Mobile Sales Channel - The Next Frontier

It seems that an increasing number of people are using web enabled mobile devices. As the supply and demand for mobile applications increases, the more consumers rely on their mobile device to do things that they used to do using traditional methods. As we all know, online retail continues to increase and not surprisingly this trend is emerging in the mobile device arena.

According to a recent survey conducted by Aberdeen Group, the percentage of retailers pursuing a mobile sales strategy has more than doubled in the last two years. The obvious reason is the increase in consumer demand. This survey found that 38 percent of retailers are currently in some stage of mobile retail technology or mobile channel adoption. The same survey done at the end of 2008 showed this number was only at 18 percent.

The advancement of mobile technology with smarter, commerce-ready mobile devices is the driving force for this adoption. Furthermore, the move toward mobile channel caused a change in traditional channel management and marketing strategy. Aberdeen data shows that retailers with an online and mobile channel have had to adjust their marketing strategy to reflect the changed channel behaviors, based on customer preferences.

Data from this report indicates that on average, retailers are currently dedicating 41 percent of their annual marketing spending toward the digital channels (online 34 percent and mobile 7 percent). This report also shows that there are three new major elements of the mobile experience for retailers. Mobile web, which usually features online selections and categories of products for information gathering, product demo and feature comparisons is the top component of a mobile retail technology platform strategy for almost half (49 percent) of retailers surveyed. The second highest preference for 43 percent of the retailers is mobile coupon targeting and delivery, which can be tied into customer loyalty programs. The third most popular component of a mobile retail technology strategy is smart phone platform-specific mobile retail at 37 percent.

Of the various digital marketing strategies, the most successful retailers utilize every avenue available. Tying web presence with social media and mobile application is a powerful way to reach out to the increasingly technologically savvy consumers. As mobile devices become more and more prevalent, this trend will only continue to grow.