Image of happy girls shopping and using their mobile phones

Generation Consumer preference necessitates a ‘Mobile First’ revolution in online retailing

Smartphone shopping comes of age with 20 per cent fully shopping via a mobile device and 60 per cent willing to

Generation Consumer, the UK citizen that is empowered and comfortable with online shopping, is now using the smartphone more frequently to complete end-to-end shopping experiences in a dramatic shift in online behaviour. This is according to the latest research from Tryzens, a managed service provider of ecommerce solutions.

Tryzens Expert Research tracks, analyses and forecasts the trends and preferences of ‘Generation Consumer’ based on detailed analysis of 1,000 UK consumers who were exposed to online shopping and had made at least one purchase in the past quarter. The Expert Research series was launched in 2015 to assist retailers operating online to quantify current consumer behaviour and preferences in order to more accurately and effectively evolve their eCommerce capabilities.

According to the latest research, fashion and apparel retailers have very different pressures on them when trading online compared to other verticals, ranging from a desire for richer content experiences to convey the look and styling both on images and videos, as well as making links from social media, blogs and shopable content to the eCommerce site. Uniquely clothing retailers must also make it easy to order the right size in order to mitigate returns.

Andy Burton, CEO of Tryzens, stated:

“The Swiss Army knife of the modern digital world – the smartphone – has come of age. Improved connectivity, faster processors, bigger and better screens and a huge range of apps have now made its core function one of access to digital content and data rather than voice. It is now a permanent part of a consumers’ day-to-day life and as rich application technology has finally caught up with the device our research is clearly indicating that the smartphone is the device of choice in the critical 16-45 year age group,”

“As a result we would argue that it is now essential that retailers adopt a robust ‘mobile first’ approach when it comes to redeveloping or enhancing their eCommerce site. I would argue that any new site needs to be built first and foremost around the smartphone consumer perspective. In practical terms that means reworking the customer experience to favour fewer key taps, simplifying the Search/PLP and easing the completion of checkout for deliveries to regular addresses as well as adoption of mobile payment services,” he added.

Key findings of the Expert Research included:

  • 48 per cent of the UK have bought clothes online in the past three months
  • When factoring in age, 58 per cent of the 16 to18 year age group bought clothes online within the past three months, reducing in a near linear fashion to 38 per cent in the over 66 year old group
  • In terms of stereotypes, 57 per cent of women have shopped online for clothing over the past three months, while 51 per cent of men shopped more frequently for entertainment and electrical goods than clothes
  • 82 per cent of shoppers who buy in-store research their purchase online first
  • The freedom to shop at any time was cited as the most significant benefit of online shopping according to 85 per cent of females and 77 per cent of males
  • This was followed by the ability to find the wildest range of products quickly and efficiently (63 per cent), and the ability to access the best price before purchasing (62 per cent)
  • According to the research half of online shoppers prefer to see clothing physically before purchasing
  • Smartphones are the preference for the under 25’s which is on a par with laptops for those aged up to 45

“Whilst laptops formally remain the favourite device used by consumers when online shopping, the biggest year-on-year change has been the stratospheric growth of expectation around the ability to shop solely on a mobile device. The smartphone is now rated as the preferred device by 65 per cent of our research base and tablets by 52 per cent. Desktops have dropped from second preference to fourth in a year! This really is a move to shop anytime, anywhere and on the move,” continued Andy.