Marketers don’t feel prepared when it comes to implementing tech features that support mobile advertising, according to a new study from WBR Insights. While consumers are becoming increasingly familiar with technologies like augmented reality (AR), chatbots and mobile pay, 52 percent of respondents said they lack the ability to support these features.
The findings show that retailers have been slow to adopt features that would improve mobile customer retention. For example, 41 percent of those surveyed said they only have a desktop website whereas 15 percent have all three tools to optimize customer retention—a desktop website, progressive web app and ecommerce app.
Marketers would be wise to invest in mobile as a sales channel given that 29 percent of respondents said they’re making over half of their sales through mobile and 65 percent make at least a quarter of their total sales through mobile channels.
As more consumers come to expect a streamlined, personalized shopping experience, retailers are forced to adjust their strategies to include technologies that are on the cusp of becoming mainstream. Still, the data revealed that marketers face challenges in incorporating tech features. When asked how prepared their organization is to roll out artificial intelligence (AI), AR, virtual reality (VR) and voice recognition, only nine percent felt they’re currently able to support these features. Less than half of respondents, namely 39 percent, said they’re close to being able to support these features.
Though marketers are ill-prepared to deliver deeper interactivity via advanced technologies, that’s not to say they don’t see the value that these features will create for customers. Within WBR Insight’s findings is a separate study from Vibes, “How New Tech is Creating Seamless Mobile Shopping Experiences” that shows which technologies are top-of-mind for advertisers. The three technologies that hold the most potential for improving customers’ mobile ecommerce experience, the respondents noted, are mobile payments (60 percent), chatbots/AI (48 percent) and the ability to order with same day delivery of goods and services (47 percent). Similarly, the current most broadly adopted new mobile technology is mobile payments followed by progressive web apps and chatbots/AI.
As for technology that marketers have no interest in adopting, 63 percent of respondents named biometrics followed by 47 percent citing integration with wearables.
As technology improvement initiatives gain traction, so too do impediments to updating engagement strategies. The most commonly reported challenges that marketers cited when adopting new mobile technology are budget, lack of internal resources and lack of executive buy-in. In addition to budget resources lagging the advancement of mobile strategies, marketers are uncertain about which features to prioritize due to a lack of clarity about what their unique situation requires.
Given that customers across all generations crave an experience that blends physical and digital, marketers must optimize mobile shopping to replicate a purchase process that closely resembles the shopping experience within a brick-and-mortar store.
The digital survey was completed by 100 senior retail executives.