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Study: Mobile Optimization Among Top Priorities

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With more consumers using smartphones and tablets these days, online retailers are working to make sure their content works well on the smaller screens.

That’s one of the top findings from the “State of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing and Merchandising” report, conducted by Forrester Research for NRF’s division. The new study found nine in 10 online retailers are taking steps to optimize their e-mails for mobile, and seven in 10 are doing the same for paid search functions. More than a quarter of retailers’ e-mails sent to customers are now opened on smartphones.

“As consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets in the United States reaches critical mass, retailers know that their marketing mix has to work optimally for all customer touchpoints,” executive director Vicki Cantrell says.

Optimizing online content for mobile has become a priority because material designed for laptop and desktop screens can be difficult to read or use on devices where the screen might be as little as three inches wide.

In other findings, 72 percent of online retailers plan to add video to their websites and 62 percent say personalization features — creating unique pages for customers based on their purchase history, for instance — are a priority. And with more “big data” available, 40 percent plan to increase marketing analytics staff in order to make use of the data.

The marketing and merchandising study follows the “State of Retailing Online 2013: Key Metrics and Initiatives” study released in January, which covered a broader array of statistics and found that respondents saw an average 28 percent increase in sales in 2012 over 2011.