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Survey: Mobile, omnichannel are priorities for retailers


Mobile and omnichannel are the top priorities for retailers this year, according to the 2015 Research Inc. State of Retailing Online report.

About 58% of the retailers by surveyed and Forrester Research Inc. place mobile at the top of their list, up from 53% last year.

About 45% of the retailers surveyed say they are focusing on omnichannel retailing: looking to tie together store and digital touch points for a truly seamless customer experience.The survey found that those surveyed hope to improve or invest in programs like buy online-pick up in store, ship-from-store and inventory visibility, up significantly from 26% who listed omninchannel efforts as a priority last year.

In addition, nearly four in 10 (38%) surveyed say marketing optimization was their third priority for 2015, which includes initiatives around customer retention and acquisition.

At the same time, digital marketing budgets remain modest. Of those retailers surveyed 32% report spending less than $100,000 on their smartphone development efforts in 2014; 68% report spending less than $1 million on smartphone developments last year. When it comes to tablets, just 4% say they invested between $100,000 and $250,000 last year. But 8-in-10 surveyed plan to increase their mobile budgets by at least 20% in 2015.

More than half (56%) of retailers surveyed say that apps are not a key component of their mobile marketing strategy, and an even greater percentage agree apps are not critical to their employee strategy either.

“Apps are simply too expensive to build and maintain for most retailers, begging the question – what’s after apps?” says Forrester Research VP and principal analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. “We’ll see retailers focus spending on redesigning the core site, which benefits the site experience beyond mobile, and embracing responsive design -- an approach that retailers favor over apps, with nearly half already applying it to their mobile site.”

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