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Mcommerce is fastest-growing mobile channel: Forrester

At the June 23 “Forrester Research: What Retailers Need to Know When Selecting and Implementing an Mcommerce Offering” webinar, two industry experts discussed the growth of ecommerce in the past year and predicted how the platform will continue to accelerate the mobile industry in the future.

“Despite the increase in ecommerce, retailers still don’t have a firm, developed strategy for it,” said Peter Sheldon, senior analyst at Forrester Research, Cambridge, MA.

“Most retailers are still in early days of developing a strategy and don’t understand how important it really is,” he said.

According to Forrester’s findings, 43 percent of online retailers have not defined a mobile commerce strategy, and 71 percent of eBusiness managers said they have average or below average mobile expertise.

Use what you have
Mr. Sheldon said that Forrester found that 69 percent of retailers surveyed plan to increase their mobile investments this year and 71 percent of retailers already have mobile efforts and strategies.

However, only 29 percent of retailers admitted to having a mature, well-executed strategy that they have implemented and are now refining.

According to Mr. Sheldon, the first step for retailers is to look at what the company is currently doing with a mobile strategy and look for ways to improve it.

After understanding what the retailer has, the next part of creating a mobile strategy is determining if the company has the resources to accelerate their mobile efforts to either develop mobile platforms in-house or to outsource them.

When surveyed, 38 percent of participants said that they believed they did not have the right skills and expertise to approach mobile.

“The majority of retailers don’t know which platforms to use mobile on and what to leverage,” Mr. Sheldon said.

“One way to better understand what your mobile platforms you should be tapping into is by getting to know your consumers through focus groups and understanding what their expectations are for a mobile experience,” he said.

Satisfy customers
In addition to getting into the market, it is also important to make sure you are giving customers exactly what they want, said an executive from mobile marketing company Netbiscuits.

“Retailers that rush into mobile platforms just to be on board isn’t the right approach,” said Craig Besnoy, Reston, VA-based United States managing director at Netbiscuits.

When asked what are a company’s top three priorities for using a mobile platform, 66 percent said to their main goal was to increase customer engagement, and 55 percent said their goal was to improve customer satisfaction.

“One of the main concerns we always hear from clients is that users are afraid of mobile because of the security threats,” Mr. Besnoy said.

“Consumers are still skeptical of mobile transactions because the technology can be confusing and overwhelming to them,” he said.

“The key is to talk mobile payments through with consumers and change their perception.”