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Retailers slow to meet mobile commerce demand

New research shows retailers slow to meet mobile commerce demand

As mobile user numbers skyrocket, 80% of e-commerce businesses are unprepared with mobile commerce strategy

Despite rapid growth among mobile internet users and demand for mobile commerce (m-commerce) sites, the majority of retailers around the world don’t have an m-commerce strategy in place, new research from SLI Systems shows.

More than 400 online retailers from Australia, the U.S., Europe, Asia and New Zealand took part in SLI Systems’ recent survey, with results indicating that a staggering 80% of e-commerce companies are yet to adopt a strategy to support the needs of mobile shoppers.

Shaun Ryan, CEO of SLI Systems, explains, “What’s most interesting about the findings is that 56% of the businesses we surveyed believe that a mobile commerce strategy is very important or important to their overall business success, and yet more than 80% are yet to implement a mobile marketing strategy to support this belief.”

However, while many online retailers may be slow to adopt m-commerce, most recognise the opportunity and plan to address it in the near future. Currently, 83% of e-commerce organisations say between 1-10% of visitors access their sites from mobile browsers, while 12% cite that 11-20% get to their sites through the mobile web. These numbers are expected to grow substantially, with 85% of new mobile handsets equipped to browse the internet, according to Gartner research.

Ryan continues, “Recent results from a Nielsen survey showed that 73% of local mobile users conduct internet searches on-the-go, which has increased from 30% in just 12 months. This upswing in mobile internet use represents a significant opportunity for companies that have already optimised their sites for the mobile market, but our research shows that most retailers are still in a wait-and-see mode.

“E-commerce businesses need to take this new shopping trend very seriously. By preparing to capture the new business opportunities presented by the mobile web now, retailers will enjoy huge benefit to their bottom line in the near future and beyond.”

Key outcomes of the survey

– 56% believe a mobile commerce strategy is very important or important to their overall business

– 38% agree that m-commerce compatibility is important for driving sales

– 70% plan to embark on an m-commerce strategy within the next two years.

Other survey highlights

Mobile commerce apps:

– 51% of e-commerce companies do not consider the iPad to be a mobile device (they say iPad users can utilise their current website); but 31% will direct iPad to their mobile site.

Mobile commerce site features:

– 79% say site search is important to a mobile website strategy and 61% are confident site search capabilities on a mobile site will generate additional conversions.

– The top four features online retailers cite as the most important to enhancing the m-commerce experience are navigation, site search, product pages and product reviews.

Mobile commerce site development:

– For companies looking to build their m-commerce sites, 31% will utilise in-house resources, 28% will outsource the work to a third party developer, 36% will use a combination of both in-house and outsourced resources and the remainder are unsure.

Survey Methodology

The “2010 Mobile Commerce Survey” was conducted online by Zoomerang on behalf of SLI Systems. The poll, which gathered feedback from 419 e-commerce business managers and executives globally, was conducted from May 24 to June 1, 2010.

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