Put away the ribbon-cutting scissors and don’t book the band! Your newest store opening may just require a website and/or native app since the changing face of commerce has shoppers turning to their devices. Instead of looking for brick-and-mortar space to expand their market, many successful businesses are seeing  growth by just increasing their online presence. Internet Retailer reports the growth of mobile retail sales up 67 percent in 2013, with sales reaching $25.4 billion, up from $15.2 billion in 2012. That increase has retailers responding with mobile apps and optimized mobile websites to satisfy the way consumers are shopping.


Shoppers Go Mobile

Today, research shows that mobile apps and websites aren’t just being used to do research before making a purchase but contributing directly to sales. While Google reports that 80 percent of smartphone usage is spontaneous, one can easily understand the market for special occasion gift searches and uses such as FTD’s Valentine’s Day flowers, or Kay Jewelers’ anniversary selections. But with easier purchasing options such as Google Wallet and PayPal, mobile users are being inspired and browsing their favorite apps with direct purpose to purchase. Nordstrom, a retail giant, turned their focus in 2012 to their direct sales market- mainly online. This shift in focus brought them a 28 percent increase in sales compared to their only 7.3 percent increase to their in-store sales. Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Marks & Spencer are among some of the others going mobile with increased time spent on the devices as well as sales.


Factors of Success

Increasing your mobile sales can depend on many things. If your mobile app isn’t bringing in the customers and making the sales, you can look at some of these factors for answers:

  • Load Time: Android Galaxy reported that most users expect a load time of three seconds or less. For a site that makes $100,000 per day, a one second delay in load time can cause an annual loss of $2.5 million.
  • Location Based Apps: Enable GPS on your app to geographically target shoppers specifically to where they are.
  • Make Payment Easy: Offering quick, easy payment methods or integrating with a shopping app will have customers completing sales.
  • Keep It Current: Offering deals that fit the occasion, such as holidays or seasonal will help to increase sales. Tuning in to what’s important to your customer right now, or in the near future will keep you ahead of the game.
  • Customize Your Message: Remembering past purchases, recommending useful add-ons, and offering extra bonuses all increase the number of impulse buys a customer makes.
  • Full-line Availability: If you offer it in the store, offer it online. Don’t limit what customers can get from your online store thinking it will bring them in. They will simply find another website from their mobile device to find what they are looking for.