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Adobe survey: 80pc of businesses have or plan to have mobile commerce site

Adobe Systems Inc.’s first annual Adobe Scene7 Mobile Commerce Survey details leading businesses’ strategies for leveraging the emerging mobile channel over the coming year.

Respondents across several industries indicated an overwhelming preference for developing Web sites as their predominant mobile commerce presence compared with other types of mobile properties, including downloadable applications, with more than 80 percent planning or having already deployed a mobile Web site. Merely eight percent of respondents cited a downloadable application-only mobile commerce strategy.

“Most businesses are spending money on mobile Web marketing investments and they are tasked with finding ways to effectively engage customers Sheila Dahlgren, senior director of product marketing at Adobe, San Jose, CA. “Businesses must deliver consistent, rich experiences across all channels, including mobile, but they also must ensure that usability is never compromised.

“Mobile Web sites enable a broader reach of potential shoppers, without requiring a special download and thus make a good approach if broad reach is a key priority,” she said.

“A combined mobile site and application commerce strategy may make sense depending on the retailer’s strength of customer loyalty and the particular utility of the application itself—the ability to price check, bid, etcetera.”

The Adobe survey uncovered four key areas of focus for businesses’ mobile strategies: promotions, commerce, product information and branding.

Mobile promotions drive multichannel commerce
Seventy-five percent of respondents named promotions as the core of their mobile strategy, validating the mobile channel as an important method to drive traffic and support multi-channel commerce.

Ms. Dahlgren said that multichannel shoppers tend to purchase more.

Therefore, companies must effectively engage customers by delivering consistent, rich experiences across all channels—including mobile—to maintain and fuel current double-digit ecommerce industry growth rates.

Mobile user experience findings from the survey point to full-screen image zoom and videos as the most important way to browse or display products on mobile devices, specifically:

• More than 55 percent of respondents cited full-screen image zoom and videos as indispensable viewing features for driving conversion.

• In addition, 96 percent of respondents asserted the most effective visual merchandising features were catalogs and brochures, alternative images, and zoom and pan.

• While only 18 percent of respondents currently use rich visual merchandising features for mobile commerce, up to 81 percent of respondents cited plans to deploy these features, thus implying richer mobile experiences will be created and offered over the next 12 months.

The survey results demonstrate the opportunities that exist for companies to fully leverage rich visualization features to improve their emerging mobile presences and drive cross-channel sales, according to Adobe.

“Consumers want a relevant and engaging mobile experience through whatever device they access the mobile Web and businesses are recognizing this demand,” Ms. Dahlgren said.

“It was surprising to see that respondents across several industries had an overwhelming preference for developing Web sites as their predominant mobile commerce presence,” she said.

That is aligned with analyst firm Gartner’s key predictions for IT organizations and users, noting that by 2013, the combined installed base of smartphones and browser-equipped enhanced phones will exceed 1.82 billion units.

“Companies realize the market share opportunity that now exists where the majority of consumers have accessibility to the mobile Web,” Ms. Dahlgren said. “Companies also are starting to recognize the importance of optimizing their Web sites for varying-size screens in order to successfully reach their target audience.

“Today’s on-the-go lifestyle is helping to drive mobile commerce,” she said.

“In addition, the ability to develop content once and deliver it to multiple channels and screens is making it possible for businesses to optimize and scale their ecommerce investments and reach their customers via their preferred channel.”