Mobile retail to take on new direction for 2012?

Amidst reports that consumers are more comfortable making higher value purchases via their mobile phone, experts at CTS Retail are predicting rapid developments in the mobile marketplace in 2012, which could see mobile providers potentially offering 'virtual banks services where consumer purchases via mobile are simply added to their phone bill.

Research suggests that 87% of people have changed their shopping habits since the start of the recession and more importantly, that consumers are getting more comfortable with making larger purchases on their mobile phones.

Further reports reveal that 79% of the on-the-go audience is comfortable making purchases on their mobile devices, such as smart phones or tablets and A YouGov survey of shoppers on the high street found 47% of shoppers aged 18-24 and 33% of shoppers aged 35-44 said they would shop more at a store if they could use a mobile device. 

Combine these statistics with a growing demand for a seamless customer experience, regardless of what channel is used to purchase, Scott Storey, MD of CTS Retail, believes that rapid developments in the delivery of m-commerce are inevitable if retailers are going to tap into this 'mobile ready' market and adopt mobile as a viable mainstream sales channel.

Storey says: "Retailers are still getting the hang of the m-commerce approach, but I think that there is a little way to go. It is clear that consumers have a real desire to use their mobile but our discussions with retailers have uncovered mixed views with regards to their adoption of mobile payments.

Many online retailers currently use a service from the banks known as 3D Secure, providing a higher level of protection from fraudulent payments, however this service is not supported at present when paying via a mobile application. This is an area of concern for retailers and something which will needed addressing before mobile can really become integrated in the sales strategy."

Storey believes that one solution may be for mobile phone providers to add mobile payments to their offering. "I believe mobile payment will increasingly gain in popularity and use, but will it continue in its present guise or will mobile payments simply be added to the consumer's mobile phone bill? It will be interesting to see whether mobile phone providers take this step towards becoming 'virtual banks'. It's certainly viable," says Storey.

Further industry statistics:

  • 79% of the on-the-go audience is comfortable making purchases on their mobile devices, such as smart phones or tablets
  • 71% researched future purchases on their mobile device and then made a purchase either online or within a store at a later date
  • 72% of mobile audience purchases local deals 44% at least once a month. Overall interest in location-based services up 11.7% Q4 Q1 '11.
  • 62% are sharing local deals with their friends those aged 25-44 are most likely to purchase a local deal
  • 84% of the mobile audience partakes in some sort of shopping behavior on a mobile device in Q1 '11 compared to 70% in Q4 '10
  • 71% own or plan to purchase a tablet. 58% prefer an iOS operating system, 31% have no operating sys. preference
  • 50% of mobile device owners spend $100 or more on a purchase via their smart phone
  • 40% research a purchase on their device before buying it online, 31% research a purchase on their device before buying it in store

A YouGov survey of shoppers on the high street found 47% of shoppers aged 18-24 and 33% of shoppers aged 35-44 said they would shop more at a store if they could use a mobile device.  Personalized offers, buy and collect form store and no more queues were among the most popular reasons suggested by those consumers surveyed.  They also found that 65% of consumers want personalized loyalty schemes where rewards are unique and based on their transaction history. 

Sources of Information
Aberdeen Group: Cross Channel Customer Loyalty, Rewards, Promotions and the Battle for ROI, March 2010.  Marketing Week 28/01/11.  2008 Survey, PayPal and comScore.  19th Annual Retail Technology Study, Retail Week April 2009.  JiWire Mobile Audience Insights Report Q1 2011. Jupiter Research 2011. Forrester Research 2010.  mobilecommercedaily.com. Retail Week Technology Study May 2011. Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance survey 2010.

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