Some of us knew all along… but this research from IBM acts as a telling reminder of the importance of mobile in the retail environment. Based on data from Black Friday last week, it tells us that 36.2% of all digital retail transactions took place on mobile, and that over half of retail traffic was on mobile. That last note reminds us in turn that mobile is often central to the buying process both on desktop and in the ‘real world’, even if it isn’t the channel in which the final transaction takes place.

But let’s return to that headline number of 36.2% - itself an increase of over 30% on last year’s number. That’s an extraordinary volume for such a small screen, and one which to date is still poorly served when it comes to truly ‘native’ or ‘mobile first’ interaction models. It will only grow in the future as the mobile experience becomes less of a small desktop and more an experience unique to the mobile itself.

So for retailers, it’s time to move beyond ‘having a mobile channel’ and start understanding that mobile represents a real opportunity to build competitive advantage. After all, when consumers jump from one paradigm to another that’s an opportunity to disrupt existing loyalties (just as Borders and Amazon about that). If you’re not doing so already, let these numbers spur you on to a more intuitive, personal and effective mobile presence within your retail mix.

One final note. The events of last weekend confirmed yet again how important it is to have an environment that scales to meet demand! Of course there are many factors at play here, but it is important to ensure that everything - including your marketing automation solution (ahem) - is ready to scale up rather than fall over when things get busy. That’s exactly when it is vital to ensure your analytics and marketing are functioning as they should.