These days, companies seem to be busy doing one of two things – devising ways of maximising the marketing potential of social media, or working on strategies to increase sales through mobile channels.
While social networks have yet to become meaningful sales platforms, mobile devices have proved their worth as shopping tools and brands have devoted significant resources to providing customers with the best possible mobile experience. According to a study conducted by CrossView, they have by and large succeeded in that undertaking but have not exhausted all possibilities for improvement.
The research involved 95 retailers, among them such prominent companies as Apple, Best Buy and Walmart. One key finding of the study into best mobile practices is the gap in mobile strategy execution between the world’s highest-profile brands and retailers of less renown. CrossView established that 90% of the Top 10 club have created websites optimised for mobile devices as opposed to about two thirds of other retailers. In addition, all members of the elite group have mobile sites featuring ratings and reviews while this applies to 57% of the rest. As for in-store product collection, 70% of the Top 10 brands have implemented this practice against 16% for other retailers.
One thing retailers have in common is the lack of a universal URL, as recommended by Google and Bing. This means that brands, including all Top 10 members, use different URLs to host their mobile and desktop websites.
CrossView vice-president of strategy and consumer experience Jason Goldberg said that retailers were generally successful in their m-commerce approach but could introduce further improvements at little cost. The important thing to keep in mind is that mobile should be considered an extension of other sales channels and not a separate one, Goldberg noted.