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Personalized recommendations key to mobile commerce: ChoiceStream

January 21, 2010

Consumers want recommendations

Consumers want recommendations

Shopping guides via mobile devices are set to lift mobile commerce revenue as consumers demand more, according to survey findings from ChoiceStream Inc.

Of the surveyed 525 consumers, 65 percent indicated they would buy more products from their mobile devices if it were easier to find products from trusted retailers. ChoiceStream found that consumers want personalization when it comes to mobile commerce – but not on social networks.

“Of the respondents who use social networks, only 8.5 percent reported that they have ever made a purchase while on the site,” said Lori Trahan, vice president of marketing and communications at ChoiceStream, Cambridge, MA. “And, only 27 percent indicate any interest in product recommendations from trusted retailers. 

“Instead of using social networks to make purchasing decisions, consumers are turning to their mobile phones,” she said.

ChoiceStream provides personalized product recommendations and display ads for brands such as Zappos, Tesco and Borders.

The ChoiceStream Personalization Survey provides insight into a consumer’s interest in and perceptions of personalization.

Networking, not shopping
Based on the social network findings, ChoiceStream is advising retailers to promote their brand experience and offers using social networks, but defer investment in product recommendations until the market for commerce on those networks matures.

During 2009, 37 percent of consumers surveyed said they used their mobile device to make a purchase.

“We expect mcommerce to really take off,” Ms. Trahan said. “Retailers are finally starting to invest more dollars in recommendation technology to bolster their sales – and that will extend to include smartphones.”

Ms. Trahan said retailers have always been aware of the mobile opportunity and now consumers are starting to expect their Web experience to be available on multiple devices, wherever they are. 

It is natural that consumers would expect to see personalized recommendations on their mobile device, and Ms. Trahan said retailers will explore more mobile commerce technology strategies this year.

Get personal
Ms. Trahan said it is critical for retailers to optimize ads and recommendations for smartphone devices.

Retailers should consider including mobile commerce in their overall personalization strategy especially because new, innovative services are making it faster and easier for shoppers to find the products they want on their mobile devices – and that ultimately drives revenue.

In 2010, consumers will continue to see their phones as a legitimate shopping channel. 

ChoiceStream is predicting the 37 percent who said they bought goods via mobile will continue to do so and that others will follow suit. 
Ms. Trahan said shoppers are smarter than they were just a year or two ago and that they are relying on product recommendations online to make purchase decisions both online and offline.

“Retailers should recognize that they can reach their shoppers on mobile phones too and tailor the experience to the smaller screen,” Ms. Trahan said. “Personalized recommendations bring relevance to the top — which is what’s required if you’re going to use mobile as a shopping channel.”

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Chirs Harnick is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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