Mobile revenues predicted to double by 2013

The Motorola Razr

The revenue retailers make from smartphones is set to increase dramatically, according to research from several consultancy firms.

The research suggests income will increase from 3.3% to 6.6% in the next two years. A wider distribution of retail revenue is expected as mobile and social media platforms continue to play a big role in society.

Research also shows that retailers will make system replacement a top priority within the next two years.

"This is the most important piece of research we have undertaken to date, not least because it confirms our thoughts that actually, technology is the main constraining factor in allowing retailers to execute their multi-channel strategy," said Mark Adams, director at consultancy firm Portaltech.

The survey found that 82% of respondents have more than one technology application running their office operations, making it simple to communicate easily, but difficult to make all channels consistent to customers.

Other priorities revealed by the survey include better integration of current systems, store-based system replacements or upgrades, and improving mobile sites and retail apps.

"The challenge for retailers is deciding which channels to focus on in order to engage their customer base and get the best return on investment. The key to getting this decision right is understanding the customer journey, which platforms they use and how they complement each other, to gain a true picture of the sale attribution," said David Smith, marketing and communications officer at e-retailing industry association IMRG.

"What this research highlights is that many retailers are finding it difficult to keep up with the pace of change in the industry and the influence that technology has on retail," Smith added.