This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Mobile Commerce Expected to Surpass $100B in 2014. But Are Retailers Ready?

Stocks in this article: AMZN TGT WMT M URBN WAG

But are retailers really ready for the opportunity in mobile commerce?

"While mobile phone and tablet growth rates are extremely strong, retailers continue to lament low mobile phone and tablet conversion rates, particularly for smartphones, which often have conversion rates that are one-fifth of those of desktops," the report said. "This is due to the fact that most retailers have simply 'shrunk' desktop experiences, rather than creating mobile-phone- and tablet-unique solutions that may gain larger adoption. We believe the best and most creative companies will accomplish just that."

Retailers vary widely on embracing mobile commerce platforms. E-commerce retailers like Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) are obviously front-runners. But traditional bricks-and-mortar stores like Macy's (M), Target (TGT), with its Cartwheel app, and specialty stores like Urban Outfitters (URBN) have optimized their selling experiences for the mobile customer. Walmart (WMT) has invested heavily to catch up. Internet Retailer named home-shopping networks, QVC (LINTA) and HSN (HSNI), as top mobile retailers. That said, traditional department stores like J.C. Penney (JCP) and apparel stores have yet to catch up.

According to a recent study by Shop.org (the National Retail Federation's digital unit) and Forrester, mobile is retailers' most important initiative for 2014. Forrester said retailers and online merchants have "three unique opportunities" to take advantage of in the mobile phone and tablet channels.

First, they must acknowledge and embrace "cross-device behavior" by forcing customers to log-in (even if it's through social networks) or enable customers to email links of pages or shopping baskets to themselves which reduces shopper "friction" as they migrate between mobile devices and desktops, the report found.

Second, retailers must create "mobile moments" by creating solutions that "take advantage of the immediate, time-sensitive needs that mobile phones are particularly well suited to serve," Forrester said. The report pointed out that Uber, the car service retrieval app, does that by showing how many drivers are nearby and how long it will take for one to arrive. In another instance, Forrester said Walgreen  (WAG) has experienced success with a pharmacy refill feature on its mobile app.

Finally, retailers must understand and offer consumers ways to use mobile phones while in stores, such as assisting in finding out-of-stock products, paying for products when a queue is long, or retrieving a coupon or loyalty card number for shoppers.

"Retailers that effectively address customer needs with innovative solutions are likely to see greater mobile phone usage and transaction volume as a result," the report said.

A separate Forrester report on Monday forecasts that U.S. online retail sales will total $294 billion by the end of 2014. That figure will rise to $414 billion by 2018. The two main categories of apparel/accessories and consumer electronics will drive 25% of this year's total e-commerce volume. Still, online sales will represent just 9% of total retail sales in 2014, according to Forrester.

E-commerce sales as measured by the U.S. Department of Commerce totaled $263.3 billion last year, up 16.9% from 2012, but just 5.8% of total retail sales for 2013. The Commerce Department's first quarter e-commerce sales data will be released on Thursday.

--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

>>Read More:

Why Netflix Will Cost More Now

5 Free Wedding Apps for Every Bride (and Groom)

Here Are the Cities Where Amazon Now Delivers on Sunday


Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs