Mobile is the Future of Retail, but with this Success comes Risks

According to a new special report by Boston Retail Partners, new or upgraded mobile apps and websites are top commerce priorities for retailers. The 2015 BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Mobile Commerce – The Future of Retail reveals that mobile commerce has become a valuable revenue stream for retailers. However, retailers need to address security risks and privacy concerns as they prepare for the anticipated shift of fraud from stores to e-commerce and mobile commerce sites. Online fraud increased by 360% in France after EMV was implemented and the U.S. is expecting an increase in online fraud in 2016.

“The mobile device is the cash register of the future, the sales associate of the future and the wallet of the future – or rather the now,” said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “The opportunities for mobile to influence retail sales – via direct sales through a mobile website or app or through in-store possibilities to influence sales – clearly represent the new frontier transforming retailers’ operations.”

Mobile Commerce Special Report_CoverThis special report highlights key findings from BRP’s 2015 E-Commerce Benchmark Survey validating the importance of mobile capabilities driven by consumer demand. Mobile commerce is growing at a faster rate than any other channel and is the future of retail. As a retail imperative, mobile devices are creating many potential opportunities and risks for retailers to consider:

  • Mobile Websites vs. Apps – While a mobile responsive Web site is a requirement for all retailers with e-commerce, a well-designed mobile app can elevate the shopping experience and increase customer loyalty and sales.
  • In-store Possibilities – Beyond line busting, there are many other mobile opportunities for retailers to enhance the customer experience and drive incremental sales, such as customer identification, geolocation, guided selling, customer Wi-Fi and cross-channel transactions.
  • Security Risks – History has shown that when EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) is implemented in a country, store fraud is reduced and online fraud rises dramatically. Now that many retailers have implemented EMV, the focus should be on locking-down security for e-commerce and m-commerce.
  • Privacy Concerns – Retailers are concerned over how best to protect their customers’ privacy while still gathering location, preference and purchase data.
  • Integration Challenges – With the addition of mobile channels, the integration, dissemination and consolidation of all pertinent data is compounded, making it more challenging for retailers to provide customers a seamless experience with the brand. A shift from silos to a holistic paradigm must occur as retailers upgrade their mobile capabilities.

I encourage you to read the report to learn about other key mobile commerce initiatives and priorities for retailers.

Download the complete report: 2015 BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Mobile Commerce – The Future of Retail

I hope you enjoy the report and welcome any comments or feedback. Please share your comments below.


As retail thought leaders and trusted advisors, our executives’ opinions and insights are often solicited by leading publications and associations for articles and speaking engagements.

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