It’s a sure thing — as soon as the temperature on the East Coast falls, Christmas carols fill the air and people begin to make predictions about retail performance over the holiday season.
The term “Black Friday” originated around the early 1960s, and referred to the day after Thanksgiving when a large volume of retail shoppers made businesses’ ledgers “in the black”. E-commerce became a popular, annual media topic in the late 1990s, back when it was a small but avidly measured piece of the overall retail puzzle. By 2005, a retail marketing association had dubbed the Monday after Thanksgiving Cyber Monday, a day online shoppers chased deals through an increasingly mainstream medium.
Predictably, in a year where we’ve reached 56% smartphone penetration among U.S. adults, this holiday season a number of well-timed reports have emerged about mobile commerce. The reports highlight facts like 55% of all time spent with online retail in June 2013 occurred on mobile and mobile will account for nearly 13% of all U.S. e-commerce sales. Google has even released a calculator for retailers to assess how mobile can drive in-store sales.
The best of these reports acknowledge that we’re not talking about different consumers in each of these channels. So, let’s ditch the term “m-commerce” and avoid creating another discrete silo. Just as online banking is now just banking, mobile commerce is another touchpoint along the continuum of commerce. Let’s measure and optimize the channel, but focus on integration of in-store and seamless, multiscreen approach to recognize and serve consumers best.