The mobile wallet continues its molasses march forward. Following delayed and retooled pilots in Austin and Salt Lake City, the carrier consortium Isis announced it will be rolling out the system nationally later this year. I remember the first time I tried the Isis system almost a year and a half ago. It was following a panel on mobile payments at the annual SXSW mega-confab addressing the why and when of mobile payments. The focus of the panel was on the Isis joint venture with Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile working to provide a commerce network for merchants, banks and …
With back-to-school shopping already moving into high gear, mobile shoppers are looking for an edge. When taken together, several new research studies point to potential mobile influence in back-to-school shopping behaviors. As a benchmark, consumers will spend a total of $72.5 billion on back-to-school items in the U.S. this year, according to Prosper Insights and Analytics in a study conducted for the National Retail Federation (NRF).
As more retail shopping efforts target smartphone owners who lean toward using mobile websites over apps, what happens to the heavy apps user? I'm referring to the mobile elite here, the power users who can't even count how many apps they've installed over time or the number they currently have on their phone, there are so many. And those apps don't just sit there; they're used all the time. You or someone you know likely falls into this category.
As in various other aspects of commerce, mobile website strategies for shoppers is becoming more sophisticated and targeted. While smartphone penetration is increasing, the final verdict on what most consumers ultimately will do with those phones is not yet in. Some shoppers will use apps, with all the inherent speed and capabilities, for various things. For example, among the top app uses are finding coupons, comparing prices and getting offers and deals, according to recent research from GigaOm, which we previously wrote about.
The world of data tracking for mobile commerce is getting much more precise. The phone knows where the phone goes, as we all know. And that knowledge can be used to help provide better services to those carrying them. Any driver using Google Navigation, for example, gets the benefit of other phones being tracked to identify bottlenecks on roads ahead. The next step was for Navigation to automatically re-route your trip to avoid the traffic jam, so the benefit became seamless.
As online and in-store shopping dynamics continue to evolve, consumers are figuring out their own best ways to get a deal, even if a minor one. The latest research around mobile shopping found that the majority (58%) of smartphone owners practice showrooming, shopping in a physical store and then buying online or elsewhere. However, the Parago Dynamic Pricing Study showed that it doesn't really take much to sway the mobile shopper, since a price difference of only $5 on a $50 item can determine the sale.
It all started with a broken coffee pot. My trusty old Kitchen Aid died yesterday. It was rather expected eventually, since the unit was recalled several years ago. I had two identical KitchenAid coffeemakers, one at home the other at a summer house. Although both had the same recall situation, the company replaced only one, for some reason. I'm guessing they thought I only had one, so after unsuccessfully trying to get the second one replaced, I decided to just use it until it expired, which it did yesterday. In quite a huff, actually.
There are obviously many moving parts around mobile payments. We've written quite a bit about the how to pay, using various forms of mobile payments. We've also addressed the issue of who people will pay, including credit card companies, banks and wireless carriers. At last week's MediaPost OMMA mCommerce conference, an interesting observation was made by one of the main speakers, Ken Moy, SVP, Group Head of Emerging Payments at MasterCard.
Some apps seem to be well suited to high flyers. Earlier this year I wrote about how Magellan Jets, a Boston-based private aviation company, partnered with an app provider so that the app users could input their itinerary, see prices and book a jet. The charge for the high-end app is $1,000 and had more than 150,000 members, those with a net worth of more than $1 million. It becoming clear that some big ticket purchases can and will be made from mobile devices.
Sometimes it's the simple, little things that influence commerce. A study out this week took a look at gas and convenience store purchases and found that almost half (49%) of smartphone users search using apps exclusively. No surprise, comparison apps like GasBuddy are the most commonly used among the majority of mobile searchers with price and location being the key factors, according to the study by Nielsen.