Shopping on your smartphone: Retailers ramp up app plans

Shoppers want to buy on their mobile phones and retailers are starting to respond
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor on

Shoppers want to buy on their mobile phones and retailers are starting to respond

Shopping via mobile is set to become more commonplace over the next year, with a significant proportion of retailers saying they plan to have mobile commerce technology up and running in the next year.

According to a survey by eDigitalResearch, 41 per cent of UK retailers said they intend to have a transactional mobile site or app in place within the next 12 months.

Some 94 per cent of those queried also said they see the mobile sales channel as a real opportunity for their business. More than half (59 per cent) of respondents said they expect their mobile revenues to increase during that period.

The expected increase is perhaps unsurprising given the low base many retailers are starting from: around two-thirds (63 per cent) of companies said they receive less than one per cent of their total revenues through mobile channels or fail to measure mobile revenues at all, the research found.

The main reason cited by respondents for the low level of mobile-based revenue is a lack of knowledge and expertise around the technology in companies.

Nevertheless, shoppers are already interested in mobile commerce: according to researchers comScore, 4.2 million UK consumers visit mobile retail websites every month.

retailers need to get up to speed with mobile commerce

Consumers are flocking to retail websites on their mobiles and retailers need to respond
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

However, just four of the 20 most visited retail websites are optimised for mobile devices and just eight of the 20 have a smartphone app.

Alex Kozloff, mobile manager for the Internet Advertising Bureau, which commissioned the research along with the Association for Interactive Media and Entertainment, and Interactive Media in Retail Group - said many retailers find the prospect of moving to mobile commerce daunting due to the jargon and technology involved.

But with shoppers already visiting retail websites on their handsets, Kozloff said businesses should make sure their mobile offerings measure up to the experience of their other sales channels.

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