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Mobile will be more disruptive for retail than online, says Facebook representative

(Source: Computer Weekly | October 1, 2018)

Facebook retail industry head Beth Horn said during the Retail Week’s Tech event that the “information revolution” driven by mobile devices is changing customer behavior in such a way that retailers not only have to consider the business impact when making digital changes, but the effect it will have on customer experience.

“Change is being driven by technology, and at the heart of that is mobile. These companies [successful retailers] lean into change, they get comfortable from being uncomfortable,” she said.

Because people are able to access retailers at any time using mobile devices, Horn believes people’s mindsets have moved away from “I’m going shopping” to “I’m always shopping”, which means helping customers to “discover” items they may want to buy based on past customer data is a better way to engage with them.

She said that people are usually “passive shopping”, which is the direction personalized discovery and suggestion is pushing customers in – or, as she described, “when products find people”.

It has also been found that for the younger generation of shopper, not only does social media have a huge impact on what they choose to buy, but it is another channel that customers choose to buy through.

Around 400 million people use Instagram stories every day, 80% of Instagram users follow businesses and 70% of customers have taken action after seeing a post, according to Horn.

By engaging people on a topic they care about, they can be encouraged to buy products related to that interest, Horn said, which is easier to achieve through use of social platforms. “Following passions leads to exploration and exploration leads to discovery,” she added.

 

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