New research from Shop.org and Forrester Research has highlighted a shift in priority for retailers towards a strong mobile strategy.
The State of Retailing Online survey assessed the views of 70 retailers in the period October-November 2013.
More than half of the retailers surveyed marked mobile as a top priority and identified responsive design, mobile site optimisation and tablet redesign as key focus areas.
“Retailers grew their digital business with impressive strength in 2013, reflecting their laser focus on improving the customer experience across all of their channels, striving for a ‘mobile first’ mindset that will be a key driver in all business decisions,” said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell. “In 2014, they will continue investing to further their relationships with customers, exploring everything from personalisation and site usability to all things mobile.”
The survey indicate that a well-executed mobile strategy is now a fundamental part of successful growth. In 2013, retailers’ average smartphone revenue grew by 113% compared to 2012, with tablet revenue increasing by 86% in the same period.
The survey also found that 21% of retailers’ web revenue came through smartphones or tablets in 2013.
Improved usability and conversion rates remain important in the retail space, and the survey indicates that loyalty and customer relationship management will be prominent for retailers in 2014.
Over a third of those surveyed will prioritise improved marketing in 2014, as they aim to both retain customers and acquire new ones. Over half of online revenue came from repeat customers in 2013, and the survey found that this is becoming an increasingly prevalent trend in retail online.
Four in ten of those surveyed indicated that they are looking into redeveloping their websites, with a focus on personalisation and usability enhancements, as well as reconfiguration of the core site experience to positively affect conversion rate.
“Online retailers have proven themselves to be resourceful, resilient, and tenacious, -thriving in spite of fluctuations in the economy,” said Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. “But to continue building on this story of growth, retailers should begin to focus on new areas of opportunity in 2014, such as improving mobile conversion rates and taking an omnichannel-centric business approach.”
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