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Mobile shopping officially trumps desktop: report

Since consumers are more likely than ever to make a purchase via mobile devices, retailers and brands prepping for the 2014 holiday season are likely to route their strategies accordingly. As the anticipated launch of iOS 8 is right around the corner, retailers should expect a prevalent use in this department as virtual gift giving continues to replace its physical counterpart.

“This month is the first time that online retail has become pervasively mobile in terms of visitors, which makes it more prevalent than traditional desktop and laptops,” said Chris Mason, co-founder and CEO at Branding Brand, Pittsburgh. “It’s been building to that point for years, and now that intersection as occurred.”

Convenience of use
In 2010, 96 percent of online retail browsing was done on desktops while only 4 percent took place via mobile devices. Today, those numbers have collided and continue to move in opposite directions, with 51 percent of retail visits occurring via mobile.

As of August 2014, mobile ordering and revenue hold higher percentages than mere visits. Revenue, which has grown from 6.5 percent to 11.6 percent, has nearly doubled.

Mr. Mason believes mobile optimized Web sites should be the first priority when trying to appeal to mobile-centric audiences. Furthermore, the ability to gift give via mobile is crucial. With tools such as Passbook, digital gift giving is expected to be seen even more this year than last year.

To keep customers coming back, Mr. Mason recommends using tactics such as easy-to-access promotions, through banner ads, a seamless checkout process and easy reference to history and account information.

Branding Brand powers mobile commerce sites and apps for over 200 of the world’s leading retailers, including American Eagle Outfitters, Crate & Barrel, Ralph Lauren, and Sephora.

Issued monthly, the Mobile Commerce Index identifies retail trends across a consistent sample of 26 major North American brands in various industries, including apparel, health and beauty, and home goods. Branding Brand claims that the Index is the largest collection of data on commerce websites specifically designed for iPhone, Android, and other mobile devices.

Immediate response
Many brands and retailers are making big moves in response to data supporting a huge increase in shopping via mobile.

Fashion brand Juicy Couture is overhauling its ecommerce business with an eye toward mobile in light of the expectations of high-end shoppers, who are more commonly shopping on their mobile phones today.

Featuring key aspects such as mobile optimization and responsive Web design, Juicy’s new site is now compatible with mobile shoppers and utilizes tools such as live chat and swipe and zoom options. For brands with strong bricks-and-mortar roots, they can find a way to survive in a mobile centric world by optimizing their content to add a convenience for smartphone users (see story).

Macy’s has partnered with Fashion Rocks for its fall marketing campaign, with mobile playing a key role by enabling live shopping during the event for the first time.

The retailer is the official fashion partner for Fashion Rocks. During the event, viewers will be able to shop for the fashions presented during the runway portion of the show from their mobile phones either through the Shazam application or by going directly to the site (see story).

Given the results of the report, this holiday season is likely to be driven mostly by mobile-driven sales.

“It’s pre-holiday, and this is going to be a huge holiday season for mobile,” Mr. Mason said. “Retailers and brands will have to use mobile-first approaches this holiday season and need to stay in front of their audiences using mobile as much as possible.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York