Salesforce VP: Mobile is changing everything

Photo: Atsushi Tomura/ Getty

Australia has one of the highest smartphone saturation rates in the world and web traffic analytics show desktop is dying. Mobile is well and truly taking over the world.

Consumers now spend more time on mobiles than watching TV and apps account for seven out of every eight minutes using the devices.

Tom Karemacher, Salesforce’s Regional Vice President for Mid-Market and SMB, told Business Insider consumers now instinctively reach of their phones first to search for information or transact online.

“Customers are thinking, expecting and buying in a ‘mobile first’ way. This trend will only continue to skyrocket in the future,” he says.

According to the Salesforce State of Sales 2015 report, the use of mobile in the selling process is set to grow nearly 150% in the Asia Pacific region over the next 12-18 months.

Salesforce exec Tom Karemacher. Image: Supplied.

Karemacher says customers in the APAC region are expecting businesses to interact with them “through their preferred channel (mobile), and that interaction needs to be immediate, valuable, and personal … If you’re not thinking ‘mobile first’, you’re already behind.”

According to Accenture, 87% of C-level executives have a formal mobile strategy and roughly one-third have the CEO directly involved.

Pointing to retail as one industry which has embraced the mobile revolution, Karemacher uses the transformation of grocer Harris Farm Markets as one company which is getting it right.

Harris Farm has developed an online shopping platform which works across mobiles, desktops and tablets and backed it with quality goods and quick delivery. In some areas if you order before 5pm your fruit, veggies and meat will arrive at your door two hours later, after being carefully selected by one of the company’s grocers.

“The fresh food grocer currently serves 11 million customers annually, and has added an online store to complement its physical presence around New South Wales,” Karemacher says.

“The team built a customer journey that includes a mobile-based loyalty program, which encourages shoppers to sign up in order to receive in-store specials. Customers can also text the name of a food item while in-store, to receive recipe ideas and complete shopping lists.

“Harris Farm is a great example of how an industry like retail can leverage mobile to create an omni-channel relationship with customers and engage with them in an immediate, relevant and personal way.”

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