Online retailers include mobile optimization as priority for 2013

Alex Walls
January 15, 2013

Site and mobile optimization are among the top priorities for online retailers this year, according to a recent survey.

The State Of Retailing Online survey, conducted by Forrester Research and carried out in conjunction with is an annual survey of 62 companies, all of which had some online component. Of those surveyed, 51%  store-based retailers, 8% were web-based/pure-play retailers, 20% were manufacturers selling direct to consumers and 21% were ‘other’ for instance catalogue-based retailers, the survey said.

The survey found that 43% of those surveyed identified mobile and tablets were among their top three priorities for 2013, Forrester Research said.  These companies planned to invest in new or improved mobile apps and optimized sites, analytics, traffic and conversion growth, the research company said.  Prioritizing site redesign, including overhauling a site’s look and feel, was planned by 27% of surveyed retailers. executive director Vicki Cantrell said retailers had spent a lot of the past year to 18 months developing and testing mobile offerings for customers and store associates.

“While direct mobile commerce is still small, mobile services are now an established and significant part of the shopping experience.”

More than half of those surveyed, or 58%, said conversion rates in 2012 grew compared with 2011 and 36% of retailers said mobile sales and traffic had helped their company’s overall web conversion rate while 29% felt it had a negative impact.

Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst Sucharita Mulpuru said despite mobile commerce’s continued growth, it was important for retailers to understand the opportunites, distractions and implications of mobile in ecommerce in 2013.

“But it’s promising to see that even though there is market pressure to invest in everything from mobile and free shipping to international growth, retailers have improved key metrics while keeping customer service and fulfillment costs in check.”

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