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Retailers Invest In Native Mobile Apps To Amplify Shopper Engagement

As mobile commerce evolves and accelerates, many retailers continue to contemplate whether to invest in native mobile apps ― designed specifically to run on a mobile device ― or mobile-optimized sites. However, new research from Artisan, a mobile experience management (MEM) solution provider, reveals that native apps will become a top priority during 2013.

A survey of 200 retailers found that most respondents (72%) plan to invest in developing a native mobile app experience in 2013. Additionally, 66% agreed that enhancing a native mobile app is more important than implementing a mobile-optimized web site.

Underscoring the impact of apps on overall customer loyalty and sales, 71% of respondents agreed that native mobile apps will become the single most important source for shopper engagement in the next one to three years.

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When asked what capabilities would be ideal for managing their native apps, participants spotlighted the ability to:

  • Personalize the user experience (60%);
  • Collect user analytics (60%);
  • Implement A/B testing (55%);
  • Enable promotions (53%); and
  • Make app changes in real time (46%).

“Mobile apps represent a significant engagement and revenue opportunity, and this survey shows that retailers are intending to invest even more resources in making them an effective part of the overall marketing and sales strategy in 2013,” said Bob Moul, CEO of Artisan. “The timing is ideal. The combination of consumer demand and new mobile experience management platforms that enable real-time optimization means mobile apps have the potential to make a substantial impact in the retail market.”

Overall, mobile marketing and commerce are leading retailers’ future investments: 56% of respondents plan to spend more on developing and implementing their mobile strategies in 2013 versus 2012. This increased focus can be attributed to the ongoing growth of mobile sales, according to the survey. The vast majority (84%) of retailers agreed that they expect to see mobile purchase rates accelerate in their organizations faster than online commerce.

Survey participants spanned vertical markets, from consumer electronics (30%) to general merchandise (18%), clothing/accessories (12%) and music/movies/books (6%).

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