Jonathan Erwin, Managing Director of internet marketing company Aspect Web Media, looks at the increase in the uptake of M-commerce and how location-based mobile marketing could bring customers back to the high street for Christmas:
"According to the British Retail Consortium, footfall on the UK's high streets has seen its sharpest drop since the snow last December, with footfall between August and September falling 2.3% compared to the same period last year. Part of the reason it seems is that shoppers are moving beyond the high street – and even their PCs – to Smartphones. Findings by IBM suggest that 15% of consumers will access retailers' websites on web-connected mobile devices in the run up to Christmas, and a report commissioned by the Centre for Retail Research suggests UK shoppers will spend £1.64 billion on purchases for the festive season through their handsets this year – more than any other country in Europe.
"Add to this the fact that over 12% of our online Christmas shopping will be done via mobiles – the 4th highest proportion in Europe – and it's clear that mobile sites offer huge potential for retailers looking to draw in consumers. By adding location-based promotions into the mix, brands can use the impulsive nature of M-commerce to connect with customers on-the-go via their mobile phones, whilst simultaneously offering them a voucher or discount code which can be used in store.
More than a standalone site - tie it back to the store
"Many companies – such as Debenhams – are already moving towards standalone mobile websites in an attempt to draw in customers, and M-commerce provides new shopping opportunities. For example, the peak trading time for Debenhams' mobile site is 10pm, proving how mobile sites allow customers to shop at a time that best suits them.
"But does a standalone site truly add value to all other aspects of a brand's marketing strategy? The answer is to tie it back to the store. The true power of M-commerce lies in brands investing in personalised, customer-focused sites which offer an incentive for customers to visit the store, increasing footfall, and ultimately increasing consumer spend as they move around the store – a factor which is particularly important in the run-up to Christmas.”
If you are interested in exploring this issue in greater depth, or in using this comment, please contact Claire Grant by email on email@example.com or telephone on 01780 721433. I would be delighted to set up an interview or provide you with any required further information.
IBA - PR for Aspect Web Media