One fifth of online retailers use mobile microsites

A fifth of online retailers have used mobile microsites to push specific promotions, according to new research.

The study, that looks at how the retail industry perceives and uses mobile as a sales and communication tool, also revealed that 40% of those surveyed said they already had an information-led mobile internet site, or were considering building one. However, 10% were unsure, while half said that a mobile internet site wasn’t part of their growth plan.

The survey, from creative mobile marketing agency, Sponge, showed that retailers considered mobile to be a useful customer communication channel. Half said they had used mobile as a direct response channel in television or press advertising campaigns, while 60% of these had done so by featuring an SMS code in TV ads, and 20% did so in print magazines and newspapers. The remaining 20% said they were unsure which ad medium they had used mobile as a response mechanism for.

The study, which focused on ten prominent online retailers across sectors including travel, fashion, leisure, catalogues, communications and publishing, showed that overall 70% use mobile to communicate with their customers.

When asked what the main purpose of contacting customers via SMS was, Sponge found that 40% of these use messages to send product information while a further 40% use SMS to send stock alerts and delivery time confirmation. Another 20% said they use it to inform their customers of special offers.

Of those who don’t currently use mobile to communicate with customers (30%), two thirds intend to start within the next 12 months. The rest said they are not considering using mobile in the future, citing that they had tried it in the past and not seen any benefits.

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