Retailers not ready for mobile commerce

Retailers are still taking a lax approach to mobile commerce, despite many claiming that they know the technology will be huge over the next two years.

That’s the latest from research by app provider Kony, which set about interviewing 100 marketing and IT directors at UK retail businesses, along with 1000 consumers to get their thoughts on the industry.

Although 87 percent of retailers believe mobile commerce will impact shopping in the next two years, only a measly 16 percent have a mobile strategy in place.

A further 42 percent of retailers admitted that they believed mobile commerce was already affecting shopping behaviour, but despite this almost a third had no plans to implement one at all.

Of the retailers questioned, 45 percent said that native mobile applications were the most critical mobile commerce channel to their business. However, 40 percent believed mobile web was more important.  

What many seem to agree on is that SMS is out of the picture these days, with a teeny 10 percent naming it most important.

Retailers expect to spend 21 percent of their budget on the development and implementation of a mobile strategy, while 10 percent are already one step ahead and investing between 40 to 50 percent of their budget into mobile.

Of the 1000 average joes asked, 60 percent said they used mobile internet to make decisions in a store or while shopping online.

A further 40 percent admitted to using mobile applications to make shopping decisions and 37 percent used a mixture of the two.

Plenty of retailers, 74 percent of those surveyed, are making a mistake by tailoring apps just to the iPhone – as 58 percent of consumers prefer to shop and browse on other platforms.

The survey also explored the development of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, and how retailers plan to implement it within stores.

Of the retailers questioned, 57 percent of retailers said they were considering the technology as part of their overall mobile strategy, while a quarter of consumers already want to use their mobiles to pay for items in-store, though a third were concerned about security.

Of course, Kony has an agenda and the sample size is relatively small, so we’re talking heaps of salt to be taken in pinches.