Aussie retailers lagging with mobile strategies

A new survey has shown Australian retailers are unprepared for the rapid growth in mobile commerce.

Around 65% of Australians own a smartphone, creating huge growth opportunities for Australian retailers that embrace mobile devices into their retail strategy.

However, new research reveals that retailers are failing to meet their customers’ mobile needs. The Frost & Sullivan survey report, based on a June 2014 survey of 120 Australian Retailers Association (ARA) members, examines how consumers are using smartphones as a key part of the shopping process and how retailers are adapting.

Key highlights of the report include:

  • 52% of smartphone users now use their devices to assist them in the shopping process
  • However less than 30% of retailers offer a mobile-optimised website
  • Consumers most want WiFi availability (68%) and access to information on stock levels (58%)
  • Over 50% of retailers believe their current software could be improved for mobile commerce
  • Key barriers retailers are facing, such as the cost and complexity of integrating new systems

The report identifies five best practices for retailers in terms of rolling out a mobile strategy. These include:

  1. Design for integration – mobile devices should not be thought of as a separate, standalone channel but rather as part of a single, integrated offering to the customer. Keep the customer experience consistent and use a single customer database across all channels.
  2.  Think imaginatively about how to communicate with your customer – consider regular additions of new content, product reviews, and promotions etc. that keep customers using your app.
  3.  Use mobility to drive loyalty – customers love to feel valued and are great users of rewards and loyalty programmes. Although 43% of Australian retailers offer some sort of loyalty or rewards scheme, the report shows that only 2% of retailers currently use a smart-phone based programme.
  4.  Think about the in-store experience – mobile strategies are not just about interacting with customers when they are outside the store, increasingly they can be used to enhance the in-store experience, for example, through the use of QR codes.
  5.  Involve staff as well as customers in your mobile strategy – sales staff equipped with tablets can assist customers on the shop floor without having to go to the register.

For further information about implementing a mobile strategy in your business, contact ETC’s Digital Business Consultant Matthew Angel on 02 66485400.

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