Adoption of mobile will secure the future of UK retail, says Forrester’s Martin Gill

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Gill: almost a third of web traffic generated by mobile

Gill: almost a third of web traffic generated by mobile

Mobile will evolve as the main platform for retailers over the next three years, according to Martin Gill, principal analyst in e-commerce and channel strategy at Forrester Research.

Forrester reports 39% of UK mobile users now use their smart phone for internet access on a daily basis. Talking to leading UK retailers next week at Internet Retailing Expo (IRX 2013) Gill will reveal they can’t ignore over a third of their potential customers and he’ll explain in detail the power of smart mobile technology, plus how to harness this into valuable data and ultimately profit.

UK customer’s confidence in online shopping has increased dramatically over the last five years, said researchers. This has lead to retailers needing to address the drivers of online shopping such as choice and web-smart cost saving price comparisons, as the high street declines. As a principal retail analyst Gill said he can reveal most retailers he works with see 20-30% of their web traffic coming from mobile devices – as a handheld device mobile links the high street with the internet seamlessly.

Adopting new technology is easy for new online retailers but larger established bricks and mortar retailers can face greater logistical problems, said Gill. Creating a compelling cross-touchpoint customer journey can be problematic for older retailers, such as HMV, and result in closure. Gill will highlight how retailers such as Starbucks and Debenhams are creating successful mobile centric communication campaigns, despite their incredible organisational size.

Gill said: “Mobile opens up new dimensions when it comes to analysing customer behaviour. Literally. Understanding a customer location when they engage gives a completely new dimension to understand their behaviour and intent. Were they at home? Were they in one of your stores or in a competitor’s store? We see a lot more activity in the US around understanding and working with customer location from firms like Toys R’ Us and Cabela’s. But it’s coming to the UK, and as smartp hone ownership is mainstream, UK firms have a huge opportunity to take customer insight to a new level.”

Gill will present ‘Starting the mobile journey’ at the SoLoMo Conference at 11am on 20 March 2013 at IRX 2013 at the NEC in Birmingham.