Commentary

Beating the Lag in Mobile Commerce

There has forever been somewhat of a lag in technology adoption, and mobile commerce is no exception.

Another recent study reminded me that the adoption timeframe is a distance from the technology introduction.

Of those who plan to buy a new car in the next two years, research firm Nielsen found that slightly more than a third (39%) of them are very likely to buy one with connectivity features in the head unit.

This means there will be even more of a delay in moving commerce to inside vehicles.

At CES in Las Vegas a year ago, automakers touted in-dash mobile apps that could allow a purchase from the car, using the smartphone as the communication transmitting hub.

But using those apps means car buyers have to essentially opt in, either technically or financially. They need to see a need or a value to have a connected car, before any commerce from the car can occur.

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Other areas of mobile face the same type of hurdle.

  • Mobile payments require the wide-scale deployment of terminals that can accept a phone tap or wave to execute a payment.
  • Anyone wanting to use Apple Pay needs an iPhone 6 and Softcard users require an Android phone with NFC.
  • Getting beaconed requires a specific app to have been downloaded and location-based messaging needs consumers who agree to receive them.
You get the idea.

On the positive side, once people make the leap to the new, they typically don’t go back.

It can take time and effort to move a consumer to any particular aspect of mobile commerce, but once they understand and receive the value, they convert.

Old behaviors are hard to change.  Then again, so are new ones.

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