Composing a mobile strategy that’s harmonious with the rest of the shopper journey isn’t easy. But once marketers do so, they raise the customer experience a whole octave—and get revenues humming. Consider the findings in the “2014 Digital Impact Survey” by predictive platform provider Apigee and Stanford University’s Mobile Innovation Group: UK and U.S. smartphone owners are expected to spend $20.4 billion via mobile devices this holiday season—37% ($7.7 billion) of which will be spent via apps. What’s more, nearly 60% of U.S. smartphone owners say that mobile phones and tablets have changed the way they shop either somewhat or completely.
This data shouldn’t strike a new chord for marketers. Sixty-three percent of U.S. smartphone owners already use apps to shop at least once a month, and 20% of smartphone owners in the U.S. and UK expect to increase how much they spend via apps in 2015. But with 65% of smartphone owners intending to shop via their mobile devices this holiday season, and 48% planning to do the same through apps, marketers need to amplify their mobile focus.
Part of delivering a melodious experience is meeting consumers’ expectations. And consumers are trumpeting them loud and clear. For instance, 74% of U.S. smartphone owners say they would be more likely to shop at stores that offer key functions and services via apps, according to the report. In addition, 90% of U.S. respondents expect department stores to provide key services via apps within the next two years. Still, just 17% of smartphone owners in the U.S. and the UK have started shopping at a new retailer because of an app.
While some brands are hitting these consumer expectation notes, others need more fine-tuning. Major Internet companies—like Google, Amazon, and Facebook—are setting the standards, with 56% of UK and U.S. consumers having downloaded and been satisfied with apps from these types of organizations. Financial institutions are also doing well, with 45% of respondents claiming the same. However, the retail sector is off-key, with only 27% of survey participants having downloaded and been satisfied by apps from major retailers.
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