Retailers seeing solid returns on their mobile investments: study
As consumers are starting to look to their smartphones for an enhanced shopping experience, leading retailers are hoping to capture a first-mover advantage in the growing mobile channel, according to a new study by Forbes Insights.
The survey’s findings are based on interviews with 300 executives at leading retailers in the United States. Retailers are seeing a solid return on their mobile channel investments. Sixty-two percent say their mobile channel returns are either exceeding (17 percent) or meeting (45 percent) expectations.
“The ubiquity of mobile devices is changing how retailers interact with their customers,” said Stuart Feil, editorial director of Forbes Insights, New York.
The Forbes Insights study found that nearly three out of four (73 percent) retailers now have some type of mobile initiative in place, and another 20 percent are in the process of evaluating the mobile channel.
Almost half (47 percent) of the retailers surveyed said their approach to the mobile channel was being driven by a desire to capture first-mover advantage and help them increase their engagement with mobile customers.
Satisfaction and loyalty are foundational to many retailers’ mobile strategies. The study found that retailers’ mobile channel efforts are being driven primarily by their desires to improve customer service (37 percent) and enhance customer loyalty (36 percent).
Mobile application development will shift over the next year, per Forbes Insights.
Today, customer service (59 percent) and product availability (55 percent) are the top applications.
A year from now, personalization (55 percent) and phone-enabled loyalty programs (53 percent) will lead the way, the study found.
Mobile initiatives will be getting a bigger share of retailers’ marketing budgets in the next three years.
Sixty-six percent of respondents said mobile gets less than 10 percent of their marketing budget, and just 8 percent say it makes up 20 percent or more of spend.
In three years, 31 percent said mobile will get less than 10 percent of marketing dollars, and 31 percent say it will get 20 percent or more.
Much focus is being placed on integrating mobile initiatives with physical stores, Web sites and other sales and service channels.
“The study shows that retailers are eager to take advantage of the power that smartphones put in consumers’ pockets and purses,” Mr. Feil said. “Still, these retail chains are facing challenges in creating cohesive, integrated strategies in this fast-moving marketplace.”
The study shows that retailers are eager to take advantage of the power that smartphones put in consumers’ pockets and purses,” he said. “Still, these retail chains are facing challenges in creating cohesive, integrated strategies in this fast-moving marketplace.”