retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Internet Retailer reports that a new study suggests that there will be plenty of investment this year by retailers in mobile commerce.

A study of 68 merchants conducted by Forrester Research projects that “web-only retailers this year will invest an average of $37,750 on m-commerce sites, smartphone apps and/or text messaging programs, retail chains $343,068 and consumer brand manufacturers $135,250 ... The wide variance in investment among merchant types might be attributed to the features and functions the merchants choose to offer through their m-commerce sites and apps. For example, a retail chain is likely to include a location-based service in its smartphone app to drive shoppers into physical stores, while a web-only retailer would have no use for such services.”

The good news, according to the story, is that “generally speaking, merchants do not need to invest much to jump into m-commerce when compared with e-commerce technology. M-commerce systems can ride on top of existing back-end e-commerce systems, keeping the cost of entry relatively low.”
KC's View:
There is no question in my mind that retailers and manufacturers of all stripes need to be investing in mobile technologies, both as a way of selling goods and simply communicating on an ongoing basis with smart phone-equipped shoppers who are looking for a relevant and value-added connection to favored brands. To not test the waters is to risk allowing the competition to make inroads that could give them, in the long run, a strong edge in the marketplace.