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Multichannel brands are quicker to adopt mobile-optimized Web sites: report

The report explores the impact of advancements in mobile technology on consumer behavior and retail strategies, and found that 53 percent of online-only and catalogue retailers have a mobile-optimized Web site, compared with 74 percent of multichannel retailers.

“The impact of mobile on customer behavior is right in the faces of multichannel retailers every day,” said Mark Tack, vice president of marketing at Vibes, Chicago.

“Most shoppers are now entering brick-and-mortar retail stores with smartphone in hand,” he said. “This reality creates new opportunities, and new threats.”

“The opportunity is real-time engagement based on time, location and interaction that marketers have never had before. The threat is that retailers’ best customers could very well buy online at Amazon while standing right in their aisles; called showrooming.”

Deepening relationships
Because a large number of consumer use handhelds to search for stores, compare prices and research product details, it isn’t surprising that multichannel brands are ahead in terms of adoption of mobile-optimized Websites.

IMRG analysts equate the reflection to the relatively easy process of replicating across sites once a mobile platform is rolled out, while pure-plays, which have more modified sites, prove difficult to expand.

The introduction of brand native apps also creates more opportunities for sales, customer interaction and enhanced in-store experiences, and also shifts more power towards the consumer.

Increasing traffic
Smartphones have fundamentally changed the way people shop today. According to the IMRG Q1 Quarterly Benchmark of 2014, 34 percent of all e-retail sales are through a mobile device whilst they also provide 48 percent of all traffic.

Mobile technology is allowing retailers to stay connected to their consumers, acting as an adhesive across channels. With a significant proportion of time spent on mobile spent on social networks there is growing evidence of social driving traffic to retail sites.

People are in discovery mode when they visit social networks and increasingly this discovery is happening on mobile. A growing number of retailers use it as an opportunity to increase customer awareness and loyalty and provide additional outlets for customer service, advertising and feedback.

Advertising spend
The boom in mobile advertising reflects this behavior and demonstrates that where people go, brands will follow.

As the report highlights, in 2013, advertising spend aimed at mobile devices broke through the one billion barrier for the first time.

Recent data from Mary Meeker of KPCB released on May 28th at the re/code Code Conference shows that 20 percent of consumers’ time is spent on their mobile devices, but only 4 percent of the ad spend goes to capturing consumers on their mobile phones

“Multichannel retailers realize this opportunity and are working to close this gap faster than anyone else,” Mr.Tack said.

“The stakes are really high which is why mobile marketing has become a top priority for most retail organizations in the U.S.”

Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York