Mobile Commerce, M-Commerce– Age of Consumerism: Fulfilling the Promise–Radical Shift in Thinking…

Mobile Commerce: Mobility is not just a fad– it’s a mega trend, which is driving not just personal but enterprises ways of working… Mobile is not just a channel– it’s a cross-channel experience.

One of the big pitfalls in thinking about mobile commerce is trying to create a stand-alone mobile strategy: Mobile commerce directly links to online and in-store activities; it crosses different locations, touches on point-of-sale, and incorporates search, social media, and other forms of engagement…

Mobile commerce is about more than the device, it’s about the whole experience… Mobile commerce (M-commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices; smartphone, tablet… The phrase mobile commerce was originally coined in 1997 to mean– the delivery of electronic commerce capabilities directly into the consumer’s hand, anywhere, via wireless technology. Many choose to think of mobile commerce as meaning– a retail outlet in the customer’s pocket…

According to ‘BI Intelligence’ in January 2013, 29% of mobile users have now made a purchase with their smartphones. Walmart  estimated that 40% of all visits to their Internet shopping site, in December 2012, were from a mobile device. As content delivery over wireless devices becomes faster, more secure, scalable…

There is wide speculation that m-commerce will surpass wire line e-commerce as the method of choice for digital commerce transactions, and the industries that are directly affected by m-commerce include: Financial services; mobile banking, brokerage services… Telecommunications; service changes, bill payment, account reviews… Service/retail; the ability to place and pay for orders on-the-flyInformation services; delivery of financial news, sports figures, traffic updates… According to Juniper Research; mobile-enabled payments will touch a figure of $630 billion by 2014– which translates to 5% of the total e-commerce sales…

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In the article Mobile Commerce Trends for 2013 by nachshon writes: Almost everyone has a smartphone. The amounts of services we hold in our devices are phenomenal, e.g., we can order a cab, check our mail, track our orders, check the stock market and buy anything we need, whether it’s a Starbucks run, or a new iPad, everything can be accessed from our mobiles.

As the world changes, so does our behavior, and with such progress in technology in the last 5 years, we can continue to expect nothing more than progressive services… Our dependence on mobile devices is staggering:

  • 66% of Americans between the ages of 24-35 own a smartphone.
  • 81% of Americans will own smartphones by 2015.
  • By 2015, mobile phones are expected to be used for web access tools more than PC’s.
  • By 2015, 80% (estimated) of handsets will be smartphones, according to Forbes and Gartner.

Mobile Commerce is the newest and fastest growing strand of commerce, more so than e-commerce. Technology advancements are creating newer, smarter and faster ways of shopping. Here are some statistics on changes in m-commerce in 2013:

  • 78% of retailers will invest into mobile commerce.
  • In 2012 alone, over 41% of smart phone users have already made purchases via their mobile. It’s estimated that statistic will almost double in 2014.
  • 62% of shoppers search for deals digitally for half of their shopping trips.
  • 52% of adult mobile owners use their phones while shopping for advice before making a purchase.

Mobile commerce is not just about the transition from devices-tablets to mobile phones, but about change in the direction of consumerism; focus on services and less on devices. The Cloud is considered to be the most revolutionary development in Internet and technology, and the enabler of the mobile commerce revolution. For example:

  • Over 70 billion apps will be downloaded by 2014.
  • 53% of on-the-go audiences are willing to exchange their location in exchange for more relevant content and better information, including mobile deals.

In the article Mobile Sales Explode at Some Commerce Sites by Steve Smith writes: The use of mobile phones and tablets to shop online is increasing dramatically. Surveys report an increase of 5% in mobile visits to study commercial sites in just one month. Yearly, they reported 84% rise in smartphone visits to retail sites and 49% more from tablets.

Statistics show that these mobile visitors weren’t just window shopping either. The physical orders made online in the last year went up more than 100% on smartphones and more than 60% on tablets. With the ever-important back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons fast approaching, brands and retailers can’t afford to miss out on the significant number of shoppers– especially moms– who are relying more heavily on mobile than ever…

In the article Teenage Online Shopping Trends by Marcia Kaplan writes: In addition to moms, one of the demographic that are most responsible for the enormous increase in mobile commerce is teenagers. In a 2013 survey, 79% of teen females and 76% of teen males said that they shop online. And cell phones are the main access to the Internet for 25% of people between the ages of 12 and 17.

