"In 2008 and 2009 , mobile started out as a science project. It's accelerated so fast that it's becoming more mission-critical for retailers to deliver a mobile experience in a professional way."
- Dave Sikora, Digby
In our 2009 post-holiday blog we declared online shopping as the holiday retail darling of the holiday season. But this year there' s a new darling in town - it's that handy portable device we call a mobile phone. Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, made a significant contribution as the new tech trend for the holiday season as more shoppers were going online than ever before.
People used their phone just like their computers at home for online shopping: comparing prices, purchasing items and finding the nearest store location as well as inventory in stock locally.
Retailers hopped on board as they invested in m-commerce to prepare for the holidays. That's a smart move considering how m-commerce promotions encourage impulse buys, and knowing the exact location of shoppers lets merchants deliver coupons and offers to users when they're most likely to spend. Mobile apps like Foursquare encourages consumers to "check in" and retailers took advantage of the information. They offered the ability to scan barcodes or get discounts on their mobile device while out shopping. With moves like that, retailers presented a seamless shopping experience online and offline.
M-commerce expected to triple this year, and double again next year; but US lags behind others
- m-commerce is expected to triple to $3 billion in the U.S. this year and reach $6 billion next year
- However, U.S. consumers are still behind foreign consumers in terms of purchasing with a mobile phone
- 7.9% of U.S. consumers have bought something with a phone vs.
- 32% of consumers in Taiwan have bought something with a phone (This tops the list of major industrialized countries (per IE Market Research Corp)
- About 13% of consumers in Finland have bought something with a phone (#1 European country)
M-commerce played a significant role so far in the 2010 holiday online shopping experience
- Almost 60% of mobile consumers expect to use their phones to help with shopping plans and holiday celebrations this season
- Nearly 4% of all Cyber Monday shoppers used smartphones and other devices to make their purchases
- According to research data from Google/OTX:
- 52% of U.S. smartphone users plan to use their phone to compare prices during the holiday shopping season
- 40% plan to use their phones to read product reviews
- According to the 2010 eholiday pre-holiday survey from National Retail Federation
- Shoppers using smartphones will account for at least $127 billion, or 28%, of the $447 billion the NRF predicts consumers will spend this holiday season
- Over one quarter of consumers said they definitely planned to use their smartphone to research or make holiday purchases
Are you planning to ride the m-commerce wave this holiday season? You won't be alone!
Image: Carlos Porto/freedigitalphotos.net
It's a holly, jolly (mobile) Christmas, shop.org, 12/2/10
Best Buy, Amazon.com Try to Reach Shoppers Through Their Phones, businessweek.com, 12/2/10
U.S. Online Sales on Cyber Monday Climbed 16%, ComScore Says, bloomberg.com, 12/1/10
Cyber Monday sales hit record $1B, bizjournals.com 12/1/10