Brands are putting their apps on the back burner

The road to the register has never been paved with as many options as it is today. Consumers navigate through TV commercials, banner ads, brick-and-mortar showrooms and more on their way to a purchase decision.

But there’s one constant: smartphones are always on hand during these crucial encounters. Now retailers are looking for ways to use them to connect the marketing dots between devices.

Still, not all mobile marketing is created equal. Marketers have gone all-in on mobile-optimized sites, relegating their branded apps to the role of sideshow attraction, according to our recent Industry Leaders study.

The insatiable appetite for more and more cross-device data and profiling means that, even facing the cookie’s extinction (or transformation), the mobile web is really taking hold.

The future is mobile-optimized
Go to your favorite retailer’s website on your phone. Chances are it works seamlessly on the small screen. About 86 percent of the executives surveyed operate mobile-optimized sites. That’s well past any discernible tipping point.

And they’re not just creating these sites in an organizational vacuum; executives view these investments as a clear boost to the bottom line. An overwhelming 84 percent see their investments in mobile optimization as either a high or very high priority for their business.

And those investments have only increased: 77 percent raised their spending on mobile optimization from 2013 to 2014.

Is there such a thing as app fatigue?
Branded apps are just not seeing this level of support from retailers. While 65 percent do have one, the largest proportion of respondents, 31 percent, said that it wasn’t a very high business priority. Only 40 percent rated its importance high or very high.

“They’re siloed,” said Dan King, director of business development and customer acquisitions at MeUndies. “You can’t follow your users’ movement like you could through the web. And from a marketer’s standpoint, you’re fighting an uphill battle if you don’t know where people are coming from, how they’re getting to you and where else they’re going.”

Regardless, 48 percent of executives said they still plan to increase their spending on branded apps in 2015, perhaps out of a fear of being left behind.

And given its clear primacy so far, it comes as no surprise that 67 percent will be bumping up their spending on mobile optimization this year.

Download the full white paper for more about:

● What mobile means to retailers today
● How satisfied they are with app versus mobile-optimized performance
● Which marketing goals and ad tactics are most supported by mobile
● What roadblocks remain for performance-based mobile ads

More from Digiday

What TikTok’s e-commerce launch could mean for marketers and content creators

TikTok has officially launched its new e-commerce platform, TikTok Shop, earlier this month on August 1. Using the new e-commerce platform, brands and creators can sell products directly on the platform, potentially creating new revenue streams, and tap into the short-form video platform’s growing popularity.

‘The influencer industry can be really vile’: Confessions of an influencer marketer on the industry’s unfair hiring practices

While the influencer industry might sound exciting and like it’s full of opportunities, one marketer can vouch for the horrific scenarios that still take place behind the scenes.

Digiday+ Research: Marketers said revenue grew in the last year, with more growth expected ahead

After a tumultuous 12 months, marketers are getting a clear picture of how they really did during a time of true uncertainty. And, as it turns out, it wasn’t all that bad.