June 29, 2011, 12:57 PM

78% of retailers are investing in mobile commerce, E-Tailing Group survey finds

59% have an m-commerce site or will have one in the next 12 months.

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78% of larger retailers will invest in mobile commerce this year, according to new data from The E-tailing Group Inc. But most are investing cautiously: 39% of those putting money into m-commerce say they will spend $25,000 or less this year, says the E-tailing Group Second Annual Mobile Mystery Shopping Report, which surveyed 200 mid-sized to large merchants. But the cost to build an m-commerce site or engage in text messaging can be small, so $25,000 can get retailers in the game, mobile experts say.

6% of merchants in the survey plan to spend more than $350,000 this year on m-commerce initiatives; 2%, $201,000 to $350,000; 4%, $151,000 to $200,000; 4%, $101,000 to $150,000; 6%, $76,000 to $100,000; 7%, $51,000 to $75,000; and 10%, $26,000 to $50,000. 22% of merchants do not plan to invest in m-commerce this year.

25% of merchants have an m-commerce site up and running, the survey finds. 34% plan to deploy one in the next 12 months, 22% are considering one beyond the next 12 months, and 19% do not plan to deploy one. 14% use text messaging today, 22% plan to use it in the next 12 months, 24% are considering it for beyond the next 12 months, and 40% do not plan to use texts.

20% of retailers offer shoppers an iPhone app today, the survey says. 20% plan to create one in the next 12 months, 26% are considering one for beyond the next 12 months, and 34% do not plan to create one. 9% of retailers offer an Android app, the survey finds. 22% plan to unveil one in the next 12 months, 23% are considering one for beyond the next 12 months, and 46% have no plans to create one. And 8% of merchants offer a BlackBerry app, the survey reports. 14% plan to deploy one in the next 12 months, 22% are considering one for beyond the next 12 months, and 56% have no plans to create one.

“Mobile has made great strides,” says Lauren Freedman, president of The E-tailing Group, “and its influence within the merchant community has grown.”

This survey is one part of the larger mobile mystery shopping study, where The E-tailing Group shops 50 mobile sites and apps and reports on the findings.

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