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Mobile Commerce Gets into Gear

2010 January 5

Buckle up. Mobile Commerce is finally happening.

2009 saw scores of name brands in retail, banking, insurance and other verticals step into mobile commerce despite the Great Recession and the near implosion of the banking sector. In November and December, we saw a significant uptick in the number of organizations planning for mobile in 2010.

Compete Smartphone Mobile Commerce Purchase Responses

Smartphone consumers use their mobile phone to purchase & research purchases

If there was any doubt left, Compete has released a new survey of smartphone users that clearly shows that consumers are willing to transact from their phones. Most notably 28% of respondents said they use their smartphone to make purchases without seeing the item in a store. Another 34% of consumers said they make purchases on their phone after seeing the item in a store.

This is bona fide mobile commerce.

And, I assert, you can find further proof that this mobile commerce is real in the fact that consumers are complaining about the generally horrid mobile user experience. A full 8% of respondents said that they had tried to make a purchase but failed (45% of the time because the site wouldn’t load.).Most ecommerce executives would be fired if their web site consistently blocked 8% of users from transacting.

Most ecommerce executives would be fired if their web site consistently blocked 8% of users from transacting.

So these growing pains are the beginning of real mobile commerce. If 8% are failing, there are consumers trying hard to transact and consumers are buying. There’s an opportunity to improve the business and there’s a real business.

Now it’s time for organizations to learn how to optimize their site, just like they did with ecommerce. However, with mobile commerce, different optimizations are required for different devices, and different  user interface affordances (or, metaphors) are often required in mobile than in the ecommerce site.

Mobile isn’t a new view of ecommerce. Mobile is a new channel.

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