By now, all readers of this blog are well-aware of the price-comparing, spec-checking benefits of smartphones, and the percentages of customers those benefits can lure away from brick-and-mortar and into online retail. There's really no question that retailers--online and in-store alike--should put significant energy into their mobile commerce strategies if they want to compete for sales. But that leaves us wondering: is comparison shopping the best way to take advantage of m-commerce?
The New York Times reports that the long lines and impatient customers typical of Black Friday may offer a new way for online retailers such as Amazon to leverage their m-commerce capabilities. This year, in addition to providing online-only Black Friday deals, online retailers will also promote mobile-only deals that kick in at the same time as those in the physical stores. If customers are aggravated by the physical experience of dealing with crowds, these deals could easily pick off customers using their phones to troll for better deals while waiting in long lines.
With consumer behavior veering toward mobile purchasing--Amazon reports that their mobile-only customer base has nearly tripled since last year--m-commerce is swiftly approaching a tipping point in consumer awareness. Jill Braff, executive vice president for digital commerce at HSN (formerly known as the Home Shopping Network), tells the New York Times: "We want to drive awareness of mobile and have it have its own raison d'être."
Read more at nytimes.com.
In other Black Friday news, and to build on our past coverage of Walmart's foray into online retailing, Internet Retailer reports that Walmart's Facebook page is "a relative hotbed of conversation." The article explains that a new study by social media and digital analytics provider Socialbakers lists Walmart as the leader among online retailers in hosting conversations with shoppers. This is partially due to the sheer number of Facebook followers Walmart has garnered. But those followers were initially attracted by a steady stream of content relevant to their daily lives; things like daily recipes and notices about deals at local stores.
With its number of wall posts from followers nearly doubling those of competitors like Target, Walmart is poised to take advantage of a new sort of customer loyalty generated by interaction and instant consumer response. With thousands of consumers posting comments, and even larger numbers seeing and sharing those posts, Walmart will likely see a competitive advantage this Black Friday.
Read more at internetretailer.com.