Mobile Commerce: Changing the Way Brands and Customers Interact

November 15, 2011 § 3 Comments

With 800 million users on Facebook, 200 million Twitter users and 10 million checking-in on Foursquare  it is easy to understand how social commerce is quickly growing into a massively successful business. Pampers’ Facebook store reports 1,000 transactions per hour. Groupon is one of the fastest growing businesses and social commerce is only expected to become an even larger industry. Similarly, mobile commerce is a business that is quickly being tapped into by brands and advertisers. A huge increase from the expected $6 billion it will bring in by the end of the year, it is estimated to become a $30 billion dollar industry by 2016.

Already brands and customers are utilizing their smart phones to engage with each other and interact in social loyalty programs. Branded applications allow users to track their progress in a loyalty program, as well as participate in games and social sharing. Direct Message Lab’s platform, REACH v4 gives brands the ability to build and launch mobile applications so that brands can deploy information, build loyalty programs. Additionally, REACH complies user data so that the brand is able to receive and analyze information and metrics.

As security, speed and availability increases, customers are looking to their smart phones to get even more done. PBS recently launched their mobile kids product store after seeing that the demand for parents of young kids wanting to do their shopping on-the-go via their phone was high. Lucky magazine, owned by Condé Nast released Lucky Shopper, a mobile application that allows the user to scan any bar or QR codes, Microsoft tags or digital watermarks all from the same app. From there customer is able to compare prices and find out information about the product that exists in an issue of Lucky magazine. Furthermore, advertisers are able to partner with Lucky to offer users to scan their products targeted information, special offers, videos and branded games.

Starbucks' Android App

Starbucks' Android App

There are a variety of directions mobile commerce can head. To some extent, businesses are already testing out different ways a mobile device can integrate the entire shopping experience, target customers and make the entire process easier. Starbucks’ Android application allows customers to manage their virtual gift card, check their balance, earn rewards, reload the card, and most importantly pay with it. A bar code allows cashiers at Starbucks to scan the card off the phone and the user’s balance is instantly deducted .

Additionally the realistic possibility of brands and advertisers being able to send
location based offers directly to a users phone might not be too far off. Just by entering a mall with a specific store, or walking through the doors of a business, offers could be instantly sent to your phone, further creating incentive for the customer to make a purchase during the visit.

E-Commerce Guide offers a plethora of statistics that all point to the growing success and possibilities of the mobile commerce business. A few notable points include that over half of those surveyed used a mobile phone during their shopping experience, with almost half (48%) of mobile users having made a purchase on their smart phone.

The scope of mobile commerce is expanding quickly. The industry has the possibility to have a larger impact on how customers make purchases as well as how brands are able to target their customers. As a brand, this is not an industry to ignore.

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