The Impact of Mobile in Retail

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While consumers adopt mobile technologies at a breakneck pace, retailers tell us that mobile’s primary ability is to enhance the overall value of the brand. This is a new development for 2012, and is highly encouraging news. What is problematic, however, is that much of what retailers share in the following pages of this report — their actions — do not line up with this purpose. Instead, many of the findings of this research that the current purpose of a mobile strategy is to serve merely as an extension of the existing eCommerce offering.

Key Findings include:

  • Though retailers overwhelmingly want to enhance the overall value of the brand via mobile solutions, their top-rated technology is to extend already-existing eCommerce functionality to the mobile channel. For now, avoidance of price and product conflicts across channels seems a lofty-enough goal.
  • Retailers underestimate just how much consumers have already integrated mobile devices into their current lifestyles: 52% of retailers believe that mobile devices are used — at any point along the myriad paths-to-purchase modern consumers travel — less than 25% of the time.
  • Even if budget is available, retailers are having an increasingly difficult time finding the resources needed to manage all of the available mobile opportunities. For the best performers, project prioritization and manpower have rapidly become the #1 enemy within.
  • Retailers self-identify the most valuable component of any new mobile initiative is that it be on a write once/deploy many mobile development platform. The second-most budgeted technologies echo the first: device provisioning and management services. While it’s encouraging that retailers are preparing to deal with the complexity of mobile application deployment, it also points out that most retailers fear that devices and platforms are destined to change too quickly. This is what is keeping retailers on the sidelines from enacting more exciting mobile projects.

This report contains analysis of the business drivers, opportunities, and organizational constraints surrounding new mobile systems and practices being used in retail merchandising. The report is part of RSR Research’s ongoing efforts to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends.

To find out more, download the full report.

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