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64% of business looking towards m-retail to satisfy customer demand, says Aberdeen Group

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Customer convenience is the key driver to retailers adopting mobile, with 64% of those quizzed by analyst Aberdeen Group contending that as a result, mobile is a definite initiative for 2010. More than half of all companies also say that they would prefer using mobile platforms for both payment and loyalty functions.

The figures show a marked peaking of interest in mobile compared to this time last year. Back in early 2009, Aberdeen found that the top business pressure facing 40% of retailers is the need for improved customer retention and loyalty, in addition to customer convenience as the next predominant pressure for 35% of leading retailers.

Now it seems that growth in – you guessed it – smartphones and what Aberdeen Group sees as a “stuttering consumer confidence and the unfulfilled need for more digital shopping experience”. As a result, many retailers are looking for a new customer facing process that will capture the imagination of the consumer. And mobile is it.

“The objective is the expectation that such improvements will likely instill brand differentiation and increased customer loyalty to counter flagging same-store sales comp – sales increase compared to last year based on stores open for at least 1 year),” says Aberdeen analyst Chris Cunnane. “It is pertinent to note that the mobile platform can offer both closed-loop and open-loop contactless payment means – gift card, credit, and debit – as well as sales and marketing utility in the form of digital coupons that can be redeemed at retail stores, customer frequent buyer reward programs, and product information downloads to the mobile phone by waving the phone in front of smart posters that consist of 2-D bar codes for product offers. For instance, 51% of all companies indicate that they would prefer using mobile platforms for both payment and loyalty functions.”

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