Daily Dose of iQ: M-Commerce and Location-based Services

May 25, 2011 — Allan Pulga

A new study by JiWire has examined mobile shopping trends of people that use tablets, smartphones or laptops outside of their home or office, dubbing these people as "on-the-go" consumers.

The study "found that these consumers are heavily engaged with local deals services like Groupon and LivingSocial, for example and had a high demand for tablet computers," wrote Sarah Perez of ReadWriteWeb.com (May 25).

JiWire found that 72% of mobile shoppers have purchased a Groupon deal, and 44% purchase local deals once a month. Meanwhile, 71% of mobile shoppers either own a tablet or intend to purchase one.

For retailers, one of the most interesting findings from this study is that these mobile shoppers are using their devices to research an item before purchasing it online (40%) or in the store (31%) -- see the above graph. Another 20% of mobile shoppers actually go ahead and buy the item on their mobile devices themselves.

Why aren't more people buying from their mobile devices, though?

"Two different estimates forecast the value of mobile commerce at approximately $5 billion for 2011," wrote Charles Nicholls of PracticalEcommerce.com (May 20). "While this sounds like a big number, it represents only 2 percent of the overall online commerce market in 2010. It grows to 12 percent in 2015, however, based on data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, as shown below."

Nicholls refers to a new e-tailing group study, which found the following reasons why people don't shop more on their smartphones:

  • Awkward shopping experience on phone: 49%
  • Concerns over credit card information: 36%
  • Slow connection/connectivity: 32%
  • Image of product not good: 26%
  • Not easy to view product information: 23%
  • Takes too long: 20%
  • Product information is limited: 18%
  • Full product selection is not offered: 13%
  • Customized experience based on location: 9%
  • Other: 12%

So while m-commerce isn't exactly mainstream yet, new technology (like NFC) and improved credit card security will definitely help boost adoption in the near future.

For now, the take home message to retailers is: Offer local deals and make sure you facilitate the pre-purchase research process so that customers can choose the product they want and buy it online or in-store.

Topics: Retail Operations, Mobile Industry, Customer Experience

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