Retailers, Forget About ‘mobile-First’ and Embrace a Mobile-Only Approach

Smartphones have become such a fixture in our lives, it almost feels like they’ve been around forever. Perhaps that’s why looking at statistics from just a couple of years ago may be shocking, as we realize that the frequency and form of mobile use still continue to change dramatically. In 2018, the world was excited to hear the words “second screen” and mobile businesses were proud to declare that 70% of adults watch TV content while using their mobile phone, for instance. Today, we know that for many viewers the TV isn’t even on and their mobile device has become their viewing screen, communication hub, shopping center, and everything in between. The second screen has become the first screen.   

Some people believe that the shift to mobile happened because we use this device when we’re, well, mobile. But while the device’s mobility does contribute to its popularity, recent global events tell a different story. Research published during the COVID-19 pandemic shows that even when we’re all stuck at home for the better part of the day, we still reach for our phone instead of using our desktop. In fact, during the outbreak, shopping apps experienced a 20% increase in downloads while nearly 60% of adults and up to 90% of millennials chose mobile as their preferred shopping channel. Mobile turned from the second screen into the first, and it is now becoming our one and only screen. 

Wondering why? Here are a few possible reasons:

  1. Mobile has become our main communication and payment tool. In fact, it has become an extension of ourselves (Not sure if that’s true? Think of your immediate reaction when you drop your phone). When we think of a product we could use, we immediately add it to our shopping list, conduct a little online research, track the best offer, buy it on the spot and share our thoughts with friends. The entire process only takes a few minutes and requires a single mobile device. 
  2. Mobile offers unique features that other devices simply do not have. We can zoom in to get a better view of the product, take screenshots and send them using messaging apps, and more. 
  3. Even when we’re indoors, we’re never really static. Life on the go makes other devices feel very restrictive. 
  4. Connectivity should not be taken for granted. In some regions, mobile devices truly are the only screen because there is no other way for residents to use the internet. The price range of mobile phones makes it possible for people anywhere to find the device that works for them and use it to communicate with the world. 

Retailers looking to invest in their digital identity during these challenging months must focus on mobile more than ever

For retailers – especially those focused on grocery or drugstore shopping, which are currently facing an overwhelming number of tasks – this new reality dictates a fresh list of priorities topped by mobile presence. Retailers looking to invest in their digital identity during these challenging months must focus on mobile more than ever. And while these are unique and unprecedented times, that is one investment that will remain extremely relevant long after the pandemic is hopefully over.

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To get mobile commerce right, it is recommended that retailers work with e-commerce professionals who embrace a mobile-only approach. As a company operating in this field, shelfy.io knows the ins and outs of mobile shopping and understands what makes customers hit the ‘buy’ button and how great customer experience can convert better and increase your basket size. If you feel that your mobile presence could use a boost, contact us and we’ll find the right mobile commerce solutions to fit your specific needs. 

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