Desktop or Mobile?

Author: 8th and Walton

omnichannel shopper

Suppliers know that the always-on omnichannel shopper requires a strong online presence. But when you’re allocating precious resources, it can be hard to decide: do you go with an app, a responsive website, or a special mobile site and a desktop site as well?

A new report from the Harvard School of Business provides up-to-date data to drive decision-making.

First, 70% of adults in the U.S. now own a smartphone, so if your instinct is to make sure you have mobile, you’re right.

What do shoppers do with their smartphones?

  • 67% check prices
  • 64% look for coupons
  • 52% check reviews

These are the actions people are more likely to take on a smartphone than on a computer.

What do shoppers do at their desktop or laptop computers?

  • 65% make purchases
  • 55% explore product details
  • 51% check product availability

This isn’t the whole story, though, because most shoppers use these devices in combination, and in combination with physical-store shopping. 80% of shoppers use some tech device while doing their physical-world shopping, whether it’s an in-store kiosk, a smartphone in the store aisle or in their cars, or a desktop, laptop, or tablet before they head for the store. Ideally, your brand will be in every place — virtual or physical — where the shopper looks.

If you check traditional KPIs for your online investments, though, you might not see the true pattern. If you sell products online, you’re not going to see many sales from mobile. Does that mean that mobile is unimportant? Not at all. It’s a shopping assistant for the average consumer today.

78% of local retail searches on smartphones are estimated to lead to a purchase, usually the same day.

Consumers may spend lots of coffee break time browsing online with a computer, searching Pinterest and visiting high-end ecommerce sites to dream over the latest fashions or the newest electronics. They’ll do their online shopping from the comfort of their computer, too. When they ask Siri where they can buy a Sodastream machine, however, they’ve got the money in their pockets and they plan to buy. They may still buy online, but they’re willing to buy a physical object in a physical store.

This is where most shopping still takes place: in stores.

That means, the HBR report concludes, that a brand’s online presence has to include the information needed for physical shopping, as well as brand information and ecommerce options.

Does your website list these things?

  • store locations
  • in-stock info for local stores
  • phone numbers for stores
  • hours of stores

If Walmart.com is your ecommerce branch, link to the Walmart.com website and let it do the heavy tech lifting.

Engaging customers online can lead to in-store purchases. You may have trouble seeing the path to purchase, because omnichannel shoppers don’t distinguish among channels. They’re fitting research and purchases into their day at their convenience. The brands that go with them will see long-term benefits.

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