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Mobile retail market will exceed $12 billion by 2014: Study

According to the report, retailers have recognized that people will not leave home without their mobile device. More retailers are implementing handsets into the retail cycle.

“I think in terms of key finding, retailers are finding mobile a very attractive medium,” said Dr. Windsor Holden, principal analyst at Juniper Research, London. “With mobile, you have the opportunity for far greater engagement and measurable engagement.

“You can personalize the advertising and target the campaigns,” he said. “The response rate is far higher and what we see is a gradual evolution of mobile as a channel.

“In terms of retail, the iPhone applications have really revolutionized how marketers thought about the mobile channel.”

Juniper Research assesses the current and future status of mobile retail based on interviews, case studies and analysis from representatives of several organizations in the industry.

Mobile retail
The report found that the mobile retail sector would initially be dominated by coupons, but noted that mobile advertising expenditure would exceed coupon redemption values by 2013 as digital ad spending is increasingly transferred into the mobile space.

The study claims that factors such as the growth of the mobile Web, the availability of high speed mobile broadband networks and the ever-growing usage of SMS were offering retailers, brands and merchants new opportunities to communicate with existing and potential customers and to offer the ability for them to shop by mobile.

“Retailers have seized the opportunity,” Mr. Holden said. “If you look at the pre-application world, retailers and brands were very cautious about the mobile space.

“The application store has changed all of that – there is a much better user interface now with a richer experience,” he said. “There is a necessity to have some kind of convergence which enables users to purchase your products.

“As a marketer you’re increasing the need to engage a consumer, rather than pure reach. You need to go beyond the traditional advertising.”

Brand awareness
Juniper found that for brands and retailers, mobile offers the ability to change campaigns quickly and the use of a handset in a shopping situation can be effective – consumers can compare product prices, for example.

The report shows that while mobile will be an effective channel for younger users who organize their lives around their handsets, older demographic groups are likely to be less receptive to using their phones in a retail situation.

Juniper sees the mobile channel expanding next year and said that retailers should jump onboard.

“I would say [retailers] should obviously go down the application route,” Mr. Holden said. “You are seeing levels of engagement and response rates that are absolutely unheard of in the mobile space.

“[Retailers] should produce and market their products,” he said. “If you are a retailer, produce applications that enable the purchase of your goods throughout the mobile channel.”