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Survey: E-mail, QR codes retailers’ preferred marketing tools

Washington, D.C. -- With more than 60 million Americans forecast to own a tablet computer by the end of this year, retailers say tablets are driving an increasingly larger share of their web revenue. According to the 2012 Shop.org/Forrester Research Inc.’s State of Retailing Online survey, 49% of retailers say their average order value via a tablet is now higher than traditional web sales. Nearly three in 10 (28%) retailers say they are seeing about the same average order value from tablets as their website.

When it comes to actual sales retailers are reporting, the survey found tablet and smartphone sales as a percent of retailers’ total web sales in 2011 were 3.2% and 1.5%, respectively.

“Retailers must continue to look for unique ways to elevate their brand in such a competitive market. Tablets and mobile devices offer the perfect answer, with opportunities to create specialized apps, drive web sales and create an engaging and convenient shopping experience,” said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell. “Overall, we expect smartphone shopping adoption rates to stay low but fully believe tablet sales will continue to change how retailers garner the attention of new and current customers. With tablet usage marching towards true ubiquity, retailers will continue to plan ahead by examining their customers’ behaviors and shopping patterns.”

For retailers, search and email are still king. Eight in 10 retailers say search and email are the top two drivers of a company’s web traffic from either a smartphone or tablet. Additionally, retailers surveyed report that, on average, 20% of emails opened in a given campaign are opened on a mobile device.

Additionally, QR codes have become more standard elements of retailers’ mobile marketing efforts within their stores and in advertising. Three-quarters (75%) say they now offer customers the 2D technology and other barcode scanning options.

For companies with less than $10 million and more than $100 million in annual online sales, QR codes rank as the leading mobile marketing tool in terms of usage. Mid-size retailers rely more heavily on mobile email optimization, with QR codes coming in second.

© 2014