Mobile Phones Need to Deliver more Value to eCommerce Retailers in 2014
It’s become a common scenario in most house holds in the United States: the friend or family member who does nothing but stare at his or her smartphone every few seconds, regardless of whether he or she is eating a meal, having a conversation or doing any other activity. It’s no question that people are dependent on their mobile devices and are seldom found without it, but it’s also quite apparent that the overuse of mobile phones can have a negative affect on the social lives of some consumers.
Mobile devices have proved to be a key part of the shopping experience in 2013, with customers using them to look up nearby locations and to make purchases directly from their phones. However, as a recent report from Ford explained, consumers are reassessing their relationships with technology in 2014, which may be a cause for concern for eCommerce retailers.
“There is no escaping the impact – both positive and negative – of the rapid pace of technology. What is more fascinating to watch in 2014 is how a culture of reflection is emerging,” said Sheryl Connelly, Ford global trend manager. “We are seeing a consumer culture that is increasingly mindful of the need to nurture society’s valuable and irreplaceable resources.”
Delivering The Value
Mobile devices will continue to be a part of the online shopping experience even as attitudes change towards technology. However, consumers will begin to expect to receive more value from shopping with retailers in 2014. Consumers are seeking closer relationships with retailers, and mobile devices can fill that void.
For example, Ford noted the rising phenomenon of “the fear of missing out” (FOMO) – people are afraid of missing out on something, which drives them to keep looking at their mobile phones. For retailers, FOMO could be utilized to drive people into stores by advertising sales and promotions via mobile devices. Although people may not be using their phones as much in 2014, that doesn’t change the fact that FOMO still exists, and retailers that embrace FOMO will continue to enjoy success with their mobile offerings.
The bottom line is that people will still be using their mobile phones as a part of the regular shopping experience – brands just need to be more savvy integrating these mobile phones with their eCommerce operations and ensure they are actually providing value to customers by incorporating strategies such as FOMO. This will challenge retailers to make better use of eCommerce software that will consolidate operations across multiple shopping channels.