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55pc of retailers say mobile’s purpose is to drive in-store sales: report

The report “Mobile Retail Finds New Purpose” looks at the ways retailers, new and old to mobile, view the channel and the standing challenges of using it most effectively. Since it is mostly agreed that mobile POS is faster than traditional POS, retailers’ use of mobile is predicted to increase and mature within the next year, benefitting all parties.

“Retailers believe the overarching purpose of mobile is to drive traffic to the stores,” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at RSR Research, Miami. “I think that’s incredibly interesting.

“When you couple that with a finding from our eCommerce benchmark, which is that retailers are really losing their fear of Amazon, it tells you that the store is a big part of retailer plans in the future: mobile for employees, for customers and for management,” she said.

Ongoing challenges
Businesses participating in the survey continue to agree that wanting to be involved with mobile is still the greatest challenge. In the survey, this option has been available since 2013 and continues to win.

Next in popular vote are businesses seeing significant online traffic from mobile sources and the need to respond and also understanding and accommodating how different customer segments engage with them. Both stand at 43 percent.

However, “winners” and “laggards,” coined by RSR, are not challenged by the same issues.

While only 38 percent of retail winners claim to not know what the customer perceives as valuable in a mobile offering, 50 percent of laggards face the same issue.

However, 44 percent of winners are challenged by understanding and accommodating how different customer segments engage with them, but only 20 percent of laggards have the same problem.

Lastly, 21 percent of winners view consumer adoption of mobile technology is moving too quickly and face challenges of keeping up, zero percent of respondents to the survey that are considered to be laggards claimed to be facing this challenge.

While mobile POS is believed to be faster than traditional POS, it is yet to be thought of as more secure.

Increasing popularity
Retailers that participated in the survey pinpointed several prominent opportunities that come with the implementation of a mobile strategy.

Those include deeper customer engagement to build loyalty through multiple channels, (65 percent), to drive sales through personalized offers, (62 percent), and deeper insights into shopper behavior through mobile site or app insights (55 percent).

More specifically, laggards are more bullish on getting deeper insights into shopper behavior through mobile site or app insights, which make up 70 percent compared to winners at 51 percent.

Furthermore, 50 percent of respondents agree that mobile will help companies’ employees meet customer service expectations.

“Yes, all retailers recognize the need to ‘be there’ for mobile-enabled consumers, but the ability to be there in the future will be very different for retailers whose sales are already ailing if they don’t know what the consumer wants in a mobile offering in the first place,” said Steve Rowen, managing partner at RSR Research, Boston.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York