Merchants seem to be looking to reach mobile shoppers however they can. There have been various innovative approaches used, such as proximity marketing, augmented reality (AR) and a range of QR code implementations. It hardly looks like one way will dominate in-store interaction any time soon. And then there is good old SMS.
Holiday spending via mobile could one on pace to set a record this holiday season. We got a good recap of the state of mobile commerce from Josh Chasin, chief research officer of comScore, who kicked off the MediaPost OMMA Mobile conference earlier this week. Of all the time spent on mobile, he said most (85%) is spent on apps, with the smallest amount (15%) spent on browsers. Almost $5 billion was spent on m-commerce on the second quarter, up 23% from the same time last year.
There's a full cycle in mobile commerce. Any regular reader of this column knows I've written a lot about how mobile payments are only one step during Mobile Shopping Life Cycle. A major mobile payment provider also is looking at mobile purchasing as more of a holistic process rather than only a payment transaction. Mung Ki Woo, executive vice president mobile industry alliances at MasterCard, laid out the company's vision at the OMMA Mobile at Advertising Week conference this week.
After two days at the MediaPost OMMA Global Conference this week, there's little doubt about the future of mobile commerce. This dawned on me as I listened to many of the presentations, most notably the opening keynote address yesterday by Coca-Cola Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer Joe Tripodi. It's not that Tripodi spoke about mobile payments, the sales funnel or any of that, he didn't. Rather, he spoke of how a well-known, global brand can connect with consumers and how technology allows those real-time connections, which was the overall theme of the show.
Are consumers catching up to what they can do with mobile shopping? That was one of the points tossed about during a panel discussion at the MediaPost OMMA Mobile at Advertising Week conference yesterday. The idea is one of enablement, essentially using a mobile device to do more of the actual work in the course of the shopping process. For example, an opt-in mobile app could use ambient sound to notify a mobile shopper when they are near a deal, suggested Jeffrey Malmad, managing director of mobile at Mindshare. "A lot of people are catching up," he said. The panel …
Is mobile purchasing on the verge of becoming too easy? I've been heavily leaning on the fingerprint scanner of my new iPhone 5s the last couple of days to see how accurate and consistent it is. As it turns out, it's remarkably consistent in quickly reading the prints from the thumbs and fingers I programmed in. It strikes me that the identification and approval is so fast and accurate that there could be some implications for mobile payments. Many have been striving for the one-touch buy as the Holy Grail of friction-free mobile commerce.
To say the mobile payments market is fragmented would be a great understatement. Mobile payments are starting to come in almost all forms. There are payment options that use dongles on phones to swipe credit cards, most notably Square, and those that let customers pay by tapping or waving a phone, like Google Wallet. And now there's a relatively new targeted market for payments, the mobile businessperson -- literally.
The world of apps is hardly shrinking, and lots of money is changing hands. Consumers will download 102 billion apps from mobile app stores this year and spending on and through those apps will hit $26 billion, according to research firm Gartner. The number of apps downloaded will be 60% higher than last year, and money spent will be 47% higher, says Gartner. An interesting point in the research is that in-app purchases will account for almost half (48%) of the app store revenue in four years, up from 11% just last year.
Mobile wallets are starting to become more like wallets. For the longest time, the idea of a mobile wallet was either linked to or somewhat synonymous with mobile payments. In the context of those conversations, NFC (Near Field Communications) tended to be included as part of the payment conversation. Google's latest move in mobile wallets now makes the wallet act more like a wallet without the incessant focus on it as a portable payment mechanism.
The idea of how consumers use mobile devices to find things during the shopping process continues to be somewhat intriguing. One recent study I recently wrote about (Luxury Shoppers 'Find' their Way to the Store) showed that most wealthy consumers are relatively tech savvy but eight to nine out of 10 of their most recent luxury purchases were done in physical store. During that purchase cycle, however, mobile can play a significant role as the consumer winds their way through the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle.