Retailers Scramble to Launch Mobile Sites

Earlier this week, I highlighted a  report about the growing need for retailers to prepare for T‑commerce – the online buying activity via consumers using their tablets. Retailers are well aware of the rapid growth in mobile commerce in general, but many believe that the best technology is not yet in place to optimize the mobile buying and selling experience. However, new research shows that vendors are actively searching for and experimenting with the best solutions.

In an ongoing survey being conducted by Retail Systems Research, only 6% of retailers say their mobile offerings are currently effective. About half of retailers are working on their mobile commerce centers but nearly all, 91%, say they know they need a mobile solution as soon as possible. The feelings of urgency stem from realizing that consumers use their phones to shop on a daily basis. These merchants firmly believe that 50% of revenue could come through this channel within the next 3 years.

As businesses roll out their mobile commerce sites, senior managers say the following features should be give top priority:

  • Search for merchandise 80%
  • Store locator 79%
  • Receive coupons/​offers 69%
  • Access product reviews 61%
  • View weekly ad 55%
  • Check order status 55%
  • Access product ratings 54%
  • Redeem coupons/​offers 53%
  • Buy merchandise 46%
  • Check loyalty status 43%

Interestingly, many of the top features in mobile commerce sites, at least for now, have more to do with marketing than actual selling. Over half of vendors want potential customers to be able to get coupons and special offers on these sites as well as view weekly ads. Slightly less than half say that actually buying merchandise through a mobile site is a top goal. As the technology improves these figures will likely change.

[Source: Rowen, Steve. Early Results from New Mobility Survey. Retailsystemresearch​.com. 19 Jul. 2011. Web. 29 Jul. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.