- Only 37% of C-suite decision makers at brands said the retail industry is making effective use of mobile marketing, compared with 45% for finance and banking, 42% for consumer electronics and 42% for media and telecommunications, per a survey conducted by experience marketing agency George P. Johnson and shared with sister publication Mobile Marketer.
- Almost all (92%) respondents said they have invested more in mobile technologies this year, but they also expressed disappointment with meeting consumer expectations. The main barriers to introducing new technology, including mobile, were integrating platforms into their current architecture (26%), confidence in the technology (24%) and speed to ROI (21%).
- Ride-hailing company Uber and mobile-only bank Monzo have increased consumer expectations for mobile technology, 93% of respondents said. The most popular technology for more investment is augmented reality, cited by 62% of C-suite executives, followed by chatbots and messaging at 55%.
George P. Johnson's survey of C-suite executives suggests that retailers are missing a significant opportunity to create better mobile experiences for their customers. Mobile-first disruptors have been a key part of driving the experience economy in the past decade, the firm said. Mobile-first businesses like Uber and Monzo that aren't unencumbered with legacy brick-and-mortar operations are driving customer expectations of the mobile experience for their customers, and legacy firms are struggling to catch up.
The finding that AR technology is the No. 1 area for investment is interesting, and likely is the result of the efforts of Apple and Google in the past two years to give app developers, including those who work for ad agencies and brands, software tools to create AR experiences for mobile users. Brands including brewer Miller Lite, retailer Tillys and sportswear maker Puma, among many others, have created AR experiences to engage smartphone users with 3D imagery and immersive views of their wares.
Worldwide spending on AR and virtual reality is forecast to grow 68.8% to about $20.4 billion this year, according to the International Data Corporation, which is in line with the priorities found in the survey. Similarly, retail sales from chatbot-based interactions are forecast to almost double every year to $112 billion by 2023 from $7.3 billion this year as consumers become more comfortable with the nascent technology, according to Juniper Research.
The positive sentiment among C-suite executives toward finance and banking apps is reflected in favorable consumer attitudes. More than nine in 10 Americans (93%) rated their bank's online and mobile app experience as "excellent," "very good" or "good," per a survey by the American Banking Association in November. About 16% of consumers said they would be willing to switch banks for a better digital experience, a significant indication of what people have grown to expect from the financial services industry. Digital-first financial companies also are driving consumer expectations of their mobile experience, with payment apps like Paypal being used by 67% of U.S. customers and Venmo being used by 29%, per the ABA.