The popularity of mobile applications among consumers is driving online retailers to speed up their mobile marketing initiatives, according to a new study from Forrester Research and Shop.org.
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of online retailers currently have or are developing a mobile strategy. One in five have a mobile strategy already in place.
"It's imperative for online retailers to stay on top of what their customers want and these days it's all mobile all the time," said Scott Silverman, Executive Director, Shop.org.
"Mobile commerce has tremendous potential and will no doubt grow to become a significant part of overall sales volume in years to come. Whether to increase customer satisfaction, grow their brand or drive traffic and sales, online retailers are in this game to stay."
Online retailers with mobile strategies:
*Are investing in features that support the cross-channel experience. Product and price information, store information, and coupons to support the in-store experience are among the most popular features that retailers are offering consumers.
*Have varied level of investment. While respondents anticipated spending on average $170,000 on their mobile sites this year, large multichannel retailers are spending several times that amount, while smaller online pure plays on average are investing much less.
*Are experiencing modest gains. Retailers reported that their mobile browsers are generating a little less than three percent of overall site traffic and just two percent of revenue.
"Mobile investment is modest now, but we see that it will pick up in the future, especially among the biggest brands that have already invested significant amounts in their mobile operations," said Sucharita Mulpuru, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research, and lead author of the report.
Marketing tactics such as paid search, email and affiliate marketing command the biggest percentage of an online retailers' marketing budget. According to the report, retailers are spending nearly 40% of their marketing budget on paid search.
Listening to customers is the most significant objective for social tools according to respondents, with 80 percent of retailers reporting that they are pursuing social strategies to experiment and learn. And while 28 percent noted that social marketing has helped grow their business, direct sales from social tactics are not widely measured.