Sophia in English: The Slow Switch to Mobile Devices, and What it means for Online Shopping

It has been discussed for a while that online shopping will soon overtake consumers actually physically going to stores, hence all the tales of dying malls and shopping centers. However, now a new issue has arisen: the device the customer is using to shop. Traditionally, the PC (desktop and laptop) has always been used for online shopping, but lately customers are making the switch to their mobile devices. Now, in 2015, it has been predicted that tablets will outsell PC’s for the first time in history, which is a significant step in the move towards more mobile and lighter devices.

ComScore reported that last summer a bigger percentage of shopping was done with a mobile device than pc, and the majority of this was with a cell phone. As someone who has always been a PC person, this just sounded a little crazy. First we stopped actually going to the store, and now we can’t even sit down at a computer? However, for retailers the shift is even more significant, and it has become necessary to adjust their online marketing strategies for it. People who shop on their phones buy a lot less than someone sitting at home on a PC, as in 88% less than the average shopper. Also, retailers need to take into account how impatient society has become with the internet. Studies found that 40% of people will leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, and just 1 second delays can cause a 7% fall in conversion. Just to put this in perspective, 3 seconds is the equivalent to sipping a cup of coffee, and apparently people can’t even wait that long. For retailers, a slow signal can be deadly for online sales, especially when using a mobile device, considering how slow 3G already is.

Basically, retailers need to keep their online advertising short and sweet, as they don’t know for sure what device someone may be using. This should also help with slow WiFi or 3G because there will not be as much to load. They should also look into sending out coupons based on the device. If the coupon is for a mobile device and can also be used in store, this may prompt customers to come to the store and purchase more merchandise.

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