IRX2018 PREVIEW The place to start your mobile journey

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Today an omni-channel strategy for retailers and brands means being discoverable across all channels: and that means online, in store and on third party sites such as marketplaces and social media platforms. Above all though, it means being seen on all these channels on mobile.

We live in an age of mobile discovery, where the mobile device – typically a smartphone, but also a tablet and increasingly voice assistants running Android – is the window through which people search, discover and buy.
As a result, retailers have to be clever with how they target these mobile shoppers. Today, many have to use the platforms at their disposal to find consumers with the things they think these shoppers want, almost before the shoppers themselves know they want them.

It is not as far-fetched as it seems and it is yet another reason why retailers and brands are having to take marketplaces and social media sites more seriously as a shopfront.

At Internet Retailing Expo 2018 at the Birmingham NEC on 21-22 March in the excellent Mobile First track, Daryl Hughes, Head of eCommerce Facebook & Instagram UK, will be talking through just this.

“Today’s fastest growing retail businesses don’t wait for demand; they create it through mobile-first strategies. Consumers want brands to find them with products they didn’t even know they wanted, at the right time, through immersive experiences and retailers need to understand why one of the biggest trends in social commerce at the moment is discovery through mobile.”
– Daryl Hughes, Head of eCommerce at Facebook & Instagram UK

Hughes will be presenting in the Mobile First track at the show and looks to be tapping into this growing need by retailers to think like disruptors and produce new ways to engage consumers – through mobile.

Key to this mobile engagement, through marketplaces or native sites and apps is the experience itself. Robin Phillips, Former Omnichannel Director at Boots will be delving into how to understand how consumers shop and use this to create the kind of experiences that shoppers want.

“Achieving a clearer understanding the mobile element of your customers’ purchase journey and restructuring your strategy, team and skills to reflect the shift to a mobile-first customer are key. But you also have to ensure engagement through making the mobile experience awesome”
– Robin Phillips, Former Omnichannel Director at Boots

This ‘experience’ led approach is key whether you are selling yourself or through a third party and relies on thinking like a customer. One approach that is being espoused at IRX2018 by Mobile First track sponsor Klarna’s Russ Carroll is that of turning “sitting rooms into fitting rooms”. This is all about making the pain of buying online less painful.

“It is about driving convenience and eliminate a major online shopper pain point: letting shoppers try the goods before they buy. This can boost shopper purchase power right when they need it, at the point of sale and can increase repeat custom and bridge the gap between on and offline shopping.”
– Russ Carroll, Sales Director, Klarna

But how do you know if you are doing it right? Investing in mobile, personalisation and experiences is one thing, but knowing that it is right and that it will pay off is quite another. This all comes down to understanding the metrics of mobile retail, Sarah Davies, Lead, UK eCommerce Partnerships at Google will tell the audience.

“You have to understand the importance of a mobile-first strategy in an omni-channel market and how to use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to improve webpage speed, how to increase customer engagement through progressive web apps (PWA) and how to drive content personalisation through ads.”
– Sarah Davies, Lead, UK eCommerce Partnerships at Google

Taken together, all these things showcase just how vital mobile is to retailers and brands and how whether they sell through a marketplace, their own site or both, mobile is the place that they need to look to create the magic that will lure shoppers in. Retail is changing and mobile is driving that change. IRX2018 is the place to start that journey of you haven’t already.

To find out more and to register free for InternetRetailing Expo and eDelivery Expo, visit internetretailingexpo.com. Get involved on Twitter by following @etailexpo and with the hashtags #IRX18 #EDX18.

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