Magazine article Marketing

The Influencers: Olivier Ropars

Magazine article Marketing

The Influencers: Olivier Ropars

Article excerpt

Mobile commerce is revolutionising consumers' shopping habits Nicola Clark asks eBay's senior director for EU mobile what brands really need to do in order to stay ahead of the competition.

It's the first thing they see in the morning and the last thing they see at night. It's where they go for advice support, directions, entertainment and conversation. Increasingly, it's also their shopping aid. For many consumers, their smartphone is their significant other. It is no surprise, then, that mcommerce is the number-one priority for many brands this year. EBay predicts that its global mobile sales will surpass dollars 8bn in 2012.

With this in mind, Marketing spoke to Olivier Ropars, eBay's senior director for EU mobile, about how brands can get to grips with the third wave of shopping technology.

The hype surrounding mcommerce has gone on for years. What is the real opportunity for brands?

More than 40% of retailers have a mobile presence, but two-thirds of consumers are already shopping via their smartphones. If your page doesn't load in between two and three seconds, they wont bother waiting. It's a phenomenal missed opportunity.

While smart marketers realise that mcommerce is the future, many don't know where to start. What advice would you them?

You don't have to immediately replicate your entire website on a smartphone. Instead, you should do what I call 'feature triage'. You have to be smart and focus on the key components and what translates best to a phone. If you try to meet everyone's needs and do everything at once, it could be incredibly expensive. Start small with mobile web and learn from that.

How is mobile changing shoppers' behaviour? Are there different impulse-purchase opportunities of which brands should be aware?

Half of UK consumers have a smartphone, which they look at (on average) 40 times a day. That is 40 different shopping opportunities. There are new shopping mindsets, such as 'mission shopping'. For example, when my laptop broke, I replaced it via my smartphone. Consumers take photos or scan barcodes and purchase immediately. When consumers shop via their mobiles, they are more likely to buy something for themselves, so it's a different type of impulse purchase.

What are the biggest pitfalls facing brands launching into mcommerce?

The biggest mistake you can make is to see mobile as an extension of the PC. Almost 50% of people with smartphones will check prices in store. When something isn't available on the rail, the smartphone is a more efficient way of shopping. …

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