The majority of teenagers own mobile devices too; 48% own iPhone and 58% have some type of tablet… Teens are seldom disconnected from their mobile devices so it’s best to customize websites for continual mobile users. Mobile devices are used for browsing, buying, looking for coupons, and checking in with friends to get their views…

In the article Tablets, Smartphones Drive Mobile Commerce by eMarketer writes: Maybe 2012 was the year of mobile after all. U.S. retail m-commerce sales shot up 81% to nearly $25 billion last year, propelled by rapid adoption of tablets and smartphones as shopping devices, according to new estimates by eMarketer.

Mobile devices accounted for 11% of U.S. retail ecommerce sales in 2012; eMarketer estimates that further growth is expected to push mobile sales to 15% share of U.S. retail e-commerce sales this year. M-commerce sales includes; all purchases made via smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, but excludes; sales of travel and event tickets.

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eMarketer’s m-commerce forecast reflects a confluence of three trends: first, expanding number of smartphone shoppers whose behavior affects commerce in all channels; second, growing number of smartphone buyers who enjoy the immediacy of purchasing through their phone and are expected to generate just over one-third of m-commerce sales this year; and third, the rapid rise in tablet shopping, which will produce the bulk of m-commerce sales over the next four years.

This year, US consumers will spend $24 billion shopping on their tablets, and that figure will nearly double by 2015. M-commerce sales on smartphones are lower and will grow more slowly, reaching $13.44 billion this year and $24.32 billion by 2016. Purchases on other mobile devices, such as e-readers, will continue to make up a small but steady share of the m-commerce pie.

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The rapid rise in m-commerce sales on tablets means that such purchases will account for 9.4% of all retail e-commerce sales this year and 16.9% of the total by 2016. Smartphones, which had a lead due to earlier adoption, will contribute 5.3% of retail e-commerce sales this year, an estimate that will nudge up only slightly through eMarketer’s forecast period.

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eMarketer is relatively distinct and thorough in its methodology for estimating U.S. mobile commerce and retail e-commerce sales. For example; eMarketer forms its forecast thru an analysis of estimates from multiple research firms; estimated mobile sales data from lead retailers; consumer shopping trends on mobile devices, smartphones and tablets; survey and traffic data from multiple research firms; and consumer smartphone-tablet adoption trends.

In this case, eMarketer analyzed more than 120 data sets from dozens of third-party research sources that track commerce sales and consumer behavior– whose figures are each evaluated by eMarketer based on their respective methodologies, definitions and historical accuracy– before forming its forecast.

Mobile commerce is not a new distribution channel, or mobile Internet or substitute for PCs. Rather it’s a new aspect of consumerism and a much more powerful way to speak with consumers…

According to Marty Leestma; unleashing the value of m-commerce requires understanding the role that mobility plays in people’s lives today. That calls for a radical shift in thinking… Instead of improving a product or refining a distribution channel, companies will need to leverage superior consumer insights to develop powerful branded solutions with value outside their traditional markets. They must forge alliances with telecommunications carriers, retailers, entertainment businesses and e-commerce companies that appeal to consumer groups that they target. They will also need to address complex issues of logistics, coordination…

According to Eran Kinsbruner; mobile users expect high quality experiences, performance, usability and accessibility from the mobile devices… In order to be successful in mobile marketing; brands must be able to deliver on expectations– mobile users are less tolerant and much more demanding than desktop users...

According to Jeff Vance; mobile commerce has tons of potential, but like so many high-upside technology trends, e.g., smartphone, tablet, cloud computing, social media… paradigms don’t change on overnight. For example; the m-commerce success story is Asia: In many Asian countries, people have skipped right over the PC era to smartphone-tablet. Thus, any sort of e-commerce in Asia is by definition m-commerce…

Research by Neilson found that both Singapore and Hong Kong are experiencing spikes in their m-commerce, but when you drill into the details m-commerce in Asia looks a heck of a lot like e-commerce elsewhere… Which points to one reason m-commerce is failing to deliver on some of its lofty promises: M-commerce is tracking very closely to the e-commerce version, which means that the essentials of mobile wasn’t a factor when those sites were build.

According to Baymard Institute; after completing the most exhaustive m-commerce usability study done to date, it is easy to understand why some researchers cry out for caution. The study showed a staggering 97% mobile cart abandonment rate and IBM has documented m-commerce conversion rates to be about half of the full-site e-commerce equivalents are seeing.

And, despite the mobile commerce sites of 18 multi-billion dollar businesses, such as; Walmart, Amazon, Avis, United… numerous test consumers were unable to complete their purchase at the majority of the sites they tested. Note the word used is unable, not unwilling. The usability issues were that disruptive– smaller screens and new interaction methods… The m-commerce opportunity exists– and it’s huge– if companies understand consumer groups intimately and develop ubiquitous solutions that recognize the role that mobility plays in consumers’ lives…