Retail is experiencing nothing short of a commerce revolution and the speed of change is accelerating, and with Australian consumers known to be early-adapters and with mobiles at mass saturation point in the market, the implications for Australian businesses are profound.
According to Michelle Hammond of Start Up Smart, Mobile Commerce or M-Commerce is one of five key new trends that are transforming the retail marketscape.
She cites the latest eBay Online Business Index (OBI), which reveals that nearly half of Australia’s top eBay businesses said they would optimise online content for mobile. These findings were backed up by new research from Nielsen’s who have underscored the power and potential of this new trend.
So what does this actually mean for business? It seems the attention span of consumers is shorter than ever, and the edge that M-Commerce has is in shrinking the time-lag between the initial stages of product research and identification and the eventual purchase.
Businesses who want to tap into this mobile marketplace need to enable their web presence not only with an online ‘store’ for purchases, but to take that extra step so that there are only a few easy, linear steps in the sales trajectory. While Julius Ceasar famously Came, Saw and Conquered, for M-Commerce the mantra needs to be ‘I see’, ‘I want’, ‘I’ve bought’.
It seems to me there are a few must-dos for business here.
If your business has a good or service for sale, there must be a way to complete that transaction online. Cataloguing and uploading your inventory may seem painful but it is a crucial step.
It is worth considering in addition to the traditional ‘online store’, can you develop an ‘App’ that you can offer for a free download for your customers? The development of these Apps need not be expensive, and is a worthwhile investment to set you apart from your competitors.
If, on the other hand, your business offers more esoteric and less tangible products, such as knowledge, advice and expertise; then think about how to ‘commoditise’ your business… if you are selling your insights, why not distill them into a buyable format - can customers buy your book, or pay for a consultation?
Once you are M-Commerce enabled, you place your business in a space where you can recruit your customers as your secret sales team – why not prompt purchasers after they have bought your latest product to ‘share’ the sale via social media, and incentivise them for doing so? This ‘word of mouth’ sales endorsement is nothing new, and is so easily adaptable in our digital age.
How is your business faring in the push towards fleet, fast, flexible commerce of the future? I would love to hear your insights on this.