Multichannel Retailers Witness better M-Commerce and Mobile Sales Growth

August 8, 2014

Earlier this year, Internet retail trade body IMRG conducted collaborative research with consulting firm Capgemini regarding some specific aspects of the retail industry. The research reveals that multichannel retailers recorded 79% year-on-year growth in sales via mobile devices, while pure plays grew only 59%. Pure plays are basically retailers that focus on particular products and specific channels for retail operations.

Multichannel retailers also experienced a 33% rise in mobile conversion rates, while pure plays saw a drop in such rates. This clearly suggests that the investments made by multichannel retailers in mobile optimization and personalization have finally paid off. Further data reveals that a third of online retail sales are now made via mobile devices.

While both the pure-play and multichannel merchants appear to be on a level playing field in terms of overall online growth, we do know that the latter group are ahead in terms of mobile adoption, stated Tina Spooner, CIO of IMRG, in a press release. Around three-quarters of multichannel merchants now have a mobile-optimised website, compared with just over half of online-only/catalogue brands.

The value of a fully optimised mobile platform cannot be overstated, stated Alex Smith-Bingham, vice president and digital-services leader at Capgemini, in the same release. In driving traffic, encouraging brand loyalty and most importantly, growing revenues, m-commerce is more important to the retail sector today than it has ever been.

A fully optimized mobile platform cannot be underestimated when put to use in retail operations. M-commerce is highly important in driving traffic, encouraging brand loyalty and ultimately increasing revenues. Multichannel retailers can invest even more in the optimization of their mobile platforms. Even their pure-play counterparts must realize now that mobile is not just a sales channel but an effective tool for increasing customer engagement and in-store sales.

A variety of technologies, such as QR codes and Bluetooth beacons, are readily available for deployment in retail stores. A separate study by IMRG shows that two-thirds of retailers have a mobile-optimized website of their own. Multichannel retailers can also develop dedicated apps by leveraging their past investments. The mobile payments domain also represents an opportunity for such retailers to further enhance the customer experience.

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