In the world of retail, mobile has finally permeated the industry. Every retailer understands the importance of mobile technology, whether in the form of mobile-optimized sites, retail apps, or in-store touchpoints.
That’s the good news. The bad news? Many of those retailers aren’t doing a good job of leveraging that mobile opportunity.
According to research from PointSource, retailers at least understand the basic principles of mobile adoption. Ninety-one percent of companies serviced have mobile sites, and 84 percent have published a mobile app.
But mobile is still operating in a bubble: Integration with other departments remains a struggle, and poor internal support of mobile has strained budgets and resource availability. In fact, some retailers argue that the main struggles consumers have with their mobile product are due to a lack of internal support, including effective infrastructure. If true, that likely means retailers will continue to suffer from the same shortcoming: A mobile presence that simply doesn’t realize its potential.
Improving Products, Elevating The Experience
Chain Storage Age cites a number of areas where improvement management could upgrade the mobile experience. With nearly half of retail mobile websites suffering from slow load times, and other mobile optimizations failing to meet today’s standards, retailers can start by empowering IT departments to build a more satisfying user experience. That means mobile optimization that increases page load times, simplifies page assets, improves navigation, and streamlines the checkout process.
Mobile apps should also provide tangible value to users in the form of loyalty programs, app-only discounts, and other app-based services that enhance the shopping experience.
And mobile must eventually be integrated into other aspects of retail selling: Shopping profiles must be consistent from desktop to mobile to the brick-and-mortar store, and it should become a platform to drive better omnichannel order fulfillment efforts.
Contrast these areas of need with the fact that 11 percent of retailers don’t track any sort of mobile metrics. For as far as the industry has come, there’s still a glaring need to adapt and innovate.