Commentary

The Hidden Mobile Influence on Holiday Shopping

The mobile holiday shopping season has begun.

Yes, the overall holiday shopping is underway as well, with the kickoff of Black Friday today.

All eyes will be on today’s sales as well as those on the coming Cyber Monday as the shopping season starts its trajectory.

Some research will focus on how many consumers are buying gifts from their smartphones and tablets this year compared to last, in all likelihood a much higher number, since there are a lot more mobile devices in use.

Some research will focus on how much purchasing was done via mobile apps compared to mobile websites. Major retailers already can guess the answer to that one, since most of their mobile commerce transactions come via the mobile Web and not their app, no matter how good it is.

The point is that much of the measurement of mobile success in holiday sales will be based on actual sales transactions executed via mobile.

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In the Internet world, this strikes me as the equivalent of counting page views or click rates.

In their respective spaces, they initially seemed like the logical or even the only standard measurement.

Over time though, more sophisticated measurements come into play, which will be true for mobile commerce as well.

The measurement I always look for, which I wrote about in my last book Mobile Influence, is the how and where of mobile activity influencing the sale.

This is not about measuring where the actual final transaction occurs, but rather the mobile influence points or causes of that ultimate transaction.

While most holiday shopping will done in physical stores this year, as in years past, it may mask the huge impact mobile is having on a lot of that shopping.

Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

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