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Mobile Commerce Daily’s Mobile Commerce Outlook 2011By
This year marks a turning point in mobile commerce as more retailers realize that a transaction-ready and shopper-friendly mobile store is no longer an option but increasingly a necessity. Mobile commerce’s good days are about to begin.
As Mobile Commerce Daily’s Mobile Commerce Outlook 2011 shows, all facets of mobile are showing tremendous strength. As expected, mobile Web sites are leading the charge in mobile commerce, followed by applications and SMS programs designed to drive traffic to mobile and in-store destinations.
This compendium is designed to help retailers and marketers navigate the world of mobile commerce this year.
For followers of ecommerce, the landscape looks awfully familiar to the early days of the Internet: lack of standards, clunky interfaces, difficult transaction process and page pull-up speeds that don’t meet the demands of today’s impatient consumer.
But a little patience and lots of best practice will resolve most of these salad-days issues for mobile commerce.
In this Outlook, senior editor Giselle Tsirulnik, associate editor Dan Butcher and editorial assistant Rimma Kats have ably outlined what to expect in mobile commerce this year. Each article is worthy of a serious read. Many thanks to them and to those industry experts and columnists who helped for their hard work and also to Rimma for her art direction on this edition.
Sky’s the limit for mcommerce
The mobile commerce opportunities for retailers are several.
First, mobile expands the number of channels for retailers. Contrary to what the Internet did to other channels such as the catalog, mobile will have an incremental effect on overall retail sales, and not cannibalize ecommerce.
Second, mobile adds legs to other channels. Expect mobile tactics such as SMS marketing to drive traffic to stores with incentives such as coupons, alerts, discounts, new-merchandise updates and store openings.
Third, mobile adds a social element to the shopping experience. Happy shoppers will tweet, Facebook Like or post positive comments on feedback pages if the retail experience on mobile or in-store was satisfactory and more.
Fourth, mobile allows for price and product comparison on the spot. While this is a double-edged sword – after all, Amazon is poised to become the de facto mobile comparison shopping engine for mobile commerce – it also offers a new layer of transparency to the shopping process.
Fifth, mobile is an excellent marketing channel for retailers. Its potential to add to the overall customer loyalty program is mouth-watering. If there is one area that retailers are neglecting it is this: they are not moving fast enough to capture opt-in mobile numbers to market to consumers.
A CRM program without a mobile component is an incomplete program. It is a must to communicate with customers in the channel they are most comfortable with, and that today is mobile – via SMS and email.
Of course, mobile still has issues such as security concerns over transactions on the phone and lack of frictionless payment options unless the mobile store relies on the consumer data stored on the ecommerce site.
Add to that screen size, page load and site and application design and utility issues that need to be resolved and, of course, the back-end infrastructure that needs to tie into the ecommerce engine for order fulfillment, returns and everything else.
Having seen the Internet and ecommerce’s growth since the early 1990s, this writer has little doubt that mobile commerce in 2015 will be every inch as sophisticated as ecommerce in 2011. This year marks the first long stride toward that possibility. Let the Mobile Commerce Outlook 2011 embolden retailers and marketers to sprint ahead in mobile commerce.
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