Shoppers have a message for retailers: Get mobile in a hurry. And while shoppers are looking for mobile apps to help them locate stores, products and prices, retailers are finding that their mobile app process is falling behind. At the same time, retailers are discovering there may be more value in optimizing their websites for tablets.
Marketers surveyed by RSR Research say that the following opportunities are the most valuable for mobile:
- Deeper customer engagement: 73%
- Develop unique mobile use tools: 61%
- Increases sales through personalized offers: 61%
- Insight into shopper behavior: 59%
- Empower store employees with apps: 41%
Retailers also believe the most important mobile channel capabilities are merchandise searching (83%), store locator (76%) and receiving coupons/offers (63%). But, so far, fewer than half of surveyed retailers have implemented these features. They also acknowledge that their goals for reaching mobile consumers differ from what they expect with respect to traditional e‑commerce shoppers – namely sales.
Merchants continue to invest significant time and money into mobile phone apps. But to complicate matters, the tablet segment of the mobile market is generating quite a stir. New research shows a high conversion rate from this format. Retailers know that e‑shoppers using traditional computers have a 3% conversion rate. When using tablets, the conversion rate rises to between 4–5% and many of these orders are 10–20% higher than average. This development has some merchants taking another look at their websites which are directly accessed by tablet users. Shopping behavior from consumers may indicate that the mobile phone is a nice tool for quick research, but the extra screen space on tablets is prompting them to browse and buy.
Time will tell which channel will prove most lucrative from an e‑commerce point of view. For now, merchants may need separate strategies for mobile and tablet devices.[Sources: Keeping Up with the Mobile Consumers. RSR Research. September 2011. Web. 30 Sep. 2011; Mattioli, Dana. Tablets: Ultimate Buying Machines. WSJ. 28 Sep. 2011.]