Mobile apps and sites are a requisite of retail strategy

Smartphones and mobile research are becoming an accepted and necessary part of holiday shoppers' arsenals, requiring retailers to create apps and tools that promote customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Smartphones and mobile research are becoming an accepted and necessary part of holiday shoppers' arsenals, requiring retailers to create apps and tools that promote customer satisfaction and loyalty.

For many retailers, this means enabling mobile shopping via a website or app. While there are serious challenges to overcome and complex issues to consider when becoming a mobile-friendly retailer, one of the important factors in creating a successful customer experience is listening.

Like social networks, mobile is a communicative structure that allows users to voice their opinions on everything from prices to long lines and ease of use. Customers expect a mobile site or app to run just as smoothly as a laptop, and if it doesn't, a small issue may become a big one very quickly online.

"It's about addressing the opportunity cost, and asking how much didn't they get that they could have," Geoff Galat, vice president of worldwide marketing at mobile software company Tealeaf, told SmallBizTechnology. "Mobile is a real channel now. It's no longer a nice to have thing."

A recent survey by comScore supports Galat. According to the research, 38 percent of smartphone owners have made a purchase via the device.