Following the record-breaking £810 million spent online on Black Friday, the combined £1.3 billion online sales predicted for Christmas and Boxing Day show that retailers who are lacking a comprehensive mobile strategy will miss the bulk of seasonal sales altogether, says Dan Wagner, founder and CEO of Powa Technologies.
Online retail association IMRG and information services group Experian have predicted that online sales will reach more than £636 million on Christmas Day, and £748 million on Boxing Day, with a peak of £519,000 being spent per minute across 167 million retail sites on the second day. The group highlights the importance of smartphones and tablets in driving the trend, with many consumers likely to receive new mobile devices for Christmas and then immediately use them to browse retailers.
Dan Wagner, eCommerce CEO of Powa Technologies, comments: “This has already been a truly watershed year for mobile commerce, and the vast amount of sales expected to take place online over Christmas and Boxing Day will truly cement 2014 as a turning point in retail.
“Between this and the phenomenal level of online sales seen from Black Friday right through the season, orchestrated discounts have clearly succeeded in attracting shoppers online, but providing an enjoyable shopping experience will prove to be equally important. Shoppers now see hunting for bargains on online and mobile sites as a fast, fun activity to dip into anytime, and retailers must be equipped to make the entire process as easy as possible”.
Speed and ease have become primary factors in physical retail as well, with a year-round trend for shoppers to fit their purchases into shorter time periods around their busy lives. High street retailers are braced for heavy traffic in the “golden hour” between 1pm and 2pm today as many consumers make a last-minute dash to purchase Christmas gifts.
Dan adds: “Avoiding crowds and long lines at the tills is a major factor in the growth of online sales, and the traditional checkout system can turn the retail experience into an incredibly tedious one. Retailers must explore ways to combine their bricks-and-mortar and mobile strategies to bring the same level of ease and flexibility to their stores, regardless of how busy they are”.
PowaTag gives shoppers the power to complete purchases using an array of triggers, including scanning print material, Bluetooth beacons, audio tags and social media. Consumers can buy a product straight from any form of advertising or with a tap of a smartphone. Sales are finalised in just three seconds using pre-entered payment and address information. The platform also allows for instant sales through sites on both mobile and desktop, avoiding the need to fill out lengthy forms.