Mobility research 2014: Mobility fueling the digital surge

Mobile, cloud, social media and analytics have given birth to an age where technology has become the foundation of any successful business.

Digital is a prime driver of market differentiation, business growth, innovation, adaptability, collaboration and profitability.

In short, every business is now a digital business, and the C-level executives who understand the benefits of digital are those that are likely to be most successful.

To shed light on how companies currently view and use digital technologies—especially mobility, one of the key enablers of the digital business—Accenture surveyed nearly 1,500 C-level executives, including 130+ retailers in 14 countries around the world.

Retail Industry High-Level Findings

  • Retail respondents are less likely than global respondents to have aggressively pursued and invested in mobile technologies across their business and to consider mobility a key part of their business strategy. They are more likely to say they are very interested in mobile technologies and have made focused investments in them where they could demonstrate a sufficient ROI. Retail respondents also are more likely to have a formal enterprise-wide mobility strategy and to involve the CEO in the development of their mobility strategy.
  • Generally, between 45 percent and 50 percent of retail respondents considered the range of mobile priorities, including driving revenue through customer engagement and mobile transactions, important to their business.
  • Retailers generally were as likely as, or more likely than, global respondents to believe they have made considerable progress on the vast majority of the mobile priorities. However, retailers were less likely than their global counterparts to report having generated significant return on their mobile investment and to believe they have adopted and deployed mobile technologies very effectively.
  • The top mobile initiatives that will be the priorities for retailers’ mobile investment are opening up new sales or marketing channels, driving revenue through transactions on mobile devices, and improving field service/customer service delivery with instant data access, capture, and processing. In all three cases, retailers were more likely than their global counterparts to cite these as priorities.
  • Retail respondents were more likely than global respondents to expect digital to help them increase sales in existing markets, generate additional revenue, keep up with customer demands, and strengthen their brand. Retail respondents were less likely than their global counterparts to expect digital to help them build an entirely new digital business/service or increase market share.
  • Like their global counterparts, the vast majority (generally between two-thirds and three-quarters) of retailers seem to be falling short in a variety of areas that are critical to the effective deployment and use of mobility which, in turn, could be dampening the return they are getting from their mobility investments. Of particular concern are lack of formal metrics for measuring the effectiveness of mobility initiatives; lack of a formal process for identifying how mobility can help the business; lack of talent to plan and execute mobility initiatives; and the inability to keep pace with new mobile devices, systems and services and adopt them as necessary to improve their business.
  • 52 percent of retail respondents cited growing their overall mobile presence by launching new apps as a main priority—more than global respondents. Nearly half (47 percent) considered improving existing apps by focusing on reliability and end user satisfaction. The challenges retailers most commonly encounter when developing or maintaining mobile apps are discoverability issues (lack of traction/adoption of apps by target audience); performance issues (crashes and bugs leading to bad reviews); and user-experience issues.
  • In the next 12 months, retail respondents are slightly more likely than global respondents to be considering a formal mobile apps monetization strategy, and slightly less likely to be considering a formal mobile security strategy or a formal mobile apps analytics strategy.
  • Retail respondents named mobile devices, analytics and social media among their top five priorities. In terms of budget, retailers were less likely to allocate budget to analytics, and more likely to dedicate budget to social—although the differences were not large. Retailers were equally as likely as their global counterparts (nearly eight in 10) to consider digital technologies to be a strategic investment overall.

View the full research.

The retail sample is dominated by respondents from three countries, each with 13 percent: Canada, Japan and the United States. It also tends to have a larger proportion of smaller companies than the global sample—e.g., 26 percent of retailers, versus 35 percent of the global sample, have revenues of $10 billion or more.

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