Mobile shopping may not be worth all the buzz

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Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013 12:00 am

NEW YORK — For all the attention on mobile commerce, many retailers are surprisingly lukewarm about its ability to get digital-savvy shoppers buying more from their websites.

A new report by Forrester Research for trade group Shop.org shows that smartphones generated a small portion of online sales last year — about $5 billion of a $226 billion e-commerce market.

Retailers will continue to invest in mobile strategies, but the bulk of their technology spending in 2013 will be on the basics, such as improving online checkout and product descriptions, according to the report, which is based on a survey of stores with e-commerce operations, as well as Internet-only stores.

“Retailers have been burned getting very, very hyped up over mobile,” Forrester Research e-commerce analyst Sucharita Mulpuru said at the National Retail Federation’s convention last week in New York. “Even though consumers have these phones, the number of transactions on those phones is still small.”

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