Is This 1995 All Over Again? Its Time to Ride a New Wave.
December 8th, 2010
Will 2010 turn out to be 1995 all over again? If it does, Retailers better not make the same mistake twice. In case you forgot what happened in 1995, it was the first year that Amazon.com launched, forever changing the way consumers shop. And although the term “Cyber Monday” didn’t show-up until 2005, it’s safe to say that what happened in 1995 changed the game forever. Will 2010 be the year mobile shopping moves from the shadows to the forefront of the consumer shopping experience?
Whether the explosion happens this year, next year, or in 2012, make no mistake, the mobile shopping experience is here and will continue to grow at a pace that will exceed the growth rate of brick & mortar and on-line shopping combined in the not so distant future.
Coupled with broader smartphone adoption, unlike the mid 90’s, the consumer’s ability to leverage these devices for shopping will be fast and furious. In 1996, consumers slowly waded into the pool of on-line shopping. Access was an issue (remember dial-up?), trust was an issue (where does my credit card number go after I hit the confirm button?) and choices were limited (how many books can you buy?). But the technology became faster, credit card encryption techniques improved, and thanks to Amazon.com, everyone created a website to hawk their products and services – whether they did so profitably or not!
Flash forward to 2010, consumers are ALREADY comfortable with buying on-line, and mobile commerce (m-commerce) is really just an extension of buying on the web. According to a CNNMoney.com article published on December 8th of 2010, more than $17.5 billion has been spent online in the first 35 days of the holiday shopping season through Dec. 5, a 12% increase over the same time last year, according to comScore, an online analytics firm.
So what does this mean for today’s retailer? Time is of the essence. Other than early adopters, consumers took their time gravitating to the web when it came to shopping on-line. We can expect a faster adoption rate for m-commerce and the 12% increase highlighted above, will only grow. So how will retailers capture that share?
Retailers have a unique opportunity to leverage mobility that will reach and incent their customer, in order to strengthen their relationships and generate on-going loyalty. And unlike 1995, their customers are not going to wait, so now is the time for retailers to “go back to the future” and get ready for the next wave to hit retail.