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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2890 - September 12, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    4 of 4

Retailers' Investment in Mobile Initiatives Growing But Conservative

By Julia Wilkinson
EcommerceBytes.com
September 12, 2012




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There may be a lot of buzz around mobile shopping, but retailers are being cautious in their plans to spend on mobile and tablet initiatives. Fifty percent of retailers spent less than $100K on smartphone investments and 74% spent the same amount on tablet initiatives in 2011, according to the 2012 Shop.org/ForresterResearch Inc. State of Retailing Online survey.

For 2012, retailers are showing a willingness to spend a little more on tablet initiatives: $207K on average, compared to an average of $55K spent in 2011. And in 2012, only 9% of companies said they would make no investments for tablet or smartphones, down from 18% making no investment in tablet and 14 percent for smartphone initiatives in fiscal year 2011.

"It's easy to forget that mobile retailing is still in its infancy, and unlike what we saw with ecommerce ten short years ago, mobile is almost entirely consumer-driven," said Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. She added that as mobile grows, so would retailers' investments, but they must "first take smart, calculated steps to maximize the mobile shopping experience both now and in the future."

Retailers are focusing on mobile site optimization features over building apps, as the majority of retailers' web traffic is coming from web browsers, even when a mobile app exists and is promoted; six in 10 (60% of) companies surveyed say they have a special mobile site that is optimized for web browsers. In-store, 45% of companies have or are planning to implement e-Receipts in the next two years, and more than half (57%) say they have or will have mobile point-of-sale options within the next two years.

Challenges include a lack of experience in areas such as designing for smartphone and tablet formats, with 40% of retailers reporting that as a problem; while 36 percent cite obtaining adequate budget for mobile initiatives as a concern.

And while more consumers are using such devices, and plenty of companies are eager to provide mobile offerings to retailers, "Retail executives are taking a measured view of the immediate benefits of these efforts - in part because of the myriad of challenges that must be considered when investing in mobile for their company," said Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru.

The 2012 Shop.org/Forrester Research Inc. State of Retailing Online Survey was released Sept. 11 at the Shop.org Annual Summit in Denver. Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, is the world's leading membership community for digital retail. Forrester Research is an independent research company that provides advice to global leaders in business and technology.

About the Author
Julia Wilkinson is the author of "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6). Her free "Yard Salers" newsletter is at available at YardSalers.net where you will also find her latest ebook, Flip It Again.

About the author:

Julia Wilkinson is the author of "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6). Her free "Yard Salers" newsletter is at available at YardSalers.net where you will also find her latest ebook, Flip It Again.

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