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The Mobile Commerce Evolution

Adjust for the way consumers want to buy.

July 25, 2012 By Jessica Boothe

Imagine you are lounging by the beach when it suddenly occurs to you that you forgot to buy a birthday gift for your nephew or that new laptop for your recent grad who is starting college next month. But why leave the beach? You can use your tablet or smartphone to jump on the Internet and start your shopping as you sit in your beach chair watching the waves. Welcome to mobile commerce.

M-commerce has quickly been adopted by 37 percent of U.S. consumers and is heavily driven by women and younger consumers (25-34). Driven by the popularity of mobile devices and the comfort consumers have found shopping on them, mobile commerce will continue to grow.

Consumer Electronics Association defines mobile commerce as anything that is shopped or bought via a mobile device. Today, shopping behaviors outweigh actual purchases on mobile devices, including taking photos of products (53 percent), calling friends/family for advice (46 percent), texting friends/family for advice (46 percent), finding additional information on a product online (45 percent), price comparison (43 percent), searching and reading reviews online (39 percent) as well as searching for coupons online (39 percent).

While CE and clothing/footwear are top categories for browsing on mobile devices, 49 percent of those engaged in mobile commerce bought music and 45 percent bought books most often than any other category. This is expected considering most consumers use their tablet, smartphone and cell phones for listening to music and reading. But as consumers become more familiar with these gateway purchases and continue to use mobile devices to browse for CE and clothing, they will eventually stop window shopping and start buying.

More consumers are engaging in mobile commerce at home than any other locations. By the very nature of these devices, through, m-commerce will quickly expand outside of the home. As a multitasking, on-the-go society, it’s no surprise convenience is listed as the top reason for engaging in m-commerce. Whether they are commuting or responding to a “deal of the day,” time is the deciding factor that persuades many consumers to buy something from their mobile device. Consumers regularly engaged in mobile commerce report spending around $642 using their mobile devices in the past 12 months.

Among those not ready to shop on their mobile phone, top reasons include security and screen size. Security once served as a major deterrent to online shopping for many consumers, but with a decade of security advancements in place, 92 percent of U.S. consumers report shopping online. While security issues continue to be addressed in the mobile community, many well-known institutions are releasing their own m-commerce solutions. Here’s a look at some of them:

 

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