To put the findings of the Adobe Digital Index Holiday Report into two words? Mobile growth
Putting them into a few more words than that? The future of the marketplace is rapidly mobilizing. When you think of your customer interactions, when you think of your marketplace, a mobile presence has long been mandatory, especially for any company interested in harnessing the massive uptick in activity.
Specifically, ADI has found that all across Europe, mobile purchases are up a whopping 38 percent– in some places, like Denmark, that number tops 50 percent. The mobile market is increasingly diverse, offering consumers numerous avenues to explore digital retail, and far from fractional ones at that: analysis predicts the UK will lead the pack with almost 25 percent of its entire online holiday sales coming from mobile purchases, and many key markets are resting closer to 20 percent, including the US.
Now that we’re in the middle of the holiday season, how can we understand and be a part of this? Well, some of these trends are historical. Less and less are consumers equating their phones with insecurity. In some ways, one’s phone may ultimately be trusted as the most secure outlet for financial transactions, fitting for a device that is perhaps the one thing we fear losing more than our wallet. The process is rapidly coming full circle, in fact, with countless retailers backing new forms of mobile wallets like ApplePay. This process, if it proves to be as disruptive as many of Apple’s earlier advancements, will forever bind consumers’ primary mobile devices to their financial accounts. The business implications of this hardly need to be explained.
The first thing we must do, on an organizational level, is to discard the stale idea of “mobile worst”. The technology, the hardware, the expertise and the desire on the part of the customer are all there for us to strive for mobile best, to make our net presence speak loudly to our consumers across all channels. We can embrace this process, or we can watch as it happens elsewhere.
The obvious example is Facebook, of course. Here we have the most complex social media portal yet invented, and yet its app version captures everything compelling about it in a perfectly balanced package. How has Facebook profited from this trend? With one-third of its userbase now mobile-only, Facebook now makes two-thirds of its ad revenue from mobile sources. It’s interesting, and probably no coincidence given the ADI findings, that another great example of optimizing the experience for mobile users comes from an Adobe customer in Denmark, Danske Bank– one of the first companies in Denmark to think strategically about mobile and invest in getting the mobile web and app experience right. By unifying their data sources and reducing the customer experience gap between channels, Danske’s new model earned them the uplift they needed to stay ahead of the competition.
The upshot of all of this is to apply this thinking to your own business! No matter how many of your customers are connecting to you via mobile now, that number is going to increase. And the opportunities are endless. App use is the norm for mobile customers. A vast array of users you could have previously only reached through the interface of their chosen web browser are now hungry for an interactive, engaging customer experience on a personal device.
And this presents your business with some challenging decisions to make. There are the obvious steps: creating dedicated mobile apps, responsive websites, prioritizing mobile customer experience instead of merely treating it as an afterthought, but how to leverage your effort in these pursuits is, for many, uncharted territory. The key to success, though, is found in continually iterating the experience and testing your innovations against the metrics provided by your analytics. Your mobile presence is more than just a requirement, it’s an opportunity. Customers will find the avenue that speaks to them, and it will inform their behavior in the holiday season and far beyond.