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87pc of retailers investing more in mobile email this year:

July 17, 2013

Optimizing for mobile

The majority of top retailers either are using or have plans to implement mobile email tactics in 2013, according to a new report from and Forrester Research.

“The State Of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing & Merchandising” report from Forrester for National Retail Federation’s points to email and paid search as being top priorities for retailers today. The report signals that although some retailers have been late to the game with mobile, retailers are expected to pour more money into the medium for the second part of 2013.

“I think that retailers are increasingly nervous about services such as Amazon,” said Mary Minno, vice president of business development at Paystik, San Francisco.

“Retailers are really starting to understand the ability to directly address the consumer,” she said.

“They are looking to channels such as mobile, social and email to stay top-of-mind versus Amazon that is a price-comparison shopping experience.”

Ms. Minno is not affiliated with She commented based on her expertise on the subject. did not meet press deadline.

Mobile retail
Given email’s role in customer retention, retailers are increasingly focusing on optimizing campaigns for mobile as consumers continue to take to mobile devices first to read email.

Retailers need to not only focus on optimizing the content and links, but also consider subject headers and messages that will resonate most with mobile users since many consumers will not reopen an email from a desktop once it is opened on a mobile device.

In fact, 28 percent of retailers surveyed said that emails sent to consumers are first opened on a smartphone. Mobile email plays an even larger role for small retailers with 42 percent of opens first happening on a smartphone.

Eighty percent of retailers surveyed said that they are likely to invest more in mobile email this year, showing that some retailers might be getting the hang of using mobile for both retention and acquisition purposes.

Paid search continues to be at the top of retailers’ mobile needs, according to the report. Seventy-one percent of retailers are optimizing mobile search for smartphones and 73 percent are focusing on tablet search.

Mobile measurement
The study also singles out mobile analytics as a priority for retailers to better understand how consumers use their mobile devices to create more personalized experiences.

Forty percent of retailers plan to bring in more positions for mobile analytics. Retailers leveraging mobile analytics are heavily investing in A/B testing to nail down the right set of features on mobile applications and sites.

Similarly, omnichannel is an approach that retailers are increasingly moving towards.

Seventy-two percent of retailers plan to invest in integrating video into their sites, and 62 percent of retailers want to focus on personalization and recommendations on product pages this year.

Streamlining the checkout process is also expected to be a bigger priority for retailers in addition to focusing on personalized experiences.

“Analytics are huge for retailers because there is a drop-off in shopping carts,” Ms. Minno said.

“The more retailers can optimize their funnel for ease-of-purchase, the better prepared they are to stand up against Amazon and one-click checkout experiences,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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