When new technology comes into common use, it isn’t always obvious how it should best be used, and mobile commerce is no exception, but retailers – both online and in actual physical space – have been making their first attempts at using smartphones and tablets to their best advantage, each in their own ways.
Retailers weren’t typically a part of the first wave of commerce. There were a few trailblazers, but other than that, mobile devices weren’t at all a part of their strategies, especially among those who weren’t online at all.
That said, J.P. Morgan has predicted that the revenue from e-commerce worldwide will be $963 by the year 2013, and a growing segment of that amount is starting to belong to mobile. In fact, in 2011, there was a growth of 13.2 percent in American online retail commerce alone, bringing it to $187 billion. They believe that with the way that online retail is growing, if retailers don’t start to take part in mobile commerce, those in the physical brick and mortar shops will be negatively affected.
Consumers today have mobile phones everywhere they go, and are using them to shop even while they are inside brick and mortar stores. In fact, while the majority of shoppers will make their purchase in a physical store, two out of every three will use the internet to influence their decision. Now that the internet is mobile, it is having an even larger impact.
It is leaving those retailers scrambling to figure out how to make sure that when the consumer does make his or her final decision, it’s their product they purchase. The reason that this is such a challenge is that the technology is, indeed, brand new, and nothing has been tested and proven as effective over the long term. There just hasn’t been enough time.
According to Frank Schuil, the CEO and founder of a new indoor positioning company that has a specialty in web analytics, Qubulus, “Malls and retailers have had basic counters for years but they were not collecting any mobility patterns from those counters. If you can collect that movement inside the physical space, which is in fact data, you can make better decisions on how to reach your customers and convert their dwell time to purchase time.”