By Rebecca Sentance

A photograph of a colourful clothing store.

With the increasing dominance of mobile across all industries, business owners and influencers in every sector from retail to finance are making developing their mobile experience a top priority.

But a new report by PointSource into ‘The State of the Mobile Experience’ has indicated that few are happy with the results.

The study, which surveyed nearly 300 key influencers and decision makers across retail, insurance, finance and supply chain industries, found that although nine in 10 companies have a mobile website, and eight in 10 have a mobile app, fewer than one in five respondents rated their mobile presence as “excellent”.

In retail in particular, only 37% of respondents to the survey rated their mobile presence as a nine or above, on a scale of one to 10. The report also revealed several areas in which retailers are missing opportunities to enhance the user experience on mobile, track customer behaviour, and implement features that would help to engage and retain mobile customers.

So why are retailers still missing the mark with their mobile presence, and what can they do to improve?

Image by Findio, available via CC BY-SA 3.0

Successes and failures

The report by PointSource found that retail is streaks ahead of other industries in some areas of mobile, such as strategy planning and implementation. 91% of retail companies surveyed reported having a dedicated mobile site, with 84% offering a mobile app. 77% of retail decision makers also rated their mobile presence as seven or higher on a 10 point scale.

“It is no surprise a consumer-dependent field such as retail would be attuned to shoppers’ growing preference for mobile,” writes the report.

“However, while retailers have done well thus far to implement mobile technologies ahead of the curve, there is much they can still do to embrace the next level of mobile capabilities, especially as related to improving the user experience.”

‘The State of the Mobile Experience’ also highlights some key pain points for the retail industry when it comes to mobile, the most common of which are a result of poor design or IT infrastructure. Of the respondents with an existing mobile presence:

  • 48% listed slow page loading times as a recurring issue
  • 31% said that customers were having difficulties navigating on mobile
  • 28% said that a malfunctioning app or website is a pain point for mobile customers
  • 27% said that their customers are currently unable to pay via mobile

This becomes less surprising when you discover that 42% of the respondents to the study said that their company’s biggest challenge to executing a successful mobile strategy was uniting marketing and IT departments.

Clearly, although companies have recognised mobile as a key focus point for the future and are making an investment in a mobile presence, they aren’t carrying out the internal restructuring that is needed to properly support a mobile-first strategy. Too many businesses still see IT as an area to be kept separate from other parts of the company, instead of something which needs to be integrated throughout.

Similarly, over half of respondents – 54% – said that their biggest challenge was integrating mobile strategy into overall marketing strategy: another fundamental step that needs to be taken before companies can be truly mobile-first.

Other challenges that were highlighted by respondents were a lack of internal resources (24%), insufficient budget for carrying out a successful mobile strategy (20%), lack of internal support for mobile from management (18%) and being unsure what a successful mobile strategy would look like (17%).

Source:: Search Engine Watch RSS