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Pure-play retailers leading the way in m-commerce

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Retailers such as Amazon and eBay are setting an example to other high street retailers on how to use mobile technology to boost sales, according to new research published this week.

While companies such as Argos, Next and HMV are working hard to develop their m-commerce operations, the survey indicates that online-only businesses are significantly ahead when it comes to converting mobile users into customers.

The study of 1,800 16 to 65-year-olds by Vision Research, commissioned by mobile marketing and tech solutions provider Velti, found that 50 per cent of respondents had purchased products at Amazon or eBay, but only four, two and one per cent respectively had shopped at Argos, HMV and Next.

Results were generated from asking people to name three companies they have shopped at recently, and it was implied by the researchers that the poorer performance of companies based on the high street was down to limited use of mobile technology.

Some 66 per cent of iPhone users and 47 per cent of all consumers surveyed suggested that high street retailers are not doing a good enough job where mobile is concerned.

Tony Lewis, Director at Vision One Research, told Retail Gazette: “The like of Amazon and eBay dominate so it is clear they are driving awareness of their brands through mobile and other retailers must follow suit.”

With recent figures from phone retailers such as O2 and Carphone Warehouse showing that around three-quarters of all mobile sales are for smartphones, there is a strong emphasis by companies operating in retail to attract customers via mobile.

A host of technology companies are rolling out mobile marketing services and this is expected to be a huge growth area over the next 12 months as retailers seek to communicate with shoppers on the move and through the most relevant channels.

Vision Research’s study found that almost 50 per cent of respondents who have received a mobile marketing message from a retailer have gone on to make a purchase from that particular company, and Lewis believes this method of communication has a number of potential benefits to businesses.

“Any message sent on a phone is a good brand reminder – people will forget so maintaining constant awareness is required,” Lewis commented.

“Mobile marketing does increase the possibility of a sale being made and could appeal to impulse shoppers.”

Explaining how mobile marketing may help aid this impulsive behaviour, he added: “People who say they are just browsing are often the ones who come back with the most bags at the end of their shopping trip.”

Whichever way retailers decide to incorporate mobile into their strategies, it is clear that they need to listen to consumers and act quickly in order to stay relevant to the tech-savvy modern shopper.

Lewis said: “The fact that consumers are demanding more from retailers will perhaps make those brands realise that if they don’t act soon and provide a valuable mobile offering for customers, then they will have missed the opportunity and customers will flock to brands that are catering for them on mobile.”

Published on Thursday 18 August by Editorial Assistant

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