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Mobile remains the top priority for retailers in 2015 as more consumers use smartphones and tablets to shop, according to a new survey. Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) of those polled place mobile at the top of their list – up from 53 percent last year.
The 2015 State of Retailing Online survey from Shop.org/Forrester Research found smartphone sales as a percentage of online sales grew from 8 percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2014 – an increase of 50 percent; tablets’ share of online sales grew from 13 percent in 2013 to 16 percent the following year.
Additionally, many of those who list mobile as the top priority say their digital marketing budgets remain modest, knowing consumers are coming to their mobile sites whether they are ready for them or not.
Of those retailers surveyed, 32 percent report spending less than $100,000 on their smartphone development efforts in 2014, while 68 percent report spending less than $1 million. As for tablets, just 4 percent say they invested between $100,000 and $250,000 last year. However, eight in 10 surveyed plan to increase their mobile budgets by at least 20 percent in 2015.
“Consumers are flocking to retailers’ mobile sites at a faster pace and with more interaction than ever before, so naturally they expect retailers to offer fast, well-designed mobile services that meet their needs,” says NRF SVP and Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. “With that in mind and with several years of mobile commerce now under the industry’s belt, retailers feel confident in their mobile investments. For retailers – when it comes to mobile strategies – small but continuous incremental changes really do go a long way to keep their savvy customers happy.”
Omnichannel is second on retailers’ priority lists this year. Nearly half (45 percent) of those surveyed hope to improve or invest in programs like buy online-pick up in store, ship-from-store and inventory visibility. This is up significantly from 26 percent of respondents who listed omnichannel efforts as a priority last year. Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) surveyed say their third priority is marketing optimization, including initiatives around customer retention and acquisition.