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“Retailers must cater for the mobile consumer in order to remain relevant”


According to data collected from the Consumer Connection System, research shows that 55% of internet users only use two or three trusted sites for their content discovery and purchasing, instead of surfing hundreds of sites.

A third of people prefer friend recommendations over ads on social networks when deciding on products,  declares global media agency Carat. Millennials are the largest demographic of people relying on friends’ recommendations on social media, with 49% of them trusting a friend’s advice above ads. This suggests that retailers need to interact with individual users through engagement, rather than just relying on the customer visiting their sites – consumers require the incentive. 

Lucy Moore, Associate Director, Carat comments:

“This study proves that overwhelmed consumers are waiting for someone to deliver them the right content that is relevant to them. CCS allows us to create extremely specific consumer profiles and build content strategies that allow us to target them directly”.

According to CCS, Amazon is the second most trusted site for content and products, Google is third and eBay comes in fifth. This data suggests that consumers want to get more for their money without changing sites, with Amazon offering everything from electronics to fashion, while also shipping worldwide.

Though the results suggest people are looking to friends for advice, Dan Hagen, Chief Strategy Officer at Carat said:

“Whilst there will always be a small population of people who will make the effort to explore the landscape for new and interesting content, services and diversions, the vast majority need the advice of trusted friends and brands to help them navigate an increasingly saturated content ecosystem”.

However, while consumers may not be surfing the web quite as much, spending on mobile devices is at an all time high, set to top £53bn a year by 2024.  Transactions will be predominantly over smartphones and tablet, and a vast increase from the £9.7bn spent today.

The research that was conducted by Conlumino on behalf of Barclays cited that 42.4% of all retail sales will involve a mobile device in some way or another by 2024. This will lead to the number of required stores increasing to around 48,000 in the next decade.

With growth comes higher capital, as the retail industry prepares to see the value of sales rise 8.1% in the next five years. It is expected that 2024 will see the figure reach £391bn.

 “The size of the retail opportunity is clear for all to see. The question every retailer should be asking themselves is what they are doing about it to not only satisfy today's consumer but, also tomorrow's” said Richard Lowe, Managing Director and Head of Retail and Wholesale at Barclays.

Regardless of the fact that less sites are being used by customers,  having an online platform is evidentially vital to any expanding company. When asked what they wanted most, 57% of consumers suggested that all shops should offer free hotspots.   

Lowe adds:

“While it may be premature to sound the death knell for desktops and laptops nearly half of consumers claim to be shopping far less on these devices thanks to mobile - Retailers must cater for the mobile consumer in order to remain relevant”

Advertisers must capitalise on data through the ‘internet of things’, to ensure that they recognise the demands of their customers and can divert bounce rates on their websites. Personalisation  through social media channels will also push for ‘online friends’ to advertise ‘trusted’ company products - customer loyalty is key.   

Published on Wednesday 15 April by Rachel Gee

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