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IRX 2013 PREVIEW Mobile will become ‘the main platform for retailers over the next three years’

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Mobile will evolve as the main platform for retailers over the next three years says Martin Gill of Forrester Research.

The comments came ahead of next week’s Internet Retailing Expo (IRX 2013), where Gill is a speaker in the SoLoMo conference.

Gill, principal analyst in ecommerce and channel strategy at Forrester, points to figures that show 39% of UK mobile users now use their smartphone for internet access every day. Gill will tell retailers at next week’s IRX 2013 that they can’t afford to ignore more than a third of their potential customers. He’ll also explain the power of smart mobile technology, as well as how to harness this into valuable data and ultimately profit.

UK customers’ confidence in online shopping has increased dramatically over the last five years. This has led 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. Gill says most of the retailers he works with see 20-30% of their web traffic coming from mobile devices and emphasises its role in seamlessly linking the high street with online.

While adopting new technology may be easier for new online retailers, larger established bricks and mortar retailers can face greater logistical problems. Creating a compelling cross-touchpoint customer journey can be problematic for older retailers. Gill will highlight how retailers such as Starbucks and Debenhams are creating successful mobile-centric communication campaigns, despite the size of their organisations.

He’ll also take a look at the future retail landscape of the UK. “Mobile opens up new dimensions when it comes to analysing customer behaviour,” said Gill. “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 smartphone ownership is mainstream, UK firms have a huge opportunity to take customer insight to a new level.”

Learn more how your business can benefit from mobile technology by coming along to IRX 2013 where Martin Gill will speak on Starting the mobile journey at the SoLoMo Conference. He will appear at 11am on March 20 at the event, to be held in the NEC in Birmingham.

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