In fact, most savvy retailers have already started to utilize mobile devices -- such as smartphones and media tablets -- as a touch-point on each stage of the retail life-cycle.
According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, annual spend by retailers on mobile marketing will reach $55 billion by 2015 -- almost double the $28 billion that's expected this year.
Their market study of the retailer landscape found that the development of a growing media tablet market had created new opportunities for brands seeking to enhance engagement with consumers.
With eCommerce migrating to mobile and nomadic devices, advertising spend on both tablets and smartphones is continuing to grow strongly as retailers (notably in North America and Western Europe) migrate their own spend to digital in general, and mobile in particular.
Similarly, they observed that mobiles were driving retail in-store traffic through coupons, with coupon redemption apps becoming an increasingly popular mechanism of distribution and coupon storage.
Furthermore, it highlighted the increasing trend towards the development of additional distribution channels -- such as augmented reality and near field communications -- as mobile becomes increasingly integrated into in-store retail strategies.
However, Juniper cautioned that while retailer engagement with mobile channels had increased dramatically, many had still not optimized their Web sites for mobile browsing, registration or payment.
"If retailers truly want to maximize the mobile monetization opportunity, then optimization is critical. If you are using mobile advertising for consumer acquisition, you need to push users to a site with which they can comfortably interact; retailers that fail to respond to consumer demand will fall behind, said Dr Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research.
Other key findings from the market study include:
- Brands are increasingly seeking to integrate campaigns across mobile social networks such as Foursquare and Facebook.
- Brands and retailers need to ensure that mobile ads are frequency capped to prevent overexposure.