Executive Briefings

Retailers Unsure What Kind of Analytics Needed to Make Sense of Mobile Commerce

As retailers move to embrace mobile commerce, there are debates about what types of analytics should be used for mobile and even whether mobile analytics-or any single-channel effort-is necessarily a good thing. Most retail IT leaders, including Home Depot's senior vice president of IT and one of her counterparts at HSN, say that many chains are so early in their mobile thinking today that such debates are premature.

"I think mobile is so young that we're not sure yet. Our analysis is developing in that area," said Home Depot's Cara Kinzey. "And I think that retailers are behind, [with many saying] 'We're more concerned about sales and we'll get to that later.' Honestly."

Sean Bunner, HSNs Operating Vice President, echoed Kinzey's sentiment. "It's such an early channel to get so granular. There's some overall trend stuff we're more interested in, like 'what category of merchandise are they purchasing?' From what we've seen, mobile is significantly different than Web or, for us, TV," he said. "But even within mobile, between mobile Web and apps. You see pretty significant shifts in categories, so we then have to get into CRM activity to see 'Why is that?' Do you want to merchandise that store differently?"

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As retailers move to embrace mobile commerce, there are debates about what types of analytics should be used for mobile and even whether mobile analytics-or any single-channel effort-is necessarily a good thing. Most retail IT leaders, including Home Depot's senior vice president of IT and one of her counterparts at HSN, say that many chains are so early in their mobile thinking today that such debates are premature.

"I think mobile is so young that we're not sure yet. Our analysis is developing in that area," said Home Depot's Cara Kinzey. "And I think that retailers are behind, [with many saying] 'We're more concerned about sales and we'll get to that later.' Honestly."

Sean Bunner, HSNs Operating Vice President, echoed Kinzey's sentiment. "It's such an early channel to get so granular. There's some overall trend stuff we're more interested in, like 'what category of merchandise are they purchasing?' From what we've seen, mobile is significantly different than Web or, for us, TV," he said. "But even within mobile, between mobile Web and apps. You see pretty significant shifts in categories, so we then have to get into CRM activity to see 'Why is that?' Do you want to merchandise that store differently?"

Read Full Article