In the spring of 2016, our article, "Top 10 mobile adoption myths in fashion and luxury apparel," appeared in Mobile Commerce Daily. The article looked at the myths many retailers tend to cling to when contemplating a significant change to their business model. As usual, much of their resistance orbited around the notions that going mobile will cost too much and will not work.
This is a very typical response. Most people express great reluctance when they see change being forced on them. A broad swath of fashion and apparel retailers fit that description. Their industry has long been subject to the whims of fashion and relentless competition, but at least, for much of the 20th century, the pace was manageable. Fashion shows gave retail buyers a six-month heads-up on what to order, and their stores and catalogs helped make up customers' minds for them. It might never have been an easy industry to work in, but at least change was measured in months.
These same retailers now face a marketplace in which change and competitiveness are marked off in minutes and seconds. Shoppers expect personalized experiences and rewards just for showing up. Price transparency is forced onto the retailer by online technologies that clearly indicate who has the better prices. Mobile commerce has moved in and has brought with it a pace of change far more abrupt and seemingly less controllable than that which accompanied the emergence of debit cards, credit cards, or even the web itself.
But the changes involved in mobile commerce are different from other types of social change, for example, a government's imposition of a new sales tax. In that case, retailers and customers are both forced to adapt, which leaves both sides grumbling. In the case of mobile commerce, the consumer community is nudging the change forward. Adopting mobile technology is natural and inevitable.
To illustrate this point, think back to the early days of Facebook. Do you recall the TV ads they ran to get people to sign up and participate? Of course not. There were none. Facebook did not need ads. Its wild popularity grew virally. People just joined up. It was fascinating, and it brought something new and enjoyable to their lives. It was organic and unforced.
The use of technologies like mobile web and apps is also organic and unforced. No one is commanding consumers to shop on their phones or even look at them while they are in the store. Their banks are not forcing them to switch from writing checks to using single-click checkout. It is happening naturally. Every month, the number of mobile shoppers increases. Some are making purchases through their smartphone, and others are using it as a tool to make more informed in-person buys. Some are experimenting with buy online, pick up in-store, and many others are discovering the possibilities that dynamic delivery services can bring to their lives.
Change is happening because of customers, not in spite of them. The retailers who push back against quickly-evolving retail technology must bear in mind that the demand for these tools is not coming from a central authority but from customers themselves. Therefore, no matter what their reason for resistance, the harsh truth is, this change is coming all the same.
To read the full article, click here>>