68% of retailers not investing in mobile for Holiday 2014

Retailers are prioritizing customer-facing programs over infrastructure improvements, including mobile platforms and features.

M-commerce is one of the top competitive weaknesses cited by large retailers, according to a new research eBay Enterprise report. The 2014 Holiday Retail Audit, a U.S. survey of more than 1,000 e-commerce and marketing professionals from retailers with revenues ranging $5 million to $250 million, examined planned investments in retail infrastructure ahead of the holiday season. The results showed key trends to be expected this season in consumer data capture, mobile commerce, delivery optimization and global expansion.

But m-commerce is retail's Achilles heel. Less than 68 percent of retailers surveyed have no plans to invest in new or existing mobile programs in advance of the holiday season, in spite of the growing importance of the channel.

Just one in three online retailers cited mobile commerce as an investment priority for the 2014 holidays, ranking ninth.

"As mobile purchasing continues to grow exponentially, a lack of investment in mobile commerce this holiday season provides retailers who have made this a priority an opportunity to capture significant market share if they can provide the best mobile experience," said Mark Lavelle, senior VP of global product, eBay Enterprise.

What's more, while retailers view Amazon as a direct competitor, particularly in m-commerce, those surveyed still failed to prioritize investment.

Sixty percent of respondents said Amazon had a competitive edge in m-commerce, while 56 percent said the same of inventory, 54 percent said shipping, and 44 percent felt Amazon had an edge in returns. Still, retailers prioritized price, customer service and marketing in place of infrastructure investments capable of increasing shipping speed and optimizing fulfillment.

And while supply chain initiatives including shipping will certainly be critical in winning sales this holiday season, as shoppers increasingly look to their mobile devices—even a quarter of Baby Boomers are shopping mobile—those retailers without a compelling means of engaging them may not need to leverage improved delivery.

For more:
-See this eBay Enterprise report

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