Despite the lackluster economy in the United Kingdom, the British Land Company had a good year.
The company’s profit rose from $406 million in the 2011/2012 fiscal year to $414 million in the 2012/2013 one that had just ended. BLC is a property-investment company whose assets are mainly in retail, so how did the business continue to grow over the past year? One word: Mobile.
“Digital experiences are becoming an integral part of the shopping experience,” BLC CEO Chris Grigg said in a statement and video announcing the company’s annual results. “The way people shop is changing. The internet lies at the heart of these changes not only because of the immediacy of being able to buy online but also because of the way it enables consumers to compare prices and quality, share their opinions and shape the development of products and services.”
In just one example, BLC offers free wireless Internet access in its shopping plazas and similar locations to accommodate the desires of customers who want to research products and compare prices online via their mobile devices while they shop in physical stores.
And BLC is not alone.
According to an Internet Retailer report citing a study by mobile commerce technology provider Unbound Commerce:
Mobile commerce revenue for the 200 retailers jumped 71% in March and April 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, the vendor reports. What’s more, mobile unique visits and mobile page views both were up 91%…
“Mobile commerce is expanding very fast, as consumers grow increasingly comfortable shopping on their smartphones,” says Wilson Kerr, Unbound Commerce vice president of business development and sales. “More importantly, mobile orders are increasing in both size and frequency. We saw year-to-year average mobile orders jump more than $10, from $70.62 to $80.71.”
Specifically in the United States:
- 56% of U.S. smartphone owners used mobile-commerce apps in March 2013
- The users went into the apps thirty-one times, on average, and spent 91 minutes in them
Meanwhile, in Europe:
- 57% of mobile phone owners living in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom owned a smartphone for the three months ending in December 2012
- December 2012 marked the first time that more than half of mobile phone owners in those five European countries owned smartphones
“European consumers are more digitally-engaged than ever before and their use of mobile, Internet-enabled devices is redefining the media landscape,” Paul Goode, chief advisor of industry relations for comScore in Europe, states in the article. “Advertisers, agencies and media owners need to understand the rising number of multi-platform consumers and the more complex digital ecosystem that has developed over the past years. Insights about key trends and underlying drivers enable clients to manage their digital investments effectively.”
As we have noted in prior blog posts, an effective mobile presence is crucial today to having responsive customer service and establishing trust via all potential sales channels – including on mobile websites and applications through designated mobile customer support software.
According to eMarketer, sales via mobile devices comprised 11% of all U.S. retail sales last year – and the number is expected to increase to 15% this year:
And the percentage will only increase from there – regardless of where you are located in the world. The longer that your business waits to have an effective mobile presence, the more sales you will lose.