Forbes Insights released an interesting study yesterday that asked executives at leading US retailers about their mobile plans, with nearly half saying their approach to the mobile channel was being driven by a desire to capture “first-mover advantage” and increase their engagement with mobile customers.
The study found that nearly three out of four (73%) retailers now have some type of mobile initiative in place, and another 20% are in the process of evaluating the mobile channel. Today, 66% of respondents said mobile gets less than 10% of their marketing budget, and just 8% say it makes up 20% or more of spend. In three years, however, 31% said mobile will get less than 10% of marketing dollars, and 31% say it will get 20% or more.
What I find interesting is that a good deal of focus is being placed on “integrating mobile initiatives with physical stores, websites, and other sales and service channels.” Today, just 13% of retail respondents said mobile was fully integrated with these channels, but 40% expect full integration a year from now. This is why LBS apps play so perfectly into the mobile strategy of retailers, and why the likes of Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt and others are in a prime position to perfect their rewards-based marketing models and offer retailers mobile engagement like they’ve never seen before.
“The ubiquity of mobile devices is changing how retailers interact with their customers,” said Stuart Feil, editorial director of Forbes Insights. “The study shows that retailers are eager to take advantage of the power that smartphones put in consumers’ pockets and purses. Still, these retail chains are facing challenges in creating cohesive, integrated strategies in this fast-moving marketplace.”
There’s a ton more in the actual study and it’s definitely worth the read. It can be downloaded here.