Is mobile the future of retail?

According to a new report by Shop.org, retailers are investing larger amounts of money into their mobile offerings. The average budget is now $207,000, a three-fold increase on last year’s $55,000, demonstrating the rising commitment that many retailers are making to their mobile sites.

However, whilst only 9% of retailers aren’t investing in any kind of mobile strategy, and the money put forward by those that are is increasing, retailers are still approaching unsure about their goals when it comes to mobile as an overall medium. 60% say their business objectives for mobile are unclear, and 36% say that obtaining adequate budget for mobile initiatives is a concern.

“It’s easy to forget that mobile retailing is still in its infancy, and unlike what we saw with ecommerce ten short years ago, mobile is almost entirely consumer-driven,” Vicki Cantrell, Shop.org’s executive director, explained. “As mobile grows, so too will retailers’ investments in technologies that make sense for their shopper, but to get to that level of commitment, retailers must first take smart calculated steps to maximize the mobile shopping experience.”

It seems that the ultimate goal should be to make the mobile user experience as effortless as possible – and this is a goal that involves much more than the site itself. Patricio Robles, tech reporter at Econsultancy, suggests that other in-store mobile components, “such as electronic receipts and point-of-sale technologies, are likely to be a big piece of the retail mobile puzzle too.”

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