May 1, 2012, 12:00 AM

Retailers invest more in mobile commerce as mobile sales and traffic keep rising

Retailers invest more in mobile commerce as mobile sales and traffic keep rising.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Lead Photo

E-retailers are raising their investment level in mobile commerce as the channel shows it can generate real traffic and sales. 11% of retailers will invest $201,000 or more in mobile commerce this year compared with 8% in 2011. Another 19% will invest $101,000 to $200,000 this year compared with 8% last year, according to the findings of a new survey from research and advisory firm The E-tailing Group Inc.

The firm surveyed 147 senior e-commerce executives at retailers ranging in size from less than $1 million a year in annual sales to more than $5 billion.

14% of retailers will invest $51,000 to $100,000 in m-commerce this year compared with 13% last year, the survey finds. 39% will invest $50,000 or less, down from 49% in 2011. And 17% of merchants will not make an investment in mobile technology this year, down from 22% in 2011.

Big increases in traffic stemming from smartphones and tablets no doubt are a key factor driving investment. 26% of retailers currently receive 10% or more of their online traffic from mobile devices, while for 25% mobile represents 5-9.9% of traffic, the survey says. In 2011, only 9% saw 5% or more of their traffic come from mobile.

Like traffic, revenue stemming from transactions conducted using smartphones and tablets is up considerably. For 5% of retailers, 10% or more of their annual sales come from consumers using mobile devices; for 18%, mobile accounts for 5-9.9% of sales, the survey finds. A mere 1% made 5% or more of their annual sales in m-commerce in 2011.

Retailers may also want to make special note of tablet shoppers, the E-tailing Group says. 22% of retailers surveyed say the conversion rate for shoppers on tablets is significantly or somewhat higher than that for PC shoppers. 21% says it is about the same, 23% say it is significantly or somewhat lower, and 34% do not know.



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