Mobile Study: Retailers focus consumer mobile efforts on stores

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One of the latest research projects „Keeping Up with the Mobile Consumer“ by Retail Systems Research (RSR) which was sponsored by Google and SAP Research, states that retailers are eager to engage with consumers via their personal mobile devices, but focus their efforts on driving customers to stores, rather than on mobile commerce. The study offers some orientation and recommendations for successful mobile strategies for retailers (and brands).

The research studied of 83 qualified retailers in the summer of 2011 and divideds the respondents in best performers – Retail Winners – and other performers. It states that 79% ackowledge that a cut and paste version of a full eCommerce site is simply not a viable mobile strategy. It also shows that the „Winners“ are somewhat ahead of the market, however it is early days in mobile ecommerce.

For Retail Winners the future of mobile ecommerce is not only an extension of their website to the mobile channel (77% vs. 88% of all others). Most retailers look to outside advertising agencies with mobile experience – 31% to 18% of the Winners.

The best performers take a broader view of what mobile really looks like as it relates to how consumers use mobility, the study suggests. Winners focuse much more on the ability to write once and deploy across multiple mobile platforms than are average and underperformers (73% vs. 35%).

„Overall, 51% of respondents say that their mobile sales will grow significantly in the next 3 years, and another 42% expect at least some growth, if not a significant amount. And while the top mobile channel capabilities for our retail survey respondents include search for merchandise and receive coupons/offers, Retail Winners tell us they are laser-focused on using mobile to help the purchase process,“ Nikki Baird, Managing Partner, RSR Research

According to the study for the Winner retailers the main challenge is that consumers are using mobile as part of their shopping experience and that they need to be there and they see (92 vs 81 of others). 42% (versus 29%) see significant online traffic from mobile sources which they need to respond to. Even the Winners (38%) admit that mobile technology is evolving too quickly and they cannot keep up with the pace of innovation (48% of others).

„There’s going to be a lot of trial and error, and even though not all new endeavors will be successful, it’s important to remember that the consumer already wants to use the device she has in her purse; even if a new tactic falls short, she’ll be eager to try it, and she’ll likely reward you for trying,“ Steve Rowen, co-author of the report.

Spot On!
Generally speaking, the study shows all retailers are aware of the common and future status of mobile. They recognize the opportunities that mobile devices offer to them, their capabilities, and the shoppers’ willingness to use them. However, it is still difficult for them to predict the best retailers understand that „the next big thing“.

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