Despite the fact that mCommerce has grown 25% in the last six months, 43% of online retailers still have not defined a mobile strategy, and 71% of eCommerce managers claim they have average or below average mobile expertise, according to Peter Sheldon, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research. Sheldon shared these and other mCommerce insights in a recent webinar titled: What Retailers Need To Know When Selecting and Implementing An M-Commerce Offering.
Other industry research confirms Forrester’s findings. Only 29% of online retailers have optimized the mobile platform by implementing a complete strategy that has been implemented and refined, according to the Shop.orgState of Retailing Online Report. Based on consumers’ growing dependence on mobile, many retailers are altering their budgets to develop an mCommerce plan. The Q2 Global eBusiness and Channel Strategy Professional Online Survey determined that 69% of retailers plan to increase mobile investment during 2011, and 12% anticipate doubling their budget.
Although mobile is a top priority for retailers, with companies investing an average $220,000, according to Shop.org survey reports, tablets are coming to the forefront, with retailers spending an estimated $144,054 to develop a strategy. Shop.org also reported that total tablet traffic accumulates 21% of a retailer’s mobile traffic, especially with more consumers using the technology in their daily lives.
Mcommerce Usability Key For Shoppers
During the webinar, Sheldon shared information on Forrester’s POST method, which is designed to provide a systematic approach for retailers considering a mobile program. POST includes four key objectives:
1. People: Review the company’s target audience and their top social channels;
2. Objectives: Finalize your target goals for developing a mobile commerce initiative – is it to keep up with the competition, drive revenue, or be seen as innovative and cutting-edge in the market? Will your goals be long-term or short-term?;
3. Strategy: Determine what approaches and overall plan will help reach your objectives; and
4. Technology: Choose which technology will coincide best with company strategy and overall objectives.
By considering these areas, and general “mobile maturity” — how advanced the retailer is within the mobile realm — a company can work towards developing its channel footprint through an mCommerce site, SMS strategy and application. Leading online retailers including Amazon and eBay have implemented a strategy covering all areas of digital commerce, including an application suite, mobile store and eCommerce site to engage their customers, which is key for retailers, according to Forrester.
Recent Forrester research has found that a majority of retailers find customer engagement (66%) and improving customer satisfaction (55%) top priorities for adopting a mobile initiative. Although building brand loyalty (29%) and being seen as innovative (28%) also were important to companies, increasing brand awareness was only essential to 12% of retailers surveyed.
According to the e-Commerce Web Site Performance Today study, conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of Akamai Technologies, 33% of respondents find usability a priority while making a smart phone purchase. Sheldon explained that a key tactic in developing an efficient mobile strategy is to construct an engaging experience that smoothly transitions across all touch points.
“Retailers have to ensure that it’s a seamless shopping experience and hand-off between each touch point to the consumer,” Sheldon said.