29 November 2010 | Tanya Goodin

Mobile set to miss out on great Christmas presence…

Christmas is a time for surprise and delights but our new online retail research has delivered only the first of those two joys.

Not that this is a bad thing – the lessons we’ve drawn from our consumer survey and web study should help both retailers, marketers and a wide range of brands meet the multi-channel challenges of 2011 fully prepared.

We’ve published our Online Christmas Retail 2010 white paper this morning and the big surprise is that only 19% of people we polled plan to use mobile to buy Christmas goods this year.

That was a shock, particularly because we’ve seen a lot of studies this year that show massive uptake of mobile internet across all age groups, with older women significantly embracing the handheld as a way to connect and communicate.

As you know, we’ve focused heavily this year on the changing ‘rules of engagement’ online particularly through the rapid development of mobile web and mobile apps. We share the general view that 2010 was the year when Mobile Internet finally came of age.

Influenced no doubt by a whole range of prominent studies, the top online retailers have been rushing to be “mobile ready”. Our Retail white paper finds that more than half of top online retailers have either a mobile app or mobile web portal.

So why is there a gap between consumer and retailer? Many consumers told us that security and ease of use were big obstacles to using mobile to shop. Some consumers suggested that they were unconvinced that mobile shopping was safe and others pointed to issues over payment processes ‘on-the-move’ – for example, using a credit card in a public space – a train, bus and so on.

While our Retail white paper makes for sobering reading, it also points to a much more mature way for brands to engage with consumers through mobile in 2011. It suggests that online retailers have a lot of work to do after Christmas to convince consumers that mobile is secure and they all need to work harder to introduce simpler payment systems.

Do let us know your thoughts and predictions for mobile in 2011, which we are sure will see a much better approach to multi-channel marketing and sales.

Tanya Goodin

Tanya Goodin

Founder of Tamar