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Mobile retail business model still needs refining: Retail study

October 9, 2009

When it comes to mobile sites and campaigns, there are just as many retailers giving up on mobile as there are testing the waters for the first time, according to Retail Systems Research.

The study, which is a survey of retailers, found that the mobile retail business model still needs refining before it is a slam-dunk technique. RSR says that retailers not only understand the value mobile provides, they understand how it contributes value.

“The top opportunities and technology enablers identified in our survey will all take some time to come to fruition: a flexible ecommerce platform, marketing automation tools, even gaining experience with some of the new tools coming down the pike – especially mobile,” the report says.

“It’s critical to get on the learning curve now, so that you avoid spending next season defined by your competitor’s innovation – a miserable place to be during what is shaping up to be a less-than-stellar year,” the report says.

RSR’s Online Marketing Holiday Spending Benchmark Trends for 2009 found that 15 percent of retailers reported first-time plans around mobile applications.

Half of the retailers surveyed reported plans for mobile text campaigns.


In another study titled, Online Commerce in 2009: The Game Has Changed Retailers, RSR finds that despite the enormous amount of interest in mobile commerce, survey respondents report that it is still the basics that matter most: online merchandising and search and browse capabilities, for example.

“However, interest in the future potential of both mobile and social is high,” the study says. “The interest splits along business model lines: store-based retailers are more interested in mobile as a way to connect their channels, while online pure-plays are interested in social as a way to bring a more engaging experience to their online sites.”


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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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