On 27 September I joined over 100 retailers at The Retail Bulletin Mobile Summit in London. Definitely a worthwhile trip.
The presentations from Waitrose, Tesco, Halfords, New Look and almost everyone else illustrated just how fast mobile has shifted from a new technology that a few iPhone loving customers might be interested in to something that is an integral part of retailers business and marketing strategy.  For many this transition has taken just 18 months. Things are continuing to move very fast indeed which of course brings it’s own risks such as systems and processes that are not all joined up. A topic that I’m sure will come up at the Retail Bulletin’s Multi Channel Summit in February.
Some interesting snippets from the event:

  • At Phones4U the social media team has moved out of Marketing to be a function in it’s own right. A team that didn’t exist 18 months ago now has 35 staff.
  • Amongst other things they have worked out the value of a “like” on Facebook. To them it’s worth £96.12.
  • New Look are very heavily into mobile and social media because the heaviest users (16-24 year olds) are exactly their target market.
  • I liked this quote from Tesco. “The role of mobile is to inform and enhance a shopping trip”.  Some good words to test ideas against.
  • Lastminute.com  currently get 5% of booking from mobiles and expect that to increase to 30% by 2013.
  • 90% of Apps not opened for a second time. (Be interesting to debate what this really means)
  • Google claim 15-20% of searches are from mobiles.
  • General consensus is to built a mobile optimised web site first them build apps,  if you still need them.
  • Carphone Warehouse believe that 30% of their emails are opened on a mobile.
  • Barclays want us all to use mobile wallets for payments under £15. The good news for everyone is that it makes transactions 30% faster. The good news for retailers but perhaps not quite so good for customers is that the average spend goes up by 40 -50%.

Everyone seems to be thinking in a very customer centric way rather than a technology driven way. So the bottom line is think of a customer problem first then work out how to create a solution involving a mobile. Not the other way around.