Mobile is most definitely where it's at. New data and insights from three very different organisations - Gumtree, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and Littlewoods.com owner Shop Direct - have shown that focusing on mobile is vital to digital success.
Shop Direct, which also owns Very.co.uk, reported a huge rise in revenue to £1.86bn since ditching its paper catalogue to become a web-only retailer.
And, even better for shareholders, profits have risen 43 per cent to £150.4m. Mobile has been core to this success, as sales from mobile browsers and the firm's iOS and Android apps rose 46 per cent year on year.
Meanwhile, Gumtree has just revealed that it now has 15 million mobile visitors a week, almost twice as many as on the desktop. This is a huge number, and shows that, for the majority, the mobile is the computing platform of choice.
Gumtree general manager Morten Heuing said: “Mobile in particular is of huge importance to us, which is why we are investing heavily in the product and user experience."
This success hasn't come by accident. Gumtree told V3 in 2014 about its shift to HTML5 to provide a completely responsive experience for visitors on any device.
The need to update the mobile experience was also on the radar at the RSC, which told V3 last week about a two-year project to completely rebuild the company's websites to enable a better mobile experience, particularly as so many tickets are booked in this way.
“The previous RSC website was good and handled a lot of ticket bookings, but it was starting to look dated. It wasn’t responsive and didn’t allow personalisation, so it needed updating,” said Richard Adams, the contractor who oversaw the project.
Since changing the firm is now much better able to take bookings and provide information to visitors, and to gather more insights on how customers use the site to refine the information it presents.
No doubt there are other organisations out there with similar tales to tell, and if these are the firms that got it right early and are now reaping the benefits, there are likely to be many more on this path that will make similar noises in six, nine or 12 months' time.
Even the government is getting involved. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency revealed recently that it is working on a digital version of the driving licence that could be stored in the Apple Wallet app.
Clearly, the time to act is now, and any organisation still in the planning stages, or debating whether to push more money into mobile apps, or updating websites to be responsive, risks being left behind.
The market moves quickly and it does not take long for a firm to fall by the wayside if it can't provide what people want. The experiences of Nokia and BlackBerry, once leaders in the mobile market itself, are testament to that.
So it's no surprise that the celebration is short lived for the firms seeing mobile success, and the focus now is on the next set of digital technology trends such as big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).
Indeed, Shop Direct CEO Alex Baldock explained that the firm is already investing heavily in these areas.
“We’ve made big strides in m-commerce, big data and personalisation. But there’s a lot more to play for in these areas," he said.
"In particular, we believe that AI can change the game for us in data and personalisation. We’re deploying it already and are serious about going much further."
Big data, machine learning, AI. It's shopping, but not as we know it.
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