Retailers are increasing mobile and social efforts

More retailers are experimenting with mobile and social initiatives with some paying immediate dividends

June 3, 2011
David Kuack

Looking to better serve multi-touchpoint consumers, an increasing number of retailers are experimenting with mobile and social initiatives. For some their efforts are paying immediate dividends and some that are still in the speculative phase. The National Retail Federation says “The State Of Retailing Online 2011: Marketing, Social, and Mobile” report found 91% of retailers currently have a mobile strategy in place or in development (up from 74% in 2010). Also, 72% of retailers say they will increase their spending on social networks this year over last year. The State Of Retailing Online" research series is conducted by Forrester Research Inc. for
Retailers said 21% of all mobile traffic is coming from tablets. However, the overall amount of mobile traffic and revenue has not increased dramatically. Challenges for retailers include differentiating the consumer experience on a tablet versus a smartphone and figuring out features and functionality in dueling app/mobile Web ecosystems.
Compared with past years, social networks surfaced higher as an investment area among retailers. Social networks ranked fourth on the list of successful customer acquisition sources, up significantly from last year. The ROI associated with social is undetermined with 62% of retailers saying the returns on social marketing strategies are unclear, and nearly the same percentage saying the primary ROI from social marketing is listening to and gaining a better understanding of customers.