Big Data & Analytics Enhance Shoppers’ Mobile Experiences

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The mobile era is affecting the way consumers shop as smartphones are slowly making the concept of in-store shopping obsolete. With mobile commerce revolutionizing the retail industry, retailers are going digital or going broke.

Consumers are changing the way they approach the whole spectrum of shopping, not just retail. With apps like Shipt, Instacart, and Amazon Prime Now, trips to the grocery store are no longer necessary. Sure, these apps can’t fabricate a friendly exchange with an employee at the register, but mobile commerce can save consumers a lot of time.

Retail companies are also recognizing that the way to target consumers is by being present where consumers are spending most of their time: On mobile. Retail success is coming to those who are adapting websites to function at a high level on a mobile platform.

Many times, consumers will get frustrated trying to checkout through m-commerce, or feel that entering credit card information via apps is less secure. An article by Business Insider details that in 2015, “U.S. adults spent 59% of their time on mobile and 41% on desktop, but just 15% of their dollars on mobile and a staggering 85% of their dollars on desktop.” This means that the problem isn’t getting consumers on their phones, it’s getting them to follow through with the actual purchase. Although, for retail companies that get their mobile presence right, the numbers are paying off. Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have introduced a “buy now” button that allows users to make purchases without leaving the platform.

The easier the actual purchase is, the less the consumer feels like they’re actually spending money, the more purchases will be made.

With mobile commerce comes new data about consumer habits that was never available before. Companies no longer have to rely on subjective surveys and broadly targeted advertisements to market their products. Using advanced analytics, defined as “the use of data, statistical algorithms and machine-learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data” by the SAS Institute, companies now have access to hard data on what consumers have actually purchased following an ad.

This information is a direct bridge from the advertiser to the consumer that is vital to the success of the mobile advertising industry. Now, businesses are able to optimize advertisements for specific products based on what the consumer already has in their cart or what they’ve purchased or even looked at in the past. Much like the algorithms gaming apps use when optimizing advertisements for its users, stores can offer similar insight into optimizing recommended purchases for consumers.

Big names like Target and Walmart utilize first-party data to enhance brand marketing strategies. An article by AdExchanger cites that:

“As brands and retailers grow more comfortable sharing first-party data, shopper marketing budgets – traditionally spent on last-leg marketing efforts like high-performing shelf space, in-store signage… – are moving online. The marketing game has evolved from getting the consumer in the store to getting the consumer online–which is much easier and generating a whole new stream of revenue.”

Think mobile commerce isn’t the next big thing? Based on data obtained by Business Insider Intelligence, the company’s research service, it is foreseen that the m-commerce presence will more than quadruple from 2014 levels, increasing from 11.6% to 45% of the U.S. e-commerce total by 2020.

With everything social already digital, it only makes sense that the retail industry is next to follow.

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