In NewStore’s “State of Mobile Retail” report, researchers at the firm used five measures to gauge how companies are performing in the mobile retail market. After crunching 500 datapoints for each of the 112 brands reviewed, the overall “mobile achievement grade” for the retail industry came in with a lackluster C-minus.
NewStore is a mobile retail platform provider that was established by Stephan Schambach, founder of Intershop and Demandware and who is considered by the industry as a pioneer in e-commerce.
The five areas measured were the key touchpoints along the customer’s journey: mobile experience; search and share; personalization and engagement; path to purchase, and fulfillment. The researchers discovered that while 78 percent of brands don’t offer a “shoppable” mobile app, there are several retailers and brands that are “top of class” in how they use apps. These included Under Armour, Barneys New York, Lush and Zara.
Overall, though, the market has a lot of catching up to do. The report noted that the main takeaway “from our research is that while consumers are living in a mobile-first world, the retail industry clings perilously to the past.”
“For example, native apps are basically missing in action, despite strong data showing their value in improving conversion and raising engagement,” the researchers said. “When retailers do offer a native app, only about half allow consumers to actually make a purchase on it. Even worse, very few retailers promote their apps among customers and store associates, sabotaging their chances of success before they even begin.”
The report went on to state that while “the world is busy musing about omnichannel, few brands are delivering a true omnichannel experience, despite mobile providing an opportunity to actually bridge the gap between the online and offline customer journey.”
By way of solutions, NewStore researchers suggested that retailers and brands build a more consistent brand experience online and with native apps. They also suggested incentivizing adoption of mobile apps with customers as well as associates. Another way to improve the mobile shopping experience and increase conversions would be to install public Wi-Fi in stores, they noted.
“Many industry players are still in the nascent stage of ‘mobilizing’ their brands,” the researchers said in their report. “They rarely achieve transparent inventory for all stakeholders, modern fulfillment through on-demand delivery, social sharing capability, or app-enabled store associates. There are waves of new solutions readily available to bring these concepts to life, but many retailers have not even dipped their toes into the water.”