retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports that retailers are trying to make their mobile shopping applications more user-friendly by adding “things like voice search, one-touch checkout and simplified mobile sites.”

Part of the problem, the story suggests, is that smart phone screens are small and keyboards are smaller, which can create problems for consumers who want to use them but are, to use a phrase, all-thumbs. But the problem is compounded by the fact that even the consumers who have trouble navigating the mobile shopping landscape seem to want and expect this functionality.
KC's View:
The disconnect between functionality and desire means that, as the Times writes, “retailers report that only about 2 percent of their sales are coming from mobile devices, a number well below the expectations of many e-commerce analysts.”

I always think it is funny when I read stuff like this. It sounds like the same kind of stuff that some people were saying about Amazon during its early years - not living up to expectations, not making enough money, not a sustainable business model.

Except that stuff takes time. Businesses don’t always grow as fast as analysts expect or predict.

Mobile shopping is going to be an enormous factor. Guessing about percentages is beside the point. Betting against mobile shopping, however, would be short-sighted.