Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: US online retailers dialing up mobile apps

June 29, 2010

phone1Check out the increasing appetite for mobile applications among U.S. online retailers.

Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of online retailers either already have or are developing a mobile strategy and one out of every five has a fully implemented mobile strategy already in place, according to a study from Forrester Research and Shop.org, the National Retail Federation’s digital division.

“It’s imperative for online retailers to stay on top of what their customers want and these days it’s all mobile all the time,” Scott Silverman, Shop.org executive director, said in a statement. “Mobile commerce has tremendous potential and will no doubt grow to become a significant part of overall sales volume in years to come.”

“It’s definitely the buzzword in the industry at the moment,” Daniel Latev, retailing research manager at Euromonitor International, said of mobile commerce.

Retail executives agree, saying at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit last week that they are taking the potential of this growth opportunity seriously at last.

Earlier this year, Forrester forecast U.S. online retail sales would total $173 billion in 2010.

“Mobile investment is modest now, but we see that it will pick up in the future, especially among the biggest brands that have already invested significant amounts in their mobile operations,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, a Forrester vice president and lead author of the study.

The study found respondents plan to spend an average of $170,000 on their mobile sites this year, although large retailers are spending several times that amount. Retailers also said their mobile browsers are currently generating a little less than 3 percent of overall site traffic and just 2 percent of revenue, according to the study.

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(Reuters photo of T-Mobile G1 Google phone running Android)

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