54% Of Retailers See Mobile As The Biggest Growth Area

A new report from Worldwide Business Research — who surveyed more than 115 eCommerce and multi-channel executives from major global retail brands at eTail Europe’s 2012 event — shows that 54 percent of retailers see mobile as the biggest growth area for the next 24 months. They see the biggest barrier for the retail industry is “too many choices.”

In addition, 39 percent of retailers surveyed predict that consumers will use mobile devices mostly for online shopping over the next 24 months.

“Although mobile buyers are still early adopters right now, and may only represent a tiny portion of overall sales at least for the next couple of years, many e-Business executives are reporting a significant uplift in traffic to their sites from mobile devices. Mobile will rapidly become a core touch point for shoppers as they browse and explore products. Revenue alone cannot be taken as an indicator of importance,” said Martin Gill, principal analyst, Forrester.

64 percent of retailers said they are focusing their mobile efforts and resources on mobile site developments, followed by 14 percent on tablet site development, 14 percent on linking the mobile experience with the instore experience; and eight percent with app development.

The large majority of retailers surveyed said that it will take at least 24 months before the retail industry sees an uptake in mobile payment types at the point of sale, when asked: “How long do you think it will be before the industry sees a mainstream uptake in NFC, cloud or other mobile payments at POS?” In addition, Robin Phillips, director of eCommerce, Waitrose, said, “As smartphones become enabled with payment [technology], customers will increasingly incorporate them into their repertoire of shopping missions and will be disappointed if retailers don’t facilitate for them across all their channels. I think what this will drive retailers to do is to develop a single view of the customer across all channels and be able to recognise and reward their loyalty at all touch points.”

“Very clearly the biggest hurdle in eCommerce remains change [and] change management,” said Thilo Bendler, VP, Otto Group, in his analysis of the results of the following report. Otto Group is a worldwide retail trust with 11.6 billion EUR revenues from 123 companies. “For most this is the unwillingness to change within the companies and less from the consumer side,” Bendler continued.

The goal of the survey was to understand where digital marketers in Europe (or those looking to expand to Europe) stand on some of the retail industry’s biggest issues. The report also delivers analysis of the revealed trends from executives at companies like Forrester Research, Schuh and Waitrose.

View the full report here.

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