Blog Post: Beware Sweeping #Mobile Headlines

Sensational headlines are nothing new. Print media has been using the large-font-attention-grabber technique for some time now. So when I read this post by Ad Age, I immediately smile and scoff:

“The Big Mobile Lie: It’s Not Really Driving Purchase”

The point Sam Curtis is trying to make is some people are trying to sensationalize the importance of mobile in retail purchasing in the current landscape. Unfortunately, to do so, he performs the same sensationalism to swing the pendulum the other way.

Curtis’ point is that mobile purchase habits aren’t level across the board for some market segments. Wait…I need to sit down.


It is important to do your homework when it comes to developing a mobile strategy for your platform. At my company, we only support browsers that have over a 5% market share of usage. Meaning, if there is a bug in Opera, no need for us to spend energy fixing it right now.

The product categories listed with a low amount of mobile purchases are over-the-counter drugs (2%), pet food (2%), alcohol (2%), and tobacco (1%). Clearly, those retailers don’t need to stress about their mobile strategy.

That’s not the point though.

When the iPhone 5 was announced, there was some consternation online amongst app developers because of the new screen size. New UIs had to be written for apps only designed for 4” screens. Problem was, if they had been following Apple’s developer guidelines they would have been properly prepared for the change without any extra work.

In the same vein, if you are properly preparing for the future of computing, you will be prepared for an increase in mobile purchasing when it happens. Amazon is laying the groundwork for same-day delivery of groceries. When that happens, you can bet the categories I listed above (as well as many other outliers) will see an increase in online purchases.

With more and more Internet traffic headed to mobile devices, online purchases mean mobile purchases.


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