A heads up to retailers
Samantha Klein 270006UXPV firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  scgs mobile smarter_commerce #smartercommerce billy-may commerce retail smarter-commerce innovation abercrombie
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Even the sight of gorgeous male Abercrombie & Fitch models – whom I’ve adored since my teenage years - couldn’t pull my eyes away from the Twitter app appearing on my iPhone – heaven forbid I might risk missing a tweet worthy of a RT! It was only when Billy May, group vice president, direct to consumer, digital & customer marketing for Abercrombie & Fitch, stated during his general session keynote at the Smarter Commerce Global Summit that consumers have recently become “heads down, not heads up” that I finally shifted my gaze away from my phone and up towards the stage.
Mobile is having a profound effect on how customers engage with retailers and Abercrombie & Fitch is dealing with this trend more than most because its target audience is composed of teens, of which 90% sleep with their smartphones, let alone shop with them.
According to Billy May, in 2014 it takes much more than a unique store experience or a differentiated fixed desktop experience to engage one’s customers. The 2007 launch of the iPhone was a game-changer for the retail landscape since consumers became untethered from traditional commerce. Recognizing this trend, mobile has become the flagship brand experience for Abercrombie and many other retailers.
Due to mobile devices, retailers no longer really control their message as consumers have unlimited access to brands, information from both unlimited sources and content on their own terms – anywhere, anyway and anytime. Retailers who focus on mobile innovation will ultimately end up with the greatest volume of business…until the next technological consumer-oriented breakthrough debuts!
It is very fitting that Forrester released a study recently highlighting the growth of mobile commerce. Forrester forecast that total transactions from mobile devices are projected to reach $293 billion by 2018 and, based upon this projection, mobile purchases will exceed all other consumer online purchases within the next four years. The strong and steady migration from online buying to mobile buying is gaining momentum and mobile will soon dominate the retail environment. We truly are a “heads down” audience, but we all need to watch where we’re going--especially businesses that want to succeed in our smartphone crazed world.