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Smartphones Drive Retail Sales

Posted, by Rachel (Merkin) Welt on 02/15/2016

In the tenth edition of Forrester Research’s “State of Online Retailing” report, we learned something profound about how our shopping has evolved. For the first time, smartphones drive retail sales, surpassing computers and tablets in online shopping dollars. Not only have tablets fallen off as a sales driver, but they have also found a new, innovative home in a different corner of the retail cycle.

Smartphones vs. Tablets

As smartphones drive retail sales, they are also gaining ground in the fight for consumer eyeballs, and dollars. 17% of total online retail sales were generated from smartphones while only 14% were generated from tablets. However, the investment in smartphone sales platforms is still small. 30% of survey respondents indicated they spent less than $10,000 in 2015, with an additional 17% indicating a spend of $10,000-50,000. By comparison, 37% of respondents didn’t increase tablet marketing spending, while only 18% did not increase spending on smartphone marketing.

Tablets Find a New Purpose

Tablets may not be a winner among consumers, in terms of driving sales and dollars online, but they are finding an important and useful place in stores. As stores implement technology used by store associates, tablets have become a popular option, empowering associates to perform a variety of tasks on the store floor. The integration of technology empowers associates and gives tablets a place in the retail cycle.

  • Of the 36% of retailers who use mobile devices for associates, 25% use tablets
  • 44% use tablets with store associates to show additional products not available in stores
  • 40% use tablets to send e-receipts
  • 23% use tablets to check inventory in warehouses and 21% use them for in-store inventory checks

So why should you care? It’s simple: you must evolve with technology to succeed. As tablets and smartphones become more prevalent in the retail cycle so will mobile and virtual gift cards. Whether it’s how gift cards are distributed or redeemed, technology is here to stay. Don’t be afraid of change, just embrace new ways of reaching your employees and customers.
How is your organization using tablets and smartphones for retail sales and marketing? Let us know in the comments!


Topics: Gift Card Technology, mobile technologies, mobile vs tablet, Retailers & Merchants, smartphone redemption, smartphones drive retail sales, mobile redemtpion

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