Commentary

The Paths to Enabling Mobile Shoppers

Are consumers catching up to what they can do with mobile shopping?

That was one of the points tossed about during a panel discussion at the MediaPost OMMA Mobile at Advertising Week conference yesterday.

The idea is one of enablement, essentially using a mobile device to do more of the actual work in the course of the shopping process.

For example, an opt-in mobile app could use ambient sound to notify a mobile shopper when they are near a deal, suggested Jeffrey Malmad, managing director of mobile at Mindshare. “A lot of people are catching up,” he said.

The panel focused mainly on what role mobile could be expected to play in the coming holiday shopping season.

With many potential influence points throughout the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle, marketers are beginning to focus on where those points are. “We have to understand patterns of mobile shopping,” said Davis-Taylor, SVP, managing director at BBDO.

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One of the consumer behaviors in the course of commerce to keep an eye on is tablet usage, noted one speaker. “Is it a browsing device or a purchasing device?” asked Carin Van Vurren, CMO of Usablenet.

The group in general was negative on mobile payments, for numerous reasons.

One of the speakers noted that for mobile payments to succeed, they need to be simple at checkout.

A clue that mobile payments are not ready for primetime, said one speaker, is that the current discussions around payments are still focused on security terms rather than on the issue of convenience.

The speakers all were negative on the concept of using NFC (Near Field Communications) for payments, though they did acknowledge with so many phones shipping with it built in next year, they had to keep an eye on potential uses.

“It could be for the user experience, not payments,” said Davis-Taylor.

At least for mobile shopping, some savvy marketers are looking at consumer behaviors throughout the process and not concerned with the payment part at the end.

 

 

 

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