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Trend: Gauging Sales from Mobile Devices

Mon Apr 18, 2011 - 9:26 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

A hot topic for many retailers is how to leverage all the smartphones that are out there to bump up sales.

A New York Times story ("Retailers Retool Sites to Ease Mobile Shopping") provided some interesting insights.

>> Retailers report that only about 2 percent of their sales are coming from mobile devices, a number well below the expectations of many e-commerce analysts.

>> According to the Acquity Group, by mid-2010, just 12 percent of the top 500 United States online retailers had sites compatible with mobile browsers, while just 7 percent had apps.

>> Many retailers point to Amazon's apps as worthy models. Unlike most retailers, Amazon started developing mobile Web sites in 2006, before the first iPhone was available. To minimize typing, Amazon offers bar code scanning, voice search and automatic fill-in on typed searches. Type "Har," for instance, and it displays Harry Potter books.

>> Another benefit of Amazon"s app: most of its customers are existing online customers, and once they sign on to the mobile app, they don't need to re-enter billing and shipping information.

It comes down to convenience. And if you think about it, what made self-checkout work at brick & mortar retailers is the speed and convenience of swiftly completing a transaction.

Check out what was said about Hipmunk, a site for searching flights and hotels. Their approach definitely takes the platform restrictions and customer convenience into consideration.


Source: The New York Times

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