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ShopNBC exec: IPad dominates mobile commerce game

April 25, 2012

SAN DIEGO – A ShopNBC executive at the Mobile Shopping Spring Summit said that revenue generated from mobile has grown 3.5 times over the past 13 months and is being largely driven by the iPad.

During the “Is It A Smartphone Or Isn’t It? Taking Your First Steps Into The Tablets Space,” session, the executive spoke about the role of mobile in the multichannel retailer’s revenue strategy. The executive also revealed some statistics into how mobile has shifted traditional ecommerce.

“All the mobile solutions are different for each one of us,” said Tom Kraus, vice president of commerce and content at, New York.

“There is no silver bullet or answer that will work for everyone,” he said.

“The topic with social media, mobile and tablets have changed the way that customers engage with us.”

Mobile shopping
According to the executive, approximately 45 percent of revenue in 2011 for ShopNBC comes from emerging channels, which includes mobile. For 2012, the exec expects that the number will grow.

Of that revenue, 80 percent comes from iOS devices. Apple users also have approximately 40 to 50 percent more page views and traditionally higher order values.

Although tablets were viewed one to two years ago as a similar channel to mobile, the devices are proving to be a separate category with high conversion rates and consumers making big-ticket purchases from them.

ShopNBC is seeing that with every holiday, mobile revenue continues to grow. For example, the exec said that the number of the number of tablet page views each week is in the millions.

However, regardless of time of year, mobile traffic is continuing to grow.

The company saw that mobile page views in March exceeded page views in December, which is traditionally a much slower month for retail. Although it is exciting that mobile is growing at a fast pace, it is also a wake-up call to retailers that a mobile strategy needs to be in place year-round versus only around holidays.

As the number of mobile transactions grows though, it also makes business plans more complex. Until a simpler, universal platform becomes available, mobile fragmentation will continue to be an issue for brands to know which areas to focus on.

Mr. Kraus at at the Mobile Shopping Spring Summit

Clear strategy

According to the exec, there are three c’s to a successful mobile commerce strategy — customer, capabilities and capacity.

With consumers using their devices as the primary form of communication, they are in control of how and when they shop, making it essential for companies to always think with a customer-first approach.

Additionally, it is a challenge for retailers to find the talent and resources that they need to pull off large-scale mobile initiatives.

Finally, companies need to think about which areas of mobile are most important to focus on in order to place their budgets.

Four years ago, mobile was something that was being talked about, but there was not any money associated with it. Now, digital has changed the way that consumers shop drastically.

“If you think about tablets as a strategic development, it will be your business strategy going forward,” Mr. Kraus said.

“My thinking has evolved significantly over the past year as I’m trying to read the tree leaves of where consumers are going to be,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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