With the rapid growth and increased usage of mobile phones for every day activities such as shopping, consumers are now demanding more from retailers’ m-commerce channels.
A study from online research group eDigitial Research published this week shows that, although retailers such as e-retail fashion specialist Asos.com and high street mainstay Marks & Spencer (M&S) are held in high regard for their mobile websites, there is a pressure among businesses to meet higher consumer expectations when it come to technology.
The top score in the m-commerce benchmark study, achieved by Asos, fell three per cent to 85.7 per cent compared to an initial survey conducted eight months ago.
Some companies only offering a click and collect service and limited product ranges via their m-commerce channels were also said to be missing out on potential revenue streams, according to the research.
Both Carphone Warehouse and O2 Retail parent company Telefonica have reported that retail sales have been driven by the popularity of smartphones in recent months, and this week’s data from eDigital Research supports these claims.
Over half of the consumers questioned in the report now own a smart phone, with 35 per cent of these people already using their phone to shop online and another 18 per cent planning to do so in the near future.
Asos topped the overall league table for m-commerce and was acknowledged for its clear navigational links and compact but comprehensive product pages.
M&S, Play.com, Amazon and House of Fraser completed the top five, and were commended for new features they have introduced to improve the overall shopping experience on mobile handsets.
Derek Eccleston, Research Director at eDigital Research, said: “We are witnessing the dawn of Me-commerce, where the consumer now holds the power in the palm of their hands to dictate to retailers when, where and how they want to shop.
“As more and more people begin to use their smart phones to shop and browse online, it is crucial that retailers begin to operate in their customers’ spaces, developing mobile sites and investing in mobile strategies as consumer behaviour continues to evolve.”
In an interview with Retail Gazette last month, Andy Tudor, Head of Multichannel at tech solutions provider Retail Assist, said that retailers must adapt quickly to the latest innovations or risk being left behind.
“Incomes are apparently down but the adoption of consumer technology is on the increase so there is a desire to keep in touch, and this is an emotional thing,” he explained.
“Consumers feel compelled to be part of the whole social electronic experience so retailers have to be cognisant of that and adopt the latest technology.”