That all changed when the company eCommerce store owners love to hate – Amazon.com – introduced their iPhone and iPad app. Being one of the curious, I installed it, it sat on my phone for a while taking up space, then one day I decided to look for an item I couldn’t find in the nearby grocery store.
Shit, they had it in stock.
Since I’m one of these people who apparently signed up for Amazon Prime a gazillion years ago and never cancelled it, despite being billed for it every year, I could get two-day shipping for free.
I felt a little dirty as I started the checkout process. Here I am, an eCommerce entrepreneur who preaches about the evils of big online retailers like Amazon, forking over $15.99 for Kool-Aid.
It really was a box of Kool-Aid that I ordered and that one purchase turned out to be somewhat symbolic, for indeed I did drink the Kool-Aid that Amazon gave me a taste for.
Their apps make it easy for someone to find an item, add it to their cart and checkout in a matter of seconds. Plus, that little shipping bonus is a big win.
I ordered more Kool-Aid. Then dog food. A new pair of bathing trunks (do they call them that anymore?). A Skype phone. Even a Ukelele. And more Kool-Aid.
By installing that app on my phone, I became a mobile shopper. And I’m definitely not alone in that. More and more people are using their iPhone, Blackberries and iPads to shop from – whether it’s via an app like Amazon’s or a mobile version of their favorite store’s website.
Mobile commerce, or mCommerce as it’s being called, is booming. According to an article in Internet Retailer magazine, “More than 33.3 million U.S. consumers already engage in shopping-related activities on their mobile phones, says research firm Experian Simmons in its “2011 Mobile Consumer Report.” 7%, or 2.3 million, of those consumers have made a purchase on their devices, the report finds.”
What does that mean for eCommerce store owners?
Simply put, if you don’t have a mobile version of your website, it’s time you do. You may be thinking, “I don’t have any of my customers telling me I need a mobile site”, or, “my customers don’t order from their phones.” Don’t jump to conclusions until you take a look at your website’s analytics and see what percentage of your visitors are coming to your site via a mobile device. I think you may be surprised.
I did a webinar a few weeks ago where we touched on mobile. I told attendees to do just that – go look at your stats. A few came back and said, “wow, I never knew this many people were coming to my store from a mobile device.” One person told me that $33,000 worth of sales this year came from mobile – but he didn’t have a mobile website. Visitors were fumbling around on his full-website and placing orders. Imagine what that $33,000 could be if he had a site optimized for mobile.
It may not be too late to go mobile for this year’s holiday rush. A lot of mobile providers can turn around a mobile store rather quickly, so pick up the phone and make some phone calls.
The way people shop is changing.
Store owners need to adapt in order to survive.
If you need a little more persuasion, go to Amazon.com and search for Kool-Aid. It’s a pretty refreshing drink.
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