IDC: 5 critical actions retailers should take in going mobile

Tools

More and more retailers are looking to mobile solutions to increase customer satisfaction, build customer loyalty and improve business performance.

As FierceMobileIT reported earlier this week, a recent survey by the e-tailing group shows that retail businesses are taking different approaches to mobility strategy. Mobility is "easier said than done. It takes time and resources and the knowledge to understand how to do it," says Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group.

Whichever approach retailers take, there are five critical actions that can "make or break" their mobile solutions, says market research firm IDC.  

Those critical initiatives are to identify and align cross-functional resources, establish key performance indicators and test for performance and usability, articulate governance policies clearly, adopt agile implementation methods and leverage cloud services.

"Consumer-facing and enterprise-facing mobility programs top the list of initiatives retailers are actively pursuing, and applying the best practices of the leaders can speed progress and reduce costs," says Leslie Hand, research director of IDC Retail Insights.

Mobility requires applications that will "engage and inform consumers and increase employee productivity," Hand explains. "Mobility brings with it significant complexity and a rate of change most retailers have never seen before. For those companies that have successfully deployed mobile solutions, the rewards have been greater customer loyalty and higher sales and profitability," the analyst notes.

Hand cautions that as retailers increasingly employ mobile apps, their reputation could be affected by app failures or poor customer experiences. As a result, retailers should thoroughly test their apps before they go live, she advises.

"The consumer's last best experience will be the benchmark for all others, and customers will increasingly expect mobile devices to play a central role in their shopping," she adds.

For more:
- check out the IDC release

Related Articles:
Infographic: Top mobile 'movers and shakers' in retail
Industry survey shows multiple approaches to mobility among retailers
Walmart's lab adds to its mobile mojo with Stylr buy