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A Mobile Marketing Strategy is Must

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Are retailers doing enough to serve their mobile customers? A recent survey by Altimeter Group suggests the answer to that question may be “no.”
The research finds that nearly 50 percent of mobile phone owners in the United States are carrying app-laden smartphones and more than 77 percent of those smartphone owners are using their devices while shopping. Despite rapid adoption, however, it appears many retailers are still falling short of shoppers’ expectations.

Altimeter identifies a number of retailers as being in the “hitting turbulence” stage -- somewhere between just getting started and “still on the ground.” Mostly this is due to fragmented organization around mobile and multiple false starts in trying to get a mobile app to market. A key sticking point: Too many apps focus on the novelty of using the device rather than directly targeting a shopper need.

The report also identifies those retailers that are successfully addressing the challenges of mobile -- and reaping rewards. It showcases how winning teams at Best Buy and Starbucks are achieving success with mobile by focusing first on the intended business impact of their mobile strategy, and then on the right application to deploy. The “right” app varies by business, researchers say, and ranges from simple information-based apps to complex multi-channel-heavy apps that allow payment with mobile devices.

According to the report, even retailers with a successful mobile strategy can benefit from continuously revisiting the application, expanding its feature set and platform and broadening the swath of products or brands it serves.