Andy Tudor talks multichannel strategiesWednesday, 25 January 2012
ME commerce is a term recently coined to describe the coming together of mobile and e-commerce. The idea is actually straightforward; virtual shopping is no longer limited to sitting in front of a PC or laptop, browsing and buying from retail sites, an activity traditionally referred to as e-commerce. With the advances of mobile/smartphone technology, ME commerce empowers consumers to make decisions to buy from multichannel retailers, wherever and however they choose. The retailer’s challenge - and opportunity - is to recognise that ME commerce is about ME, the consumer, and MY ability to be more demanding and shop ‘smarter’.
With 2014 being predicted as a year when there will be more mobile users than PC users, how will retailer’s best be able to mobile commerce as an omnipresent retail channel?
Of course with multiple opportunities comes problems too, Tudor warns that retailers need to be careful not to overwhelm consumers with endless and sometimes irrelevant marketing, but rather must focus on reaping benefits of the immediacy of good mobile interaction; offering access to goods consumers want and thus enjoying sales they wouldn’t have necessarily expected.
It’s important to note too that a mobile phone is not only a tool for shopping ‘on the go’. It’s also a useful means for consumer and retailer alike to learn more about a product, whether that be scanning a barcode in store to get rich media product content sent to a phone, or searching the internet by phone whilst on the high street to find out which shop is holding stock.
Tudor advises, as retailers introduce multiple shopping channels, they should factor in the consumer’s ability to influence brand identity positively and negatively. They have much to gain from mapping consumer interaction with each channel to market, putting in place support functions that give real-time visibility of cross-channel consumer interaction, and building a mechanism to capture feedback at the point of purchase.
Finally, to win our custom, retailers must evolve their IT strategy from ‘’multiple channels’ to ‘multichannel’, by providing consumers with the same destination, no matter what vehicle the consumer uses to reach it.