June 6, 2011, 2:10 PM

More money flows to mobile, Forrester Research finds

The firm says 40% of business managers plan to develop a mobile site.

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Many business managers have plans to develop mobile-optimized web sites and mobile apps.

Investment in mobile web and app development is poised to grow this year as Forrester Research Inc. finds that many business managers anticipate adding new mobile services.

In its “Mobile Channel Strategy: An Overview” report, Forrester says 40% of the 58 online business managers it surveyed plan to developed a mobile-optimized web site. The business managers were from various industries, including retail. They are responding to the tremendous growth from 4% in 2007 to 12% in 2010 in the number of consumers who access the web via a mobile phone, notes report author Peter Wannemacher.

Mobile app development also is expected to grow. Forrester’s survey found that 43% of these companies offer a mobile app for Apple Inc.’s iPhone, with another 50% planning to offer one.

These firms also are looking beyond the iPhone to other smartphone systems, such as Google Inc.’s Android and Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry. While only 24% of the companies currently have apps for these smartphones, 60% plan to introduce a mobile app for these devices, Forrester says.

Much of that work will get started this year. Forrester says 69% of respondents plan to increase their mobile investment this year. Only 2% said they had no plans to invest in mobile, with 12% unsure. 5% planned to spend less than they did in 2010, and 12% planned to spend about the same in 2011 as they did last year, Forrester says.

“Mobile isn’t just another shiny object,” Wannemacher writes in the report. “It’s one of an ever-increasing number of touchpoints in which companies can engage their customers. Understanding how your customers use mobile in concert with other touchpoints is central to the evolution from multichannel to agile commerce.”

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