Monday, May 14, 2012

Mobile Retail Apps Equal Sales

If companies have hesitated to develop a mobile strategy or mobile retail apps over concerns as to their value, this article on a report from ABI Research should send them straight to the phone calling the next available mobile developer.  Here is an excerpt from the article, "The results are promising for retailers, with 45.8% of respondents saying the app caused them to visit the store more, buy more of the store/brand’s products and services (40.4%), spread the word about their store shopping experience (35.8%), and even encourage friends to visit the store (30.8%)."

Once a company decides (the sooner the better) to invest in mobile retail applications it is important to recognize this is a permanent project.  Just as things change by season and holiday in retail, so to will the mobile application needs and designs.  Many companies choose to work with their ad agency or other third party developers on mobile retail and marketing apps because of the campaign nature of these applications.
IT organizations are rarely equipped to manage application projects that change as rapidly as mobile commerce and marketing applications.  Most often, the IT organization will create web services and other APIs that expose certain business processes like "order entry" and "track shipments" that are used by these mobile applications, but out-source the design, development, deployment and support of them.

SAP already seems to recognize the value in mobile commerce, for their customers and for themselves.  Here is an excerpt from an article I read last week, "Luis Cesar Verdi, President of SAP Brazil, told Computerworld UK, “Our strategy is to first help our clients understand how to use our mobile technology internally within their organisations,” he explained.  “However, we intend to extend this and get them to offer our mobile applications and infrastructure to their customers,” he added.  Verdi said that this is likely to be specifically within the services sector, for example, in retail, financial services and utilities.
Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile Industry Analyst, Consultant and SAP Mentor Alumnus
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.