What retailers think of mobile marketing

More than half of large retailers say mobile is their top priority, so why aren't they investing more?

Marketers are getting the message that serving the consumer at the mobile moment should be their top priority. So are they investing mightily in mobile marketing tech? Not as much as you might expect.

Forrester Research and Shop.org, a division of the US National Retail Federation, surveyed 71 mostly large retailers in the US to learn about their online efforts. More than half of survey respondents said mobile is their top priority, followed by omnichannel and marketing optimization.

Mobile is a good place to focus, considering that 28 percent of sales now flow through mobile devices, mostly smartphones. In fact, sales via smartphones grew an average 87 percent in 2014 from the year prior. Sales via tablets grew less quickly yet still impressive at 52 percent.

Making Money From Mobile

With mobile, retailers are targeting responsive design and mobile site optimization. The goal is to ensure marketing content is displayed effectively on smartphones and tablets. Retailers say the features and functions of a mobile website that matter most are the capability to locate stores, place orders, receive special emails, identify where products are sold, read product or store reviews, redeem coupons, among other capabilities.

What's missing in a retailer's mobile plans? Try branded mobile apps. Retailers are still developing branded mobile apps but not with the same fervor of yesteryear. Sure, some apps such as Starbucks have been blockbusters, but the majority are duds. A little more than half of retailers said apps are not a key component of their mobile strategy to consumers.

With so much riding on mobile, you'd think marketers would be opening up their wallets. But this just isn't the case. Retailers in the survey reported an average 3.1 full-time employees dedicated to mobile development. While some retailers poured seven-figure-dollar amounts into smartphone projects, half of the retailers said they invested less than US$250,000. Nearly one out of three retailers spent less than $100,000.

Related: Building your mobile marketing strategy

While the majority of retailers plan to increase their mobile budgets by at least 20 percent this year, the lack of investment dollars to date is somewhat surprising. On the other hand, there's no question that foregoing proprietary app development in lieu of mobile website optimization saves a boatload of money. In-house mobile app development and app-install campaigns targeted at fickle consumers are costly endeavors.

"One of the best insights in recent years is that solid, elegant mobile experiences that can deliver a double-digit share of sales actually don't need millions of investment dollars," says Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru in the report, The State of Retailing Online 2015: Key Metrics, Initiatives and Mobile Benchmarks.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

Are you sure they wont start a platform that the cheese is white, pretty sure that is racist

Hite

New brand name for Coon Cheese revealed

Read more

Real digital transformation requires reshaping the way the business create value for customers. Achieving this requires that organization...

ravi H

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

thanks

Lillian Juliet

How Winedirect has lifted customer recency, frequency and value with a digital overhaul

Read more

Having an effective Point of Sale system implemented in your retail store can streamline the transactions and data management activities....

Sheetal Kamble

​Jurlique’s move to mobile POS set to enhance customer experience

Read more

I too am regularly surprised at how little care a large swathe of consumers take over the sharing and use of their personal data. As a m...

Catherine Stenson

Have customers really changed? - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in