Mobile, omnichannel top retailers’ priority list

According to the 2015 Shop.org/Forrester Research Inc. State of Retailing Online, mobile remains the top priority for retailers in 2015, with 58% of surveyed retailers placing it at the top of their list, up from 53% last year. The survey found smartphone sales as a percentage of online sales grew from 8% in 2013 to 12% in 2014, an increase of 50%; tablets’ share of the pie also grew from 13% of online sales in 2013 to 16% in 2014.

Additionally, many of those who list mobile as the top priority have stated their digital marketing budgets remain modest, knowing consumers are coming to their mobile sites whether they are ready for them or not. Of those retailers surveyed, 32% report spending less than $100,000 on their smartphone development efforts in 2014; 68% report spending less than $1 million on smartphone developments last year. When it comes to tablets, just 4% say they invested between $100,000-and-250,000 last year. Having that said eight in 10 surveyed plans to increase their mobile budgets by at least 20% in 2015.

“Consumers are flocking to retailers’ mobile sites at a faster pace and with more interaction than ever before, so naturally they expect retailers to offer fast, well-designed mobile services that meet their needs,” observes NRF senior vice president and Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell. “With that in mind and with several years of mobile commerce now under the industry’s belt, retailers feel confident in their mobile investments. For retailers – when it comes to mobile strategies, small but continuous incremental changes really do go a long way to keep their savvy customers happy.”

Looking to tie together store and digital touch points for a truly seamless customer experience, retailers surveyed cite omnichannel efforts as their second priority behind mobile. The survey found 45% of those surveyed hope to improve or invest in programmes such as buy online-pick up in store, ship-from-store and inventory visibility, up significantly from 26% who listed omnichannel efforts as a priority last year. Additionally, nearly four in 10 (38%) surveyed say marketing optimisation was their third priority for 2015, including initiatives around customer retention and acquisition.

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