Thanks to beacons, mannequins are becoming live, interactive shopping locations. As with other beacon programs, a new one just launched in the U.K. wakes up a passing smartphone, as long as it has Bluetooth turned on and a certain app in its library. The key here is that the mobile shopper can instantly purchase any of clothing they see on the mannequin.
No matter how you slice it, mobile consumers want to shop in stores and they're looking for a deal. This came through in a new survey of moms, with most (85%) saying they expect to do more than half or all of their back-to-school shopping in stores this year.
With lots of money passing through mobile commerce, there's also a large amount behind the scenes flowing into it. I'm talking about the investment activity and specifics of where the money is flowing. Inside a lengthy report on overall digital activity are some interesting insights into the mobile commerce aspects of the deal flow.
Much of the influence of mobile in-store purchasing remains under the covers. Many studies track the source of transactions, such as by desktop, laptop, smartphone and at physical stores. We know from countless studies that the overwhelming number of sales happens in a brick and mortar store, not online or via mobile.
Beaconing has been the missing piece in the mobile shopping puzzle. Though based on a small piece of hardware transmission capability, beaconing is about to become more an activity than a technology. The technology is essentially invisible and can work without the mobile consumer having to do anything, usually a major hurdle for any mobile shopping technology.
Even though retailers have been talking about and testing beacons for many months, this is just the tip of the massive beacon iceberg. Beacons are going to be big because they're starting to drive results.
There are many questions on tap for today's MediaPost OMMA mCommerce conference here in New York. One of the big ones is the role of retail in the mobile shopping revolution. This is especially in light of new research showing that only 40% of retailers with apps allow consumers to make a purchase within the app.
Mobile shoppers continue to visit stores and websites and buy from all locations. Two regular benchmarks that I follow just came out and shine a light on both areas and point to an evolving mobile marketplace. Physical store traffic is down, mobile traffic is up, people are spending more time in stores and buying more from mobile devices.
Mobile commerce is becoming available wherever and whenever a consumer wants it. As we get ready for the wave of beacon deployment announcements by major retailers just around the corner, it's becoming obvious that retailers and brands will be able to target and reach mobile shoppers almost anywhere in any environment and context.
What a difference a year can make in the world of mobile commerce. As I prepare for the MediaPost annual OMMA mCommerce conference in New York later this week, I decided to take a look at last year's program to see what has changed in a year. OMMA mCommerce last year occurred just a few weeks before Apple released its latest operating system iOS 7, which launched iBeacon technology into the retail environment.