September 1, 2011, 10:46 AM

Mobile commerce kindles new e-retailer strategies

Many look to better manage m-commerce and e-commerce.

Kevin Woodward

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Just as the proliferation of personal computers and Internet access in the 1990s aided the emergence of e-commerce, the swift consumer adoption of smartphones is transforming the retail industry, says a report called “12 for 2012: Succeeding in Multi-Channel Commerce ” from consulting firm The E-tailing Group Inc. and digital marketing firm Acquity Group LLC.

Consumer adoption of mobile devices to access retail information, such as detailed product information formatted as text and video, is pushing e-retailers to adopt mobile commerce, says Mark Rein, portfolio director at Acquity Group.

But many retailers have struggled to get to a point where their mobile and e-commerce sites offer consumers a consistent shopping experience. Only 10% of 200 e-retailers surveyed by The E-tailing Group earlier this year said they had a “seamless shopping experience” across multiple channels. However, that remains a goal for many—46% said they plan to do so by next year.

Retailers should ensure their brand is managed so it appears the same to the consumer regardless of the channel, which many are already doing. The survey found 74% of e-retailers said that their branding is consistently deployed across multiple channels.

However, for some brands achieving that consistency may require additional resources, says the report. For instance, apparel retailer Patagonia hired an executive vice president to oversee brand management across its channels.

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