Over the last decade, I have steadily watched and participated in the growth of eCommerce. Like many Americans, I have moved from doing research on line and buying in a brick and mortar store to doing the majority of my shopping online. I regularly pull out my credit card will a small measure of trepidation and make my purchase. I have become a true convert.
However, apparently there is a new game in town, gaining popularity at a rapid rate among young people. That is mCommerce or mobile commerce. The idea of paying for something with my cell phone is still a little strange for me, but so was eCommerce at first.
So far, mobile shopping has gained more traction overseas than it has in the US. ZDNet reports that the InMobi Mobile Shopping and Mobile Commerce (m-commerce) study, conducted globally between February and March, determined that 80 percent of mobile Web users in Asia-Pacific made purchases via their mobile devices.
A recent article in eMarketer states that there is a gap developing between generations using mobile devices. Nearly twice as many under-35s vs. older respondents agreed that being able to research and buy products on the go was a true convenience. Twenty-nine percentage points also separated the two groups on the matter of using a smartphone or tablet as a research aid while shopping.
The inclination to make impulse purchases also appears to be tied to smartphone shopping. Half of the millennials surveyed admitted to that tendency. However, these spur-of-the-moment shopping sprees aren’t necessarily wallet-busters. Most of these purchases are music downloads and cost less than $5. These charges show up on your phone bill, rather than your credit card statement.
According to a Business Wire survey, consumers expect to be purchasing goods and services regularly via their mobile devices within the next 36 months, retail businesses themselves appear far from ready to provide these services. Professor Morris Pentel, chairman of the Customer Experience Foundation said, “The mobile shopping revolution has arrived, but the gap that exists between consumer expectations and business plans will significantly impact customer satisfaction.”
Looks like m-commerce is coming at us very fast. I guess we better get used to another new way of doing business.