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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : March 27, 2014

Retailers foresee the massive role of mobile in their future

Retailers are beginning to see how mobile has forever changed the way people shop. The mobile generation's path-to-purchase begins way before a store visit and, more often than not, on a mobile device, as is highlighted in a new report from RSR Research.

by Helen Leggatt

According to RSR Research's "Mobile in Retail: Reality Sets In" report, consumers' love of their mobile devices has 'shaken retail to its foundations'. It is no longer the case that consumer behavior leading up to a purchase takes places in the physical store - researching and even selecting purchases now often takes place outside that domain via mobile.

The influence of mobile will increasingly disrupt the retail environment - and retailers know that. Almost half (47%) of retailers surveyed for RSR's research report believe mobile currently influences purchases more than half the time and 75% believe that will be the case by 2017.

When asked what they believe the most important consumer capabilities to offer via mobile, 58% of retailers agreed on 'search and select merchandise', recognizing the changing behavior of mobile consumers. The ability to receive and redeem coupons and offers was considered next important (36%), followed by paying for merchandise (33%), checking order status (24%) and delivering personalized communications (22%).

Retailers' assumptions about what consumers want from mobile roughly align with the ability to research and compare prices topping consumers' desired phone use while shopping in-store and from home.

"Just as they did with early attempts to sell their products on social media, retailers are learning that the mobile space is more about consumers arming themselves with valuable content that helps them to make the best choices to suit their lifestyle needs than it is about transacting (although consumers may choose to do that too)," says the RSR report of the challenges mobile presents to business.

"For consumers, Mobile isn't a destination like a store or an ecommerce site. Instead it's both a way for them to express themselves and to become more independent. The challenge for retailers now is in how to participate in such a world in a way that helps build loyalty to the brand without being intrusive."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ecommerce, mobile, retail

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