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Man on the Street: Retailers eye closing mobile conversion gap in 2016

RANCHO MIRAGE, CA – Executives at the Mobile Shopping Summit 2015 pointed to retail clients’ desire to put more support behind mobile commerce to close the conversion gap, enhance the customer experience and boost revenue in 2016.

While mobile commerce has enjoyed a fruitful year, in part due to the rollout of payment platforms such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, improvements can still be made to better cater to retail customers and bridge the gap between the physical and digital world. Consumers must be looked at for their lifetime value, meaning that in turn, brands must offer streamlined commerce experiences to maintain loyalty and entice new users.

Brands that have not yet embraced mobile sites or applications fully may find themselves starting the new year behind their competitors. Implementing new solutions prior to the busy holiday shopping season could be a smart strategy to aggregate customer feedback and test new commerce options.

Mobile Commerce Daily asked attendees what their retail clients are saying about mobile commerce for the year ahead. In no particular order, here are their responses.

Thomas Lichtwerch, vice president of sales at Mad Mobile, Tampa, FL:
It is mobile first. Promotions are critical. It is not enough to just have a good-looking site. A lot of our clients are seeing mobile at about 50 percent of traffic.

You’ve got to find a way to close the gap with mobile conversion and desktop. For retailers with bricks-and-mortar, it is time to find a way to tie in mcommerce for consumers with in-store and associates in-store.

Ian Parnes, senior director of business development at CamFind, Los Angeles:
They are looking at other ways to bring users innovative features in their apps to keep them there. Retailers are interested in finding new ways to engage customers, whether with innovation or easier path to purchase.

Gail Ennis, chief strategy and marketing officer at FollowAnalytics, San Francisco:
On the luxury side, a lot of the retailers are more focused on lifetime value. We are seeing them put a lot of emphasis around building customer loyalty through deeper mobile engagement for lifetime value measurement.

It is becoming an important KPI for them.

Katherine Lam, senior product marketing manager at SOASTA, Mountain View, CA:
[Mobile commerce] is going to grow even more. It has to be more personalized as well as faster for users to adopt it.

Sam Stromberg, account executive at Appboy, San Francisco:
It’s becoming a bigger focus. A lot of clients are doubling down on it. For people who have been doing it for a while, they’re taking it more seriously.

There is more of a shift to focusing on managing the user lifecycle.

Glenn Stansbury, vice president of sales at mGage, New York:
There is more of a dollar shift to mobile commerce. It is something [retailers] have to put more support behind.

Ashley Richards, brander at Branding Brand, Pittsburgh:
Mobile optimization on top of responsive will play a role. Some clients are experiencing drops in conversion, so we’re helping them exceed in KPIs.

Everyone is going responsive; it’s only a matter of time.

Additional reporting provided by Chantal Tode, senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York