The Rise of Mobilecentric E-commerce


July 15, 2016

The studies are in, and it’s official; mobile e-commerce has trumped desktop e-commerce. But is desktop e-commerce the new Betamax?

When a 2014 Mobile Commerce Index report indicated that mobile commerce accounted for fifty-one percent of retail web commerce, many giants scrambled to take advantage of this new found boon in mobilecentric delivery. And with good reason; in 2016, some $36 billion worth of ecommerce sales are predicted to be the result of mobile commerce in the US alone.

There’s no denying that the drive (perhaps some may say slow by certain standards) towards mobile optimization has been a large part of brand strategy; a facet perhaps equalled only by marketing development. But there’s also no denying that pre-existing web technology enhancement will still continue to have a dominant role in existing strategies. As more and more retailers seek to synergize the two into an omnichannel, customer-driven experience the question becomes apparent: how to develop an equally robust strategy through two channels growing increasingly more competitive.

The Global Village and the Rise of the Rural

The emergence of a mobilecentric focus in communication has allowed for a parallel emergence of traditionally untapped geographic markets in Asia, Africa and South America, and its numbers are slowly but steadily rising. As a market segment, the risk factor is considerable; but so is its potential. In China alone (a nation with two seemingly disparate populations of both tech-savvy city-dwellers and a rural population accounting for some 47 percent of the nation’s citizenship) ecommerce is expected to account for $2.2 trillion in sales. As web penetration continues to become ubiquitous in China, with other Asian nations following the lead, the rise of the traditional rural-dweller is becoming an increasing facet of the global consumer population. As the competitive pressure to adapt to previously uncharted territory presages marketing and delivery techniques that are both developing and at times conflicting, the critical unifying factor to remember is reliance on mobile technology, and the subsequent need for appropriate delivery solutions.

The Pathway to Responsive Design

The failure of many retailers to properly integrate responsive web design has helped shine new light on the ongoing dilemma of design optimization in a changing marketplace. The “one size fits all” model of design is rarely capable of meeting mobile consumers, with the subsequent retail loss of a hefty market becoming a stark reality. As one design guru as stated, “sites no longer sit on top of a desk.” And while the reality of hiring mobile-adept designers and tools does command a higher budget, to operate under the assumption that both web traffic and ecommerce are laboring under the same common standards of 2003 is to ignore the very evolution of your business.

Niche Marketing and Mobile Development

Parallel to the upswing in mobile development has been the rise of niche marketing, informed as much by analytical statistics, SEO customization and A/B testing as it has by live traffic and feedback. In order to ensure that a customer experience is unique and repeatable in this glut of conversions and statistics, both mobile and ecommerce deliveries need to be both emotive and customizable. With social media becoming the dominating standard of today’s digital marketplace, allowing user-driven content and curation helps the customer take an interactive role in the success and development of his favorite brand; and critical to establishing that user drive is an understanding of the role that mobile reliance plays in their lives.

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