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Survey: 28% of retailers lack mobile commerce plans

Despite nearly all saying mobile commerce will have an effect on brick-and-mortar sales within two years

More than a quarter of retailers (28 percent) do not have a mobile commerce strategy in place and have no plans to implement one, a new survey has found.

This is despite 87 percent of retailers saying that mobile commerce is already affecting, or will affect in the next two years, brick-and-mortar sales.

The survey, carried out by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Kony Solutions, which enables companies to provide applications to any mobile device, questioned 100 IT and marketing managers at UK retail businesses.

It found that just 16 percent had a mobile commerce strategy - which includes all mobile strategies, not just transactional ones - that was fully in place. Nearly a fifth (18 percent) said they had implemented some aspects of their strategy, while eight percent said they had a plan but had not yet implemented it.

The current low implementation rate may be explained by the fact that only six percent of retailers believed that mobile commerce is already as popular as online stores, and 12 percent think it will be as popular within a year. Eleven percent even believe that mobile commerce will never be as popular.

However, the majority of respondents, 41 percent, believed that mobile commerce will grow in popularity within two years.

"From our perspective, [mobile commerce strategies are not widespread] because it's hard to support all the different mobile devices, such as the iPhone, Android and tablets," said David Eads, product marketing manager at Kony.

"It's very difficult to identify the different channels and the conversions [rates] in those channels and doing path analysis in a native application for retailers is very difficult."

Eads also said that the trend in retail mirrored the one in the banking sector over the last few years.

"There's no clear consensus among retailers that mobile is going to happen. We saw the same in banking.

"In banking, the ones that were boldest [with their mobile investment], they were the ones that benefited from being out there as leaders. Others that had more timid strategies tended to not fare as well."


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