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Report Finds Retailers are Prioritising Mobile-First Strategies in 2016 to Tackle Disjointed Customer Experiences

  • Almost half of retailers say that 21 percent -50 percent of their web sales come directly from purchases consumers made on apps.
  • 94 percent believe that they will achieve an omnichannel strategy that fully integrates the app within two years.
  • 61 percent of retailers have a transactional-focussed mobile app, compared to only 8 percent that have an experience-focussed app.
  • 80 percent of respondents will be allocating at least 21 percent of their digital budget to mcommerce over the next 12 months.
  • Technological advancements and understanding the impact of customer behaviour are the top two challenges retailers identified that they are currently facing in advancing mobile development. 

2nd February 2016, London – Today, mobile engagement expert Urban Airship has announced the “Mobile Mantra: The Mobile Shopping Benchmarking Report” examining how a mobile-first landscape is affecting growth and shaping overall strategies amongst UK retailers.

This independent survey was commissioned by Urban Airship in partnership with WBR Digital, ahead of Mobile Shopping, a WBR event on the 3-4th February in London.

More than 100 leading UK executives were surveyed including, heads of e-commerce, heads of mobile and heads of digital within the retail space. The full report is available for download.

The report found more than 70 percent of retailers currently have a mobile app, and almost half of retailers say that between 21 percent and 50 percent of their web sales come directly from purchases consumers made on an app. On this stat, retail specialist, Tim Paterson from Urban Airship comments “It’s not surprising that in-app purchases are increasing as a percentage of digital sales. A growing number of consumers prefer mobile apps to traditional websites. And although more digital transactions still occur outside of mobile apps, it’s the crucial pre-shopping interactions taking place via mobile that can have a big impact on the buying process.”

When asked when they thought that they would achieve an omnichannel strategy that fully integrates their app, it was revealed 94 percent believed that they will have reached this feat within the next two years. To do this well, a company must have a full view of a customer across all of its business systems, therefore these results show that retailers are surprisingly far ahead. However, controversially 4 percent claimed that apps are not part of their omnichannel strategy at all.

In the section on optimised e-commerce offering, it is unsurprising that all companies have moved beyond a desktop-only e-commerce approach with a dedicated mobile app or mobile-friendly site. However, the difference between those with a transactional app vs. a broader experience-based app is vast: 61 percent of retailers have a transactional dedicated mobile app, compared to only 8 percent that have an experience-focussed app.  This will be a key growth area for retailers seeking to innovate beyond competitors.

Retail specialist, Tim Paterson from Urban Airship explains “Mobile is more personal and utility-focused than any other screen, so being able to assist customers beyond the transaction encourages more frequent interactions, greater customer understanding and stronger brand affinity.”

On the budget front, 80 percent of respondents will be allocating at least 21 percent of their digital budget to m-commerce over the next 12 months. However, ‘technological advancements’ and ‘understanding the impact of customer behaviour’ are the top two challenges identified that they are currently facing in advancing mobile development.

Other interesting stats include:

  • Retailers were well prepared for Google’s “mobilegeddon” (when the search company prioritised search rankings for mobile-optimised websites) with only 9 percent reporting a decline in search rankings.
  • Most businesses (83 percent) plan to invest in location-based offers over the next year, over half (53 percent) feel location-based offers are effective in driving in-store sales, and the majority (78 percent) are pushing local offers on mobile in certain regions and selected stores.
  • Over half of retailers are running multi-channel in-store campaigns/offers that are available also online.

Nigel Arthur, managing director, Urban Airship EMEA commented, “Mobile is clearly critical for retailers. Almost all surveyed are planning large, simultaneous investments in areas from marketing and platform tools, to security and payments. Retailers are learning the new discipline of mobile marketing and they’re taking advantage of mobile’s unique opportunities to drive better value for the customer.”

Arthur continues, “It’s not easy though. Creating a high-quality app and integrating it with the rest of your business, requires expertise in marketing, user-experience, engineering, analytics, and many other areas. There’s been a lot of progress made, but there’s a lot of work left to do. Many retailers even have separate ‘mobile’ divisions, leading to a disjointed experience for consumers. Over time, these divisions are destined to be integrated much more closely with the rest of the business. Ultimately, mobile is transforming consumer behaviour – it’s a new world of making consumers love your brand on mobile.”

About Urban Airship

Urban Airship is leading the movement of mobile innovators, helping them build high-value relationships through mobile apps and mobile wallets. Its mobile engagement and insight products mobilise all aspects of a business, powering exceptional mobile and omnichannel customer experiences. Studies have found that Urban Airship’s engagement solutions can drive an 878 percent return on investment for customers and overcome APPathy by increasing app user engagement 4X and doubling retention. Thousands of companies and some of the most demanding brands in retail, media & entertainment, sports and travel & hospitality, trust Urban Airship to deliver the mobile moments that matter to their customers and their business.

About Us

Urban Airship is trusted by thousands of businesses looking to grow with mobile. Every day, marketers and developers depend on Urban Airship to deliver more than one billion mobile moments that inspire interest and drive action. Urban Airship’s mobile growth platform is used by many of the world’s most admired companies, including Adidas, Alaska Airlines, The Home Depot, NBC Universal, Sky Media, and Zillow.

Media Contact

Corey Gault
(503) 206-9164
press@urbanairship.com