It's no secret to many retailers that mobile is transforming the shopping process. Study after study shows more people are using their phones and tablets not only to transact, but to research, compare, analyze and expand their knowledge base before and during in-store visits.
While mobile consumers use their phones throughout the shopping process, some may be persuaded into spur-of-the-moment purchases. It turns out that the growth in smartphone usage is driving impulse purchases, based on a new Europe-wide study of mobile usage.
Many mobile shoppers are aware they're being digitally tracked, raising an interesting issue of how marketers should handle the tracking information. The long-time goal of tracking has been to be able to interact with customers to entice them with more relevant offers based on such things as location and recent past behaviors.
Many mobile shoppers seem to be finding shortcuts to deals by scanning codes. In the first iteration of QR codes, many (if not most) codes simply led to a website, more often than not the same routine site that could have been reached by typing the URL of that site.
The split between commerce through apps vs. reaching websites from mobile devices is likely to be around for some time. While app usage generally dominates smartphone activity across the board in most studies, for a number of obvious reasons, a lot of commerce from traditional retailers is coming from their websites accessed by a mobile phone.
Some of the thinking around mobile commerce has evolved nicely over time through learning what works after plenty of testing. This became quite apparent at the MediaPost OMMA Mobile conference in New York yesterday as leading brands highlighted some of their learnings and subsequent actions.
Succeeding in mobile commerce can be challenging when having to integrate the new with the tried and true. Dunkin' Brands was challenged with how to keep a 60-year-old iconic brand relevant to consumers today especially in light of traditional marketing still working.
Consumers may be getting the message but many don't want them. Not only do many consumers find text messages being sent to them to be irrelevant, most also find them to be intrusive, based on a new survey. Numerous studies have shown that mobile shoppers would be willing to receive targeted messages that were relevant to them based on their interests or location.
Consumers who are members of loyalty programs appear to be getting the message. While mobile wallets inch along, as I wrote about here last week, messages sent to customers of small businesses seem to be driving an increase in commerce. Last year I visited several New York establishments using a mobile check-in system called SpotOn to check out consumer reaction.
My general rule of thumb for a long time has been that anytime people are saying that "this is the year of (fill in the blank)," then assuredly it is not. Being the real 'year of' implies mass adoption or acceptance. For example, we're certainly past being in the year of the smartphone or the year of the tablet. This brings me to this being the year of the mobile wallet.