Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) has released the results of a study into trends and expectations of the mobile industry for 2012.

Nearly a quarter of the brands, agencies and technology providers surveyed (23%) identified m-commerce and mobile marketing as the most important areas of growth for the next year.

MIG spoke to more than 500 clients across multiple sectors including automotive, retail, FMCG, handset manufacturers and mobile network operators.

The third most popular trend was a growing interest in mobile and social media, in particular how mobile enhances the social experience.

11% of those surveyed indicated this would be a key driver for the next 12 months, with the use of Facebook – and how sharing affects retail, plus TV viewing – highlighted specifically.

62% of retailers identified m-commerce as key to their business this year. This group also said that mobile payments and NFC (30%), plus mobile marketing techniques such as mobile CRM, augmented reality and loyalty schemes (30%), are central to their 2012 mobile strategies.

While these responses are far from surprising, it’s interesting to see retailers identify m-commerce as being important, since there is evidence to suggest they aren’t working hard enough capitalise on the opportunity.

A recent eChannel Retail Benchmark report found that even among the world’s top e-tailers, checkout process is still relatively poor when accessing via a mobile when compared to desktop sites.

The checkout process on mobile sites can’t simply mirror the desktop site – it needs to be much more simple, with the amount of data entry kept to a minimum.

However many are yet to take this on board.

A separate report by dotCommerce published last November assessed 12 top UK retailers and found that the average usability score for the checkout process was just 27%.

The researchers were in fact unable or unwilling to complete a transaction on any of the sites using an Android device.

So while MIG’s report shows that retailers recognise the importance of m-commerce, there is still a lot of work to do to make sure they are offering customers the best user experience in this area.