Many retailers may be totally missing some mobile shoppers. A new study shows that retailers plan to beef up their mobile investments in paid search and email, since they see some shoppers leaning that way. The research, from Forrester and Shop.org, found that more than a quarter (28%) of emails are being opened on smartphones and tablets. Of the retailers surveyed, most (87%) are on top of mobile mail optimization and they also are warm to search, with almost three quarters (71%) planning to optimize paid search for mobile devices.
Lots of insights around mobile commerce were bandied about at the MediaPost OMMA mCommerce conference in New York yesterday. By the end of the day, it was clear that there's a lot of work ahead and consumers are leading the charge. Over time, I plan to highlight some of the astute observations made by some of the presenters over the course of the day, but for now, here's a quick snapshot.
Mobile technology is evolving to do more behind the scenes work in a continuing quest to enhance the customer experience. One case in the hardware category is how the Samsung Galaxy S4 can tell when a user turns away from the phone screen, so the phone can auto-pause a video, for example. There are other efforts underway that also aim to make mobile shopping a little easier.
There's clearly some very big money at the transaction end of mobile shopping. The latest from eMarketer earlier this week pegs payment by mobile at just north of $1 billion this year climbing to $58 billion within four years. But much of the focus on mobile payments is on how a consumer will pay. Will they swipe, or tap, or scan or just be near a point-of-sale register.
There are still a lot of questions around mobile commerce. Not about whether it's happening, if it's big or any of that. The issues are more around the transformative consumer behaviors, the adoption of new mobile capabilities and taking those to scale. I'm very much looking forward to hearing discussions about some of those questions at the MediaPost OMMA mCommerce conference on Monday. It turns out there are different issue throughout what I call the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle, with related questions at each stage.
Augmented Reality (AR) may not be a household phrase (or even a good one, for that matter), but power users are getting a dose of opportunity to play with it. We wrote about some of this yesterday (Mobile Tech & Riding along the Back of the Old) after direct mail coupons giant Valpak announced it was going to include AR on its 40 million monthly blue envelope mailers for the next couple of months. And Valpak is not alone in introducing AR to the public in a big way.
Some of the innovative mobile technology seems to be finding a home in old, traditional places. In a snail mail promo I received from Bank of America this week there was an offer to earn bonus points on purchases through my Visa credit card account. All I had to do to activate was call a phone number and then type in the 16-digit registration code provided when prompted. The chances of me taking the time to do that were about zero. But next to the directions was a simple QR code with the message "scan this QR code for automatic …
Using mobile apps in the car buying process has empowered many consumers, arguably giving them an edge over some auto dealer salespeople. With apps like cars.com and Edmunds, car shoppers can find cars for sale from dealers around them based on location, calculate monthly payments and see the current market value of a vehicle. These apps can be very powerful tools in the car buying process. (I researched and bought my last car exclusively through the cars.com app, researching and locating the vehicle we wanted and then driving a few states away to pick it up.)
After writing about how mobile commerce is an end-to-end experience a few days ago, I came across an interesting piece of research that examines many of the components of this shopping behavior. Rather than reviewing the whole gamut of retail shopping, researchers at GigaOm Pro looked specifically at behaviors of only smartphone owners. By types of physical stores, at least by the measurement of extreme satisfaction, there's a range of view.
Mobile shopping is an end-to-end process. While we see a lot of research that measures mobile commerce by where or how consumers pay, there's so much more to the process. Those where-the-money-changes-hands studies typically show tablets as the mobile device of choice, followed by iPhones and then Android phones. Those measurements are only of the actual spending moments of the purchase cycle.