievement, 60% of the companies surveyed have yet to get the message, smartphones will be the primary internet access point very soon in our future, if they are not already (nma.co.uk 10 Sep 2012).
Rival studies also suggest that a minority of retailers are under-servicing smartphone users – who are now the majority of UK mobile users – and losing custom as a result.
So the message is clear, you are now officially too late to be early. If your retail site is not already mobilised, then you’re behind and have some catching up to do.