Retailers 'must focus on m-commerce'
Developing an efficient and accessible mobile web presence will be vital to ensuring success for businesses in the coming years, according to an expert.
Manchester Business School's Tarlok Tej, speaking at a recent panel debate in the city's Harvey Nichols department store, argued that generating trusted and reliable mobile services should be central to the growth plans of retail companies.
He claimed that mobile retail sales are set to increase to £4.46 billion this year, moving up from £2.5 billion in 2011, reports the Manchester Evening News.
"Mobile has changed consumer habits. Consumers not only want to connect globally 24/7, they want to do this when, where and how they want," Mr Tej explained.
Catering for this demand for constant, convenient access is the best way to ensure success in the competitive field of ecommerce and maintain a strong customer base in a changing retail landscape, according to the academic.
Other members of the panel echoed his sentiments, with m-commerce widely considered a growth market for 2012.
Alan White, chief executive of catalogue at online retailer N Brown, noted that the fashion trader saw a five per cent boost in mobile sales from April to December of last year.
"It's been the biggest channel change for us, with half of those online sessions coming from iPad tablets. It's made us ask if the tablet is a replacement for catalogues in the next few years," Mr White claimed.
Harvey Nichols chief executive Joseph Wan also admitted that the company has invested considerable amounts in its online processes over the last few years, having recognised that customers increasingly demand a multichannel experience from their shopping outlets