Ecommerce Innovators Support Mobile To Enhance Online And Omnichannel Shopping

According to eTail interviews of some of e-commerce industry’s marketing leaders about the future of digital marketing and leveraging new technologies to enhance online and omnichannel shopping experiences, the leading retailers see Mobile as the single most important channel of the next 3 to 5 years. Given the proliferation of Smartphones in the U.S., mobile is a burgeoning marketing and commercial channel, says the report. 

According to some estimates, mobile devices now account for up to 60% of all digital media interactions, while 41% of Smartphone users report having purchased retail products with their mobile devices. The importance of mobile as a retail channel is also evidenced by the fact that Forrester Research expects m-commerce to grow 33% annually through 2017, a projection which does not account for mobile devices’ ability to drive in-store sales.

Marketing Channels Providing The Greatest Opportunity For Retailers In The Next 3-5 Years


% of Respondents





Social Media




Content Marketing




Source: eTail/WBR Digital, November 2014

Retailers are increasingly leveraging mobile devices to drive in-store sales, says the report. In fact, 90% of the e-commerce leaders surveyed indicated that their top priority for creating innovative digital shopping experiences is integrating mobile with in-store. Among a wide variety of mobile technologies that impact the in-store experience retailers can install Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to sense customer movements in stores and deliver timely, relevant marketing messages, and then conduct seamless check-outs using mobile wallets or specially-equipped POS devices.

Cutting-edge digital marketing practices offer a variety of advantages, including the ability to capture relevant consumer data and the chance to connect with consumers in a hyper-personalized way, says the report. Unfortunately, these innovations can be costly to implement and often require specialized expertise

Innovative Digital Shopping Experiences For Consumers

% of Respondents

Shopping Presentation


 Integrating mobile technologies in-store


 Creating virtual stores/experimental stores


 Digital storefronts


 Augmented Reality


 Social Technologies




 Remote customer service & product expertise

Source: eTail/WBR Digital, November 2014

Businesses face many important barriers to digital marketing innovation, including cost, lack of resources, inadequate infrastructures, and inadequate leadership. The panel of e-commerce innovators cited 4 primary obstacles to digital marketing innovation: cost, lack of internal talent or resources, lack of infrastructure, and misaligned cultural priorities. These challenges can be substantial, especially given the amount of experimentation and iteration that can be involved in a successful mobile strategy.

Barriers To Digital Marketing Innovation


% of Respondents



Lack of consumer insight


Lack of talent/internal resources


Lack of infrastructure


Lack of culture around innovation/leadership


Lack of measurement strategy


Source: eTail/WBR Digital, November 2014

E-commerce leaders indicated that personalization heads their to innovate the consumer shopping experience in 2015. As retailers have become savvier at collecting customer data through optimized omnichannel tools and special initiatives like customer loyalty programs, they have begun to formulate a more complete view of each customer. Retailers can now segment customers and develop personalized marketing messages that are more likely to drive action.

Leveraging mobile requires taking advantage of responsive design to optimize emails and websites for any device, as well as developing capabilities to improve in-store experiences. Mobile tools like geofencing, BLE beacons, and digital wallets have the potential to create streamlined in-store shopping experiences for customers, while enabling retailers to better understand consumer interaction with stores, says the report.

E-commerce excellence is not a fixed target, says the report, it’s an ever-evolving journey. However, the panel suggests that some retailers are a step ahead of the pack when it comes to innovative online experiences, such as Bonobos and Amazon. They are seen offering two of the best online shopping experiences with best in- class personalization and great customer service. Considering omnichannel capabilities, say the experts, Gap and Target are considered leaders, with Target’s Cartwheel, for instance, offers a modern way for consumers to find coupons digitally while sharing their favorite products on social media, notes the report.

Concluding the report on E-Commerce Innovators On The Future Of Retail Marketing, a summary of the top 4 retail innovations planned for 2015 includes:

  • Customer segmentation and Personalization
  • In-store mobile capabilities
  • Responsive design and mobile usability
  • Technology to help integrate in-store/online marketing

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