Mobile Commerce: Shop ‘Till You Drop Your Phone

So you’ve got a party to go to next weekend, and of course you want to get a new outfit. But like most of us you work every weekday until the clock strikes 5, so the only time you can run to the mall is after work or on the weekend. You’d almost rather go to the party in last year’s dress than face the night and weekend crowds at the mall. What if I told you that you could find the dress of your dreams and pay for it all from the palm of your hand? Welcome to 2012 and the more convenient, consumer friendly future of shopping: mobile commerce.

For those of you who may have been sailing around the world the past year and aren’t familiar with the term “mobile commerce,” allow me to catch you up. Mobile commerce is simply a way to shop online through your mobile device. Customers are now able to not only get information on a product through their phone, but go ahead and actually make the purchase right from their all in one device. To make the payment process even simpler, many companies now offer mobile credit card apps so that you can securely store your credit card number on the app and not have to bother manually typing in your information for each mobile purchase.

Over the past year, mobile commerce has made quite a splash in the market place. To help explain the steep rise in mobile commerce, let’s take a look at some statistics courtesy of Mashable.com. Out of the 7.0 billion human beings roaming this great Earth, 5.9 billion are owners of mobile phones; and 77% of those 5.9 billion use their mobile device to conduct online searches. And one out of every ten of those searches leads to the searcher taking some sort of action; such as a purchase or a store visit. Online shopping became so popular overnight because of the amazing convenience that it provided all of us. Mobile commerce has brought a whole new meaning to the concept of convenience.

What does the ability of making purchases from your mobile device mean for retailers? It means that they now have even more time and opportunity to entice you to spend your money; and you better believe they are making the most of it. The main objective for retailers using the mobile space is to make it easy and convenient for their customers to look up a product, read about it and finally purchase it all in one transaction. To ensure this process goes as planned, retailers should:

  • Direct users right to their mobile sites when they search them from their mobile device
  • Offer incentives to users of their mobile commerce such as free shipping on purchases over $100
  • Advertise your retailers mobile app from your mobile site
  • Keep the layout clean and easy to navigate
  • Take pointers from Saks and their mobile site, like their click to call option, allowing users to easily connect with customer service
  • And, last but not least, the most important tactic to apply to a retailer’s mobile site is a call to action for an opt in to set up SMS communications

- Katie Cohen, Creative Services Coordinator