Mobile shopping has been in the news the last few days, with a host of new studies highlighting the importance of various components within the mobile shopping process. One study pointed to the importance of the retail store as a major influence in the purchase cycle, followed by a U.K. study showing that mobile websites are preferred over apps to make a purchase. Now comes along a report that neatly ties the aspects of the shopping process together.
It just may be that some mobile shoppers are getting pickier. We previously wrote in this space about the opportunity for retailers to leverage their brick and mortar assets after one study found that visiting a physical store is the most influential source of information for consumers making purchase decisions. The point we were attempting to make is that retailers have a chance to influence a purchase at the last stage of the shopping cycle, when the customer is in the store.
For mobile commerce, the retail store still has a chance to rule. A recent Forrester study found that visiting a physical store is the most influential source of information for consumers making purchase decisions. This echoes other research highlighting the potential importance of retail outlets for mobile shoppers.
Some mobile shoppers opt in, others opt out. Then there is the group in the middle. Two pieces of seemingly unrelated news this week got me thinking about what it will take for mobile consumers to more readily adopt commerce. In the world of opting out, a new app called Ad Control was introduced that allows users to opt out of behavioral targeting by mobile networks. The general idea is to give consumers the ability to determine who doesn't get to send them messages.
The race to mobile point of purchase looks like it's between the retailers and the consumers. Everyone knows big money is changing hands at the last stage of the purchase cycle, with more than $4 trillion (yes, with a "t"), slated to pass through point of sales terminals within five years.
Commerce is coming to the mobile lock screen. Facebook Home received lots of attention when it recently introduced the notion of optimizing an Android phone by taking over the lock screen for Facebook feeds. The idea is that the lock screen is the most valuable mobile real estate since users always look to that screen first.
There's little doubt that mobile commerce is a global phenomenon. In just the last couple of months, I've noticed a barrage of new announcements, trials and stats from around the world regarding various aspects of commerce. Here's a sampling of some of what's going on in mobile commerce around the world.
It may only take up to a 20 percent deal to drive a mobile shopper out of a store to purchase online. Some years ago, I was walking through Sears and came across a couple looking at a Kitchen Aid mixer, with the price prominently displayed. The man pulled out his smartphone, read the barcode and told his partner "it's cheaper at Best Buy. Let's go." And they left Sears, presumably headed to Best Buy. Out of curiosity, I loaded one of my barcode reader apps and checked the price. Sure enough, it was available at Best Buy for 10 …
Have you ever wondered whether mobile shopping behaviors will end up split in some way or if spending patterns ultimately will resemble traditional retail spending patterns? While some early research shows that people are using mobile devices to shop, in various forms, there may be a divergence in behavioral spending, adding to other differing mobile actions and habits.
Sometimes there are logical misperceptions around mobile. Many believe that more people own iPhones than Android phones, though many pieces of research show that Android is the clear market share leader. Some don't see NFC (near field communications) catching on any time soon, though research shows 500 million NFC-enabled phones will hit the market next year. Regarding commerce, one of the most common comments I hear is about how consumers will not trust mobile for spending significant amounts of money.