Friday, September 28, 2012

Retailers: Prepare for m-Commerce Boom

New research conducted by NetSuite Inc. (NYSE: N), the industry's leading provider of cloud-based financials and ERP software suites, has revealed that the UK high street is expecting an unprecedented £11bn growth from m-Commerce business over the coming year. The report is based on economic models provided by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) and primary research conducted by Vanson Bourne, analysing 200 UK high street retail brands - including 7 of the top 10 retailers in the UK.
Key Findings of the Report:
  • 87% of retailers are optimistic about growth prospects in the year ahead despite macro-economic volatility, backdrop of recession and retailer woes in 2011.
  • On average, retailers expect to see 10 percent revenue growth, but m-Commerce is expected to grow at a rate of 23% - from £45bn this year to £56bn in 2012.
  • Two thirds (67%) of the high street already has a mobile app, rising to 80% when you include those that plan to implement one in next 12 months.
  • The top platforms for mobile apps are iOS (48%), Android (45%), Windows Phone (30%) and Blackberry (23%).
  • The biggest challenges to deploying mobile commerce are integration into other e-Commerce systems (38%), lack of budget to develop a site or app (37%) and a lack of understanding on how to deliver a good m-commerce experience (15%).

It seems as though the UK’s double-dip recession has had less of an effect on high street retailers than anticipated, with the average retailer expecting a 10% increase in revenue over the next year. The massive growth in smartphone and tablet uptake amongst consumers has also lead to a significant increase in the development of mobile services – 73% of retailers already offer a mobile-optimised eCommerce website/smartphone app, with a further 7% planning to implement one within the coming year. The most notable challenges for retailers in developing an m-commerce experience are integration with other e-commerce systems (38%) lack of budget (37%) and a lack of understanding on how to deliver a compelling experience (15%).
The report also investigates the top m-Commerce app platforms for the UK high street, with Apple's iOS (48% of retailers offer an iOS app) holding a small lead on Google's Android (45%), despite the latter's larger overall market share. Despite having a relatively small market share amongst consumers, Windows is in third place with 30% of retailers offering apps on their platform. Blackberry is lagging behind with only 23% of retailers deploying apps for RIM's mobile platform.
Netsuite’s General Manager of Commerce, Andy Lloyd, said: “Few people would have guessed that m-commerce would move from a nice-to-have to an essential part of your e-commerce sales platform this quickly. Most retailers are now in a race to get their house in order and deliver a mobile channel for their customers before they lose out to the competition.”
In summary, this research is indicative of a growing emphasis on m-Commerce from retailers – something that was always inevitable, given the unparalleled rise in popularity of smartphones and tablet devices. Companies who do not keep up with these advancing technological demands run the risk of being left behind and missing out on a hugely valuable, rapidly expanding market.

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