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PayPal: Mobile comes first for retailers


When it comes to mobile engagement, retailers are wise to think of how mobile fits into the broader end-to-end shopping experience.

“That could mean location-based marketing with smartphone apps as well as reaching mobile customers with your email marketing program,” said Dan Leberman, VP/general manager, North America small and medium business, PayPal, during a recent interview with Chain Store Age. “You can see all the way through the shopping experience with a mobile-first e-commerce platform.”

Leberman urges retailers to adopt a “mobile first” development strategy for their enterprise solutions.

“Consumers start their shopping experience when they pick up a phone,” said Leberman. “Even if they’re already in the store, mobile is the most important channel. You must set up your site in a mobile-friendly way.”

In addition to serving as a valuable marketing channel, Leberman said mobile is also a viable sales channel.

“You can drive conversions with ‘one touch’ mobile purchases,” said Leberman. “There is frustration in having to enter purchase information. There is a huge dropoff in purchasing when consumers have to enter payment and shipping details or even a password.”

In addition, Leberman said mobile is a good way to deliver deals and promotions. Leberman also offered some advice for retailers preparing for the holiday shopping rush.

“Ten years ago, there was a big spike in traffic and purchases after Thanksgiving,” he said. “Now it’s smoothed out. Don’t wait for Cyber Monday or Black Friday. Ramp up earlier in the fourth quarter.”

Part of the need for this earlier ramp-up is the emergence of international holidays, such as the Nov. 11 “Singles Day” holiday in China.

“Cross-border sales in the fourth quarter can make or break you,” advised Leberman.

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