Mobile shopping

Ralph Lauren’s new mobile-optimised site

Recent surveys have highlighted the growing importance of m-commerce within the online retail environment.

The increase in usage of smartphones and tablets combined with the fact that consumers are willing and able to use their mobile devices for shopping has resulted in a surge in mobile shopping in 2011. According to a recent survey from IBM the number of mobile transactions in the UK in December 2011 increased by 187% when compared to the same month in 2010. The same survey found that sales through mobile devices accounted for 12.9% of all online transactions in December 2011 in the UK – again up from the previous year – this time by 4.5%.

Looking at the US a similar story emerges. A report analyzing sales on Black Friday, again from IBM, showed that 14.3% of web traffic on that day was attributed to mobile. Figures for the whole of the holiday season in the US show that mobile sales totaled nearly 10% compared to 3.2% in 2010 – a 210% growth year on year. Impressive growth figures in anyone’s book and clearly shows that consumers are looking to connect with retailers anytime, anyplace & anywhere.

A good example of a retailer acknowledging the importance of mobile is Ralph Lauren in the US which has launched its new mobile optimized site. The new site is clean, easy to navigate and convenient to browse but also offers a substantial amount of additional content. This allows consumers to browse when they are on the move and turns waiting time into browsing / shopping time. Good for the consumer and good for the retailer.

The new mobile site was re-launched on an entirely new platform to offer mobile shoppers extended products and content, according to Ralph Lauren. For example, in the middle of the mobile homepage is a section dedicated to the World of Ralph Lauren, with four articles and rotating pictures. Clicking through one of the “style guide” articles, consumers can read the inspiration behind the products used in the spring/summer 2012 campaign and receive styling tips on how to achieve the look. Below this section are four content-related tabs including Ralph Lauren Magazine, Ralph Lauren TV, Style Guides and About Ralph Lauren. All of the tabs direct consumers to mobile-optimized articles, slideshows and videos.

The Ralph Lauren site is an example of how m-commerce is rapidly becoming a top priority for the retail industry and it will be those companies that understand the importance of providing their customers with a consistent and personalized experience in the mobile channel that will be well placed to take advantage of the dynamic rise of m-commerce.

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