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Multichannel Retailers Upgrade, but Not to Mobile

Four in five have no mobile presence

April 15, 2010

Website redesigns are in the cards for about two-thirds of multichannel retailers, according to the “Outlook 2010: E-Commerce” survey from Multichannel Merchant. Online retailers are looking to refresh their look and improve search engine optimization, navigation and conversion rates.

They are also looking to add more advanced features, such as social media tools, video, forums and personalized recommendations. Mobile, though, is barely on the horizon for most survey respondents.

Four in five US multichannel retailers polled said they were not using any mobile commerce functionality in February 2010. The most common m-commerce application in use was mobile advertising, and just 6.5% of respondents had a mobile site. Slightly fewer had an iPhone app.

M-Commerce Features Offered by US Multichannel Retailers, February 2010 (% of respondents)

The report suggested that retailers could be put off investing in mobile by carriers’ failure to keep up with consumer demand for mobile data service.

Consumers, though they are avid cross-channel shoppers, have only embraced mobile browsing and purchasing on a small scale. Three-quarters of respondents to ATG’s “Cross-Channel Commerce: The Consumer View” survey said they never researched products on their handsets in Q4 2009.

Frequency with Which US Internet Users Browse and Purchase Products/Services* on a Mobile Device, Q4 2009 (% of respondents)

According to Forrester Research, 25% of US online retailers are planning at least some mobile features for 2010, compared with just 4% in 2009. North American retail executives told RIS in January 2010 that they hoped to increase customer engagement through m-commerce by serving consumers the way they want to be served.

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Check out today’s other article, “B2B Sales Pros Turn to LinkedIn.”


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