No not another Bob Dylan anniversary but the results of a recent poll into the nations buying habits.
A study by mCommerce is reported in/on many accountancy websites this week which shows that a huge number, 89 per cent to be exact, of retailers believe that mobile phone sites and transactions are an essential part of their future business strategy. The really bizarre thing about this research is that it comes hot on the heels (I love the smell of cliches in the morning) that showed that more than 75% of retail businesses in the U.K do not have their own mobile site. The biggest bugbear is security and optimisation, the latter is interesting because I have clients who are almost constantly bugged by optimisers saying they can raise their profile on Google or wherever.
Google themselves estimate that 15 per cent of online traffic comes through mobile sites, Small Businesses.com said that not being online via mobile is equivalent to shutting your online store for a day every week.
Another piece of research (see kids if you want a job post Uni then become a researcher) found that whilst social media plays an important role in marketing strategy for retailers, it generates less than one per cent of online sales. Frankly I'm not surprised, call me old fashioned if you must but I get constantly pissed off when I'm on a forum, message board or simply a site that offers either a forum and message board and you get interrupted by adverts.
The power of the Interweb though rules when it comes to making repeat purchases for retailers as more than 30% of us will make a repeat purchase using an online facility. I'm one of that 30%, having purchased an item of clothing from a shop I saw a similar item online, different colour basically, and purchased it online rather than going back to the shop.
Talking to my chiropractor this morning he told me a quick story about one of his other clients who wanted to buy a new pair of earphones for her iPhone. She actually visited an Apple store and the guy behind the counter said to her, "I bet you can download our app, order the product and arrange to collect before I can find it in stock, ring up a sale and process your credit card." He was right.
Click and collect stores are popping up everywhere, just like pop-up restaurants or guerrilla gardeners. It used to be just fast food that you would order by phone by now you can buy all your groceries online from Tesco and then collect, you can do the same with some clothes shops (I did it with a new suit from Next), plumbing supplies and much more.
The more shops offer 'alternative' ways of shopping the better, providing they don't lose sight of their objectives. Visiting a 'collection point' could lead to an impulse buy or a purchase from an adjoining store and with Amazon entering the High Street market, a market that currently seems awash with coffee shops and charity shops, we could be entering another phase of retail therapy.