Retailers want product lookup and couponing from mobile apps

October 12, 2010 by Dave Haynes

If you are trying to get a better sense of what retailers are looking for in technology that will help them out, the research firm Aberdeen Group has some new data that offers clues.

The research was focused on mobile retail, but digital signage and mobile done well makes the two mediums playmates.

As spotted on MarketingCharts:

Findings from “Mobile Retail is a Reality” indicate that 49% of retail respondents include product lookup on their mobile retail platform. This ties into more general consumer trends of gathering data via mobile web and thus is expected to be a leading capability.

The second-most-popular capability, mobile couponing (43%), easily connects to existing retailer loyalty programs, while smartphone-specific retail applications (37%) target explosive growth in smartphone ownership. Smartphones also provide unique graphical and interactive capabilites that greatly enhance retailers’ ability to perform branding and provide customer service.

Retailers Seek Back End Reporting, Security

On the back end of their mobile platforms, only 18% of retailers have digital dashboards and/or visualization tools for performance reporting and 21% have encryption technology. However, 62% plan to implement reporting tools in the next 12-24 months and 55% plan to implement encryption. This shows a strong intent by retailers to better monitor mobile activities.

Back-end tools with the highest current implementation rates, content management, SMS messaging, and CRM manager, all deal with customer outreach and communication. Basic customer communication is the easiest activity to perform via mobile device and thus it is not surprising the largest percentage of respondents have implemented these mobile tools.

Targeting Most Commonly Received Benefit

Better customer targeting (by region and demographic) is the mobile retail benefit received (14%) by the largest percentage of respondents, and is expected by a healthy 60%.

However, while only 2% of respondents currently receive an improved brand image from their mobile retail efforts, a leading 88% expect to improve their brand image. This is closely followed by improved customer satisfaction (7% received, 81% expected) and customer retention (7% received, 78% expected).

It is interesting that the one “hard” benefit on the list, decreased marketing cost, has only been received by 13% of respondents and is only expected by 36%, with half (51%) not expecting it. This suggests that for most retailers, mobile retail is more about improved customer relationships than directly higher profits.

About the Data: Aberdeen surveyed 129 retailers about their mobile retail activities.

Leave a comment