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m-Commerce remains the future of retail say leading industry figures

Consumer uncertainty remains block to full implementation

OMNICHANNEL

m-Commerce remains the future of retail say leading industry figures

The UK retail sector considers m-Commerce to be the future of the industry but concerns over technology, cost and consumer reactions may hamper full implementation of m-Commerce strategies according to survey carried out by the UK law firm, Olswang.

A massive 67% of respondents had concerns about implementing an m-Commerce strategy. Concerns were raised over whether or not the volume of sales generated through the channel would be sufficient to justify the considerable costs associated with establishing an m-Commerce platform. Respondents also felt the business model was unproven and that there was a risk of backing the wrong technology and devices.

The survey was issued in October/November to over 400 of Olswang's clients and industry contacts in the retail sector.Despite the reservations however, 50% of respondents said they were considering implementing an m-Commerce strategy, and of those 33% had already done so and 67% were looking to do so within the next 12 months.

The primary concern (75% of respondents) around implementing an m-Commerce strategy was cost. Lack of technological development alongside a lack of conviction about the merits of m-Commerce itself were also among retailers' chief concerns.In terms of devices and benefits, 92% of respondents said that use of a mobile phone to trade/communicate with customers was an aspect of m-Commerce of particular interest, with the addition of another consumer communication channel coming second, and the opportunity to use the channel for targeted mobile marketing coming third.

Amy Collins, Partner, Olswang, said: "It seems that many consider that m-Commerce is the future of retail, but concerns about the perceived lack of technological development, the costs associated with creating an m-Commerce trading platform and the uncertainty of consumer response make it a risky strategy to embrace at the current time."Notwithstanding this, those that think it is the way forward are looking to enter the m-Commerce market within a relatively short period of time to gain competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive sector."

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