The decisive role of mobile in omnichannel activation

Everyone goes mobile







An American study by comScore Media Metrix Multi-Platform & Mobile Metrics shows how the increase of time spent
on digital media is by far the biggest for mobile devices. Moreover, in June 2015 a rise of 90% was observed for the
amount of time spent in apps compared with June 2013. In addition, there was in increase of 53% for surfing on mobile
browsers opposed to a plus of only 16% for desktop sessions. But what is it exactly that makes smartphones and
applications play such a decisive role?

Consulting the figures provided by any research company, this conclusion is hard to be ignored: smartphones are more
than ever the most popular device to go mobile. In line with the growth rates above, of all time spent on smartphones,
people are using applications most of the time – about 65% of all time spent on digital media to be precise. Apps for
tablets keep winning from browser sessions as well.

Research results provided by Forrester show that mainly speed and convenience are decisive in choosing apps over
websites. The huge faith in apps even made a big international e-commerce player like Flipkart decide to continue its
business as an app-only format by the end of 2015. It shouldn’t be a surprise knowing that 1 out of 2 consumers uses
apps to make the final buying decisions.

Even though smartphones and apps are clearly gaining more ground, it’s still important to guarantee a perfect customer
journey for all devices and channels. Data by show how 50% of their customers use multiple devices for a
typical shopping journey. The first exploratory session (e.g. when looking for Christmas presents) often take place on
smartphone or desktop. In the evening, people continue by swiping their tablets to get to know about the details. The
next day, they quickly place the order by smartphone in order not to miss out on that temporary promotion that might
soon expire. 

All this mobile behavior could have a negative effect on sales for physical retailers, were it not that Google puts this
hypothesis into perspective. While 45% of the consumers is known to place their order online after visiting a shop – this
is called “showrooming” – 65% rather practices the art of “webrooming” instead. They prefer to do some online research
before  heading to the physical shop to place the order. Deloitte also predicts how even in 2018 the estimated sales of
133B in M-Commerce will not immediately come close to the estimated 5.552B dollar turnover for Retail. However, mobile
influenced sales are expected take a giant leap and reach up to 4.500B dollar, which would reinforce the impact of mobile
on the decision-making process of the consumer.

Does this mean you should quickly launch a new app so you can profit from the mobile hype as well? Unfortunately, the
opportunity seems to have passed. Consumers are no longer waiting in line for the next best app to add and they are
more critical towards apps they already acquired. Results extracted from Flurry show for example how monthly usage
and retention over 90 days are limited for separate retailer apps. The will to write critical ratings about any kind of app
is widespread, which influences their download rates big time. 

Most apps with good results are so-called aggregators, which are not bound to one single product, brand, etc. In the United
States, 65% of top shopping apps are aggregators like Ebay, Wish, Retailmenot and Amazon. The Belgian aggregator app
myShopi also keeps getting downloads, not in the least because of innovations for CRM, M-couponing, display campaigns,
etc. In order to maintain its position of number 1 promotion and shopping app, the impact of other digital media as well as
offline channels is highly valued. Even though mobile is definitely on the move, omnichannel is still the way to go.

Sources: comScore,, Forrester, Google, GSMArena, Flurry

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