Many retailers may be totally missing some mobile shoppers.
A new study shows that retailers plan to beef up their mobile investments in paid search and email, since they see some shoppers leaning that way.
The research, from Forrester and Shop.org, found that more than a quarter (28%) of emails are being opened on smartphones and tablets.
Of the retailers surveyed, most (87%) are on top of mobile mail optimization and they also are warm to search, with almost three quarters (71%) planning to optimize paid search for mobile devices.
This strikes me as looking for the path of least resistance to reach mobile shoppers.
It seems obvious that many smartphone and tablet owners use their smartphones and tablets essentially as internet access devices.
The idea of using a mobile device for email and Web searching is not in itself bad. After all, it could be argued that the ability to send and receive email on a mobile device made BlackBerry famous.
However, the study also found that most retailers are shying away from some of the elements that can empower true mobile commerce. The majority of retailers do not offer mobile coupons, won’t be using geo-fencing and have no intention to pursue check-in programs.
A very recent study of smartphone owners by GigaOm looked at shopping behaviors and found that of those using shopping apps, some of the top reasons were to find coupons (28%), get offers and deals (25%), compare products (20%) and shop for gifts (20%).
These consumers are using mobile apps to shop and they have high expectations. Email and search optimized are anything but center stage for them.
The reality is that some mobile shoppers will use their device as a net access tool while others will use it as a mobile commerce empowerment tool.
For the first group, optimizing search and email may be effective, even though the true power of the device is being grossly underutilized.
Then there is the other group.
And that’s where some retailers may be missing the boat.