The holidays are a make or break time for many Yahoo! Store merchants. For some, the entire year is planned around just a couple of months of frenzied holiday shopping. Year-in and year-out, the planning cycle has remained the same–everyone knows what they should be doing to ramp up for the big time of year. This was true, at least until mobile commerce came along and presented merchants with a totally new option. And while upgrading to mobile isn’t extremely expensive, it is a movement that is revolutionizing internet retail, though not everyone is buying in.
Yahoo! Store merchants are splintering into two factions; with one camp waiting to see how the mobile revolution plays out and the others climbing aboard in fear of being left behind. No merchant wants to be left behind during the winter holidays either–it’s freezing out there with no one to warm the shopping carts.
Recent news suggests that if there were ever a year to decide to make a move toward mobile, this is it: Mobile commerce sales are expected to be bigger than ever this 2011 holiday season, Yahoo! Store merchants should be ready to watch the sales ring in, as long as they have a mobile friendly website.
According to this November 4th, 2011 Wall Street Journal article, Holidays May Herald The Year Of The Mobile Shopper:
A record number of consumers will shop from their mobile devices this coming season, according to a forecast from IBM Coremetrics, which studies online data from 500 leading U.S. retailers. And retailers seeking to tap into that trend will be forced to adapt. “It’s going to play a big part of how consumers are buying this holiday,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer of IBM Coremetrics, in an interview. “Mobile users have less patience. They are surgical shoppers. Retailers are going to have to do a really good job in targeting their messages and promotions for mobile users.” A mobile device shopper spends an average of about 4 minutes on a site, compared to a little over seven minutes for a site visit from a regular computer. Mobile shoppers also tend to do less browsing and look at fewer products when they shop, making it more imperative for retailers to personalize messages and content to cater to such visitors.
As we mentioned earlier, some Yahoo! Store merchants have been reluctant to upgrade to a mobile friendly Yahoo! Store, although mobile commerce has been trending furiously for over a year now. There are numerous excuses– from Yahoo! Store merchants not wanting to pay extra monthly mobile fees and revenue shares, to Yahoo! Store merchants believing that mobile Yahoo! Stores streamline the site too much for loyal customers to recognize. While both of these arguments are worthy discussions, a Yahoo! Store merchant without a mobile store upgrade will be leaving money on the table this holiday season, while the competition scoops up impatient mobile customers ready to loosen their pinch on the credit line in the coming weeks.
We are at a crucial juncture, especially during the holidays, when merchants will find themselves either waiting to move on mobile or going with a mobile store upgrade now to take advantage of the holiday sales. Sometimes waiting is the best approach, but it’s always good to remember that in the technology industry, early adopters are the ones who reap the most benefits. For example, those who are just building an ecommerce store now are fighting against competition that have sharpened their edges on years of experience in the online sales world. Ecommerce freshman often ask why customers aren’t finding their store sites after months after launching. At this point in the game, there’s so much competition out there that it takes a ton of cash and effort (not to mention a great website and product line) to get found and turn a profit. Our suggestion to experienced Yahoo! Store merchants who haven’t gotten a mobile friendly store front yet, is to take advantage of this rare time when the competition is still fairly underdeveloped on mobile. It is unlikely that we’ll see another pivotal moment where Yahoo! Store merchants will be presented with a growth tool as powerful as the mobile store.
To read an in-depth account about how one Yahoo! Store merchant found success in FastPivot’s mobile commerce solution for Yahoo! Stores, read this Mobile Commerce Success Story.