The mobile market for retail jewelry stores is still very young.
BlueNile and Tiffany already have mobile versions of their sites. We couldn't find a mobile version of the James Allen site. We're not referring to smartphone applications, only mobile websites that easily work in cell phone browsers without needing to pinch zoom.
According to http://www.google.com/think/insights mobile shopping during the holiday season has been increasing more than 300% year after year since 2008. Their data shows mobile shopping spikes for the weekend of Black Friday and then again mid to late December.
According to the research Google published in January 2011, during the 2010 holiday season they tracked 59% of smartphone users using their phones for holiday shopping.
Since the mobile market is still young, this means most of your customers shopping in jewelry stores are going to be looking at the BlueNile or Tiffany mobile sites for comparison shopping. The hope is that they won't be doing mobile comparison shopping while in your jewelry store, but it's okay if they do it while in the store down the street.
Imagine, though, if you had your own mobile website; then customers could compare your jewelry to your competitor while they are in your competitor's store.
You can't be afraid of this business model.
It might seem like an easy way to lose customers, but the younger generation wants the power to make faster and informed decisions based on what they can quickly find online.
Let's take a look as some interesting findings Google published regarding mobile shoppers. They surveyed users after the 2010 holiday season to find out how they became better informed through mobile.
27% said they were comparing prices.
23% said they were reading product reviews.
21% said they were reading general product information.
21% said they were looking for local retailers.
20% said they were looking for promotions or coupons.
These finding support the need for mobile websites, Google Places, product reviews on your mobile site, and high level SEO targeting for your local area.
You can also see that consumers are looking for those promotions. You don't have to have a sale to have a promotion. Create a fun way to interact with your consumers and make it a social game that begets discounts.
We will continue this mobile review of Google's Think Insights holiday research tomorrow.