Online retailers need to prepare to customize the shopping experience for their customers,” said Jeff Risling, president and chief operating officer of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represents retailers including Home Depot, Target and Walmart. “This means enhancing the shopping experience for both consumers and merchants. Our members have already started incorporating mobile to their marketing activities, and expect to implement this approach in the coming months and years.”

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While the use of smartphones will help retailers expand their customer reach and make a more targeted retail purchase, the adoption of mobile payment methods is still small and many retailers lack the capabilities to accept mobile payments. Most retailers are instead focusing on providing good prices to their customers. It is not a secret that online shoppers are constantly visiting websites like Raise, where they can find coupon codes from different retailers.

However, there is interest in expanding the use of mobile technology in a way that enhances the shopping experience by removing checkout lines and creating a more seamless online shopping experience, said Richard Pollitt, chief executive of payment solutions provider eZ Target.

“Most retailers today want to give customers the ability to make an online purchase from a mobile device, yet are frustrated with outdated checkout technology, lack of mobile checkout terminals, and the risk that they may not have the capability to accept mobile payments.”

The findings reveal that the majority of retailers (73%) are currently implementing or are planning to implement mobile or tablet based payments, a number which increases to 77% among the largest and most well-known retailers in the U.S. When asked, nearly half (46%) of the retailers are also considering the use of mobile payments on their website or application and half (50%) say they have discussed mobile payments with their vendors in the past 12 months. When asked what factors impact their decision to implement mobile payments, respondents pointed to three main factors: potential cost savings, adoption speed, and ease of use. The findings indicate that the majority (62%) of retailers who are currently or will implement mobile or tablet based payments indicated cost savings from mobile and tablet payments as the main reason. Only 22% of respondents indicated that the adoption of mobile and tablet payments was due to faster adoption speed, while nearly half (44%) said adoption speed was not a driving factor for adoption.

As to adoption speed, the overall adoption rate was higher among the smaller (10% of all merchants) retailers, with 45% of smaller merchants currently or will be adopting mobile payments compared to 29% of larger retailers. The study found that adoption of mobile and tablet payments in the largest (25%) of retailers will be faster than any other.

There was a significant disparity between the adoption rates of mobile and tablet payments. Retailers who currently accept credit card payments were more likely to be adopting mobile payments (82% vs. 69%). The adoption rate of mobile and tablet payments is higher in the most mature U.S. markets, with the adoption rate in Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami and Washington D.C. increasing between 67% and 79%. The adoption rate is higher among smaller retailers, where adoption is as high as 65% of merchants with fewer than 10,000 transactions and in Seattle, where it is more than 60%. In contrast, the adoption rates are lowest in the most mature markets, with adoption rates in Denver, Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle ranging between 40% and 60%.


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