Mobile Tops List of Digital Priorities

Marketing, site merchandising also significant areas of focus

Author: Ben Clague

March 21, 2017

Mobile looms large in the minds of retailers.



According to a January 2017 report by Shop.org and Forrester Research, more than half of retailers polled in North America identified mobile as one of the three top priorities for their digital efforts this year.

While the finding is not unexpected, it underscores the increasingly urgent need for retailers to address the challenges of mobile consumers. Mobile purchasing makes up just a tiny portion of total sales—3.1% in 2017, according to eMarketer estimates—but consumers rely on phones more and more in the lead-up to purchase.

Surveys point up the challenges of catering to shoppers who tend to feel empowered by the information they can find on their phones, and a reluctance to interact with salespeople. A study released earlier this month by the International Council of Shopping Centers found that more than three-fifths of consumers expect that by 2020 they will prefer to be left alone in-store rather than engage with store personnel.

The Shop.org and Forrester polling results signal that retailers are paying attention: Aside from the 54% who cited mobile as a top priority, another 22% of respondents named omnichannel efforts as a priority their digital business efforts—the fourth most cited response in the survey.