Thursday, December 09, 2010

Mobile Retail Applications a Transformational Trend

 I read an interesting article today in Bloomberg about mobile shopping and mobile retailing applications.  Here are a few excerpts.

  • Almost 60 percent of mobile consumers expect to use their phones to help with shopping plans and holiday celebrations this season, according to the Mobile Marketing Association.
  • Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm recently stated, “The phone is going to be the payment mechanism of the future.  You’ll probably just scan whatever thing it was that you’re buying. It will cause the checkout to happen. It will cause the security to happen, so that when you walk out of the door it won’t ring the bell.” 
  • About eight percent of consumers in the U.S. have bought something with a phone. That compares with 32 percent in Taiwan, which tops the list of major industrialized countries, according to IE Market Research Corp.  Finland was No. 1 in Europe, at 13 percent.

The article highlights the fact that Best Buy, Home Depot and all have mobile retailing applications now.  I have had many discussions with the mobile retailing experts at Smartsoft Mobile Solutions, and I find this market very interesting.  It combines the following:

  • Mobile commerce
  • Mobile marketing
  • Product catalogs
  • Price comparisons
  • Barcode scanning
  • Order and shipment tracking
  • Branding
  • Mobile payments
  • Location-based services
  • Mobile rebates, coupons and loyalty programs
  • Much, much more...

Each of these areas require deep industry knowledge.  This is not a market for vendors that only specialize in mobile applications.  The list above requires in-depth industry experience, expertise and backend ERP systems.

Here are a few additional excerpts from other articles I read this week.

  • Last month, eBay added a barcode scanning feature to its iPhone app, which lets customers scan products while they're in brick-and-mortar stores to see if the items can be purchased for less money on the auction site.
  • Starbucks uses PayPal's technology to let customers add funds to their Starbucks cards online via a mobile application.
  • PayPal's Black Friday 2010 figures show mobile shopping grew a massive 310 percent from last year, as shoppers choose to dial up deals rather than deal with the crowds and traffic at the mall.

I can tell you that in my house we have been buying airline tickets and just about everything on mobile devices.

Every week I compile two newsletters that are relevant to this subject, Mobile Retailing News Weekly and the Mobile Money News Weekly.  I invite you to read these newsletters on my blog if these subjects are of interest to you.

Kevin Benedict, SAP Mentor, SAP Top Contributor, Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst
Phone +1 208-991-4410
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility consultant, mobility analyst, writer and Web 2.0 marketing professional. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.