93% Of Retailers Missing Out On “Mobile” Christmas Shoppers

Research carried out by mobile technology and marketing specialist, 2ergo, has found that 93% of the UK’s leading retailers will miss out this Christmas by failing to respond to the increasing mobile habits of shoppers.

The study of more than 80 leading high street retailers, found that 4 out of 5 had made no effort to target shoppers through their smartphones. And, only 7% had any mobile marketing in place for non-iPhone users, despite other devices, such as Android and Nokia, making up more than three quarters of UK smartphones.

2ergo, which claims to be the largest issuer of mobile coupons in the UK, warns that retailers are being slow to catch up with how shoppers’ habits are changing.

John Stevens, joint group managing director at 2ergo, says: “Research shows that more and more shoppers are using their phones in-store to check product details, compare prices and look for coupons or special offers. Last year 51% of Christmas shoppers took part in mobile activity of this kind and we expect it to increase dramatically this year with the rise in the number of smartphone owners.”

Given the 500% increase in mobile web traffic and mobile web usage predicted to shortly overtake browsing from a PC; 2ergo is advising retailers to develop sound mobile marketing strategies and embrace new technology to keep up with consumer habits.

John Stevens explained: “Small numbers of retailers are targeting some smartphone users, yet even this handful are not able to fully profit from the opportunity. For example, 50% of the retailers who have invested in apps don’t have mCommerce capabilities so are failing to use them to drive sales. Also retailers still tend to data capture email in preference to mobile phone numbers despite the increased opportunities this can offer to reach people while they are shopping.”

The research by 2ergo also found that only 1% of the UK’s leading retailers use wider mobile marketing strategies such as couponing.

John Stevens added: “The UK’s major retailers are missing out on a big business opportunity by shunning mCouponing. It’s been seven years since the launch of Orange Wednesdays, one of the most famous examples of mCouponing, yet many of the key retailers still haven’t caught on to the opportunity.

“In a competitive market, a sound mobile marketing strategy can help retailers to revolutionise results – attracting new customers and fostering loyalty to generate repeat business. Our data shows that response rates to a well-targeted mobile campaign average around 30% but, despite the obvious benefits, many retailers are failing to make even a modest investment in mobile marketing.

“It will be interesting to see whether those retailers that have invested in sound mobile solutions are reporting better sales figures after the Christmas period.”