Opening the Gateway to Mobile Commerce
Consumers are ready to put their money where their mobile devices are according to a recent Sybase 365 survey. After more than 15 years of online shopping, nearly one-third of 1,000 consumers polled would be enticed to engage in mobile commerce. They'd also be willing to make a purchase of goods or services on a mobile device this holiday season if presented with mobile-based incentives and if their current devices allowed them to do so.
This data suggests that conditions are ripe for the mobile economy to take off. Marketers are transitioning from mobile commerce awareness-building to the next step in the process: facilitating customer transactions.
Sybase 365's survey reveals that 22 percent of respondents already research and compare prices while shopping on their mobile devices. Thirty-two percent would be persuaded to make a purchase on their mobile device if offered incentives such as coupons or discount offers, gift cards, and text or email alerts. Clearly, momentum is building for widespread mobile commerce deployment and adoption in the U.S.
This adoption will be aided by SMS, or text messages. SMS is a valuable channel for marketers to gain and retain customers via the "fourth screen." Sending text messages is a perfectly viable option for retailers to deliver marketing and advertising content directly to consumers. Some 70 percent of surveyed respondents use their mobile phones for text messaging.
SMS can be a driver of mobile transactions since consumers are already using their phones as part of the purchase cycle. With their ease of delivery and appeal to a younger demographic, SMS coupons and discount offers present an opportunity for retailers to take advantage of the current mobile economy to develop relationships with a new breed of consumers.
The boom of e-commerce over the past 10 years and the implementation of mobile security standards indicate greater willingness from consumers to replicate the e-commerce experience on their handheld devices. Although SMS is ubiquitous and presents no learning curve, its strong association with person-to-person chat leaves it surprisingly underused as a channel for initiating the mobile commerce process.