Commentary

Mobile Commerce Living in the Shadows

Much of the influence of mobile in-store purchasing remains under the covers.

Many studies track the source of transactions, such as by desktop, laptop, smartphone and at physical stores.

We know from countless studies that the overwhelming number of sales happens in a brick and mortar store, not online or via mobile. Consumers also say they prefer shopping in stores, compared to online or via mobile.

And of transactions that do happen digitally, many more happen on PCs than on mobile devices.

For example, the most recent monthly tracking by Affiliate Window found that 69% of sales were non-mobile in July while less than a third (31%) came from mobile.

The tracking research comprises data from millions of network transactions across more than 1,500 advertisers in retail, travel and telecom.

Some of the key stats from the latest tracking data:

  • 36% -- Traffic from a mobile device
  • 18%-- Traffic from a smartphone
  • 11% – Sales from a smartphone
  • 26% -- Smartphone sales from Android devices
  • 23% of revenue generated for advertisers was through mobile

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However, outside of transactions on computers and phones are those in stores that are being highly influenced by mobile activity, much of it under the radar.

For example, in-store purchases as a result of beaconing, which we wrote about here yesterday (Mobile Shoppers & the Act of Beaconing), may not be reflected in survey stats for some time to come.

That’s just one example of the mobile influence on transactions without receiving credit for the transaction itself.

A consumer may research on home on a tablet, receive an SMS or MMS message while en route to a store, see a small mobile ad based on location, text or call a friend when considering a product, do a product comparison by viewing various mobile sites, scan for a price comparison and ultimately buy the product in the store.

From a retails stats point of view, that is an in-store purchase and not a mobile transaction.

It’s challenging for retailers to track and measure the influence of mobile on in-store sales, especially since much of it can’t even be seen let alone quantified and measured.

And the transactions that are determined and noted to be influenced by mobile may not be broken out when overall store sales numbers are reported.

Despite the massive scope of mobile commerce, much of it still happens in the shadows.

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