More than 50% of the world’s population, and significantly more than 60% of the population of Finland, have a smartphone in their pocket. The phone is used for searching for information, sending messages via different channels, taking pictures, killing time with games, following social media, making charts and documents and paying bills.
Less than five years ago, it was not even possible to do most of these functions on mobile devices. Furthermore, it is unfortunate that most electronic business operations are still lagging behind. It is not enough to acknowledge the mobile as an additional feature, but it should be at the core of every future business.
1. In the USA, 40% of online store transactions are made on tablets
Tablets have clear benefits from the both the seller and the buyer perspective. Often purchases made with a traditional browser can also be used on the tablet, and therefore there is a low threshold for using these devices. However, consumers are used to the small screen of the mobile phone, and expect the shops to scale accordingly.
2. Most consumers look for information when going shopping
Buyers use their phones to search for information, find shopping locations and compare prices when visiting a traditional, physical store. This provides an excellent opportunity for online merchants to snatch business from traditional stores – or, alternatively, a chance for the physical store to make a profit.
3. Smartphone owners have purchase power
The smartphone owners often have more purchase power than those using feature phones, and a desire to use this power. The best selling phone, the iPhone, makes it clear that people are willing to pay more for a phone than for a laptop that has to be toted around. This purchase power and need to get the most out of their smartphone creates the desire to make new purchases.
4. A mobile channel creates business that would not exist on traditional channels
Consumers use mobile devices in locations where old-fashioned laptops are out of the question. When a consumer is looking at TVs in an electronic store, it is easy to jump online to search for a better model and a better price – or a local entrepreneur as the supplier, instead of a faceless operator. The mobile has brought people closer to each other, and it offers the possibility to select one’s place of purchase without restrictions.
5. Developing a mobile online shop is not expensive
Most online shop platforms provide good tools for launching a mobile business. The platforms often include support for mobile scaling, and often mobile scaling can be added as a free or affordable additional feature. However, if you aim to profit fully from the mobile, you have to invest in optimising the business operations for mobile devices. This may mean anything from mobile-focused advertising to the company’s own mobile application and customer loyalty programmes.