Enhancing the Mobile Experience a Priority for Retailers
Two years ago, Oracle + Bronto published a research report that showed 38 percent of consumers were shopping from their phones. The nearsighted among us scratched their heads, but we knew the trend was here to stay and began offering advice on how to adapt to the era of smartphone shopping.
Our newly released report, Inside the Minds of E-Commerce Execs, surveys more than 400 e-commerce executives from around the globe and confirms that the mobile experience is absolutely essential. Forty-four percent of U.S. respondents said improving the mobile experience has the potential to improve sales or profit. And a whopping 95 percent of U.S. respondents said mobile commerce is either critical or important to the future of their brand.
The survey, conducted by Demand ROI, was limited to respondents with a minimum of 200 employees. Seventy-five percent of respondents have both online and brick-and-mortar operations.
How Do Executives Feel About Their Mobile Experience?
Given that 95 percent think mobile is critical or important, why is it only the eighth most important factor in driving sales and profits? Possibly because U.S. execs are feeling confident in what they’re doing to date. When asked about their brand’s mobile strategy, 49 percent responded that they have a dedicated mobile strategy and invest directly in the mobile experience, and 92 percent claim their mobile strategy is working.
But here’s something else the research uncovered: Just over half of U.S. respondents (51 percent) said they treat their desktop and mobile strategies the same, which suggests a bit of a disconnect. The shopping experience on a mobile device is vastly different than a laptop, desktop or even a tablet. We wonder if executives are still thinking that the smartphone is more of a browsing vs. buying device.
One of our other questions might give us the answer. A fuller version of the research included responses from executives in three other countries: The United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. U.S. respondents were the most confident of the group: 59 percent reported beating their sales objectives in 2016, compared with 52 percent in other regions. Is success breeding a bit of complacency?
The research also uncovered some other interesting findings about U.S. retailers:
- Social media is the most popular marketing channel. Sixty-five percent of respondents list social media as their top marketing channel, followed by email (52 percent) and paid search (40 percent).
- U.S. retailers are very interested in dynamic pricing. Slightly more than half of U.S. respondents (51 percent) want to try the tactic popularized by Amazon.com. That ranked second only to enhancing the website experience (61 percent).
- New technologies pique their interest. Forty-four percent of respondents list new payment options (e.g., one-click choices) when asked, “When you think about innovation in e-commerce, where would you focus if money were not an issue?” Social selling came in No. 2 (35 percent).
- Enhancing the in-store experience is on their radar. For those with physical stores, 45 percent believe giving sales associates tablets with real-time product information would positively impact store sales. Forty-four percent said in-store Wi-Fi for online shopping and price comparisons would have the greatest impact.
The survey results suggest that U.S. e-commerce executives are moving in the right direction. They're interested in new selling and marketing techniques, and committed to enhancing fully emergent tactics like mobile. They can see that consumers are interacting with brands and stores in new ways and are interested in making the investments necessary to continue reaching shoppers in the years to come.
As vice president of marketing, Susan Wall is responsible for Oracle + Bronto’s marketing strategy and leading all lead generation, branding and positioning initiatives.
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