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Retailers to Reach Customers Via Phones

by Tom Moccia | December 7, 2010December 7, 2010 2:00 pm PDT

Commerce has been one of those catch words for retailers, politicians and economists over the last five years or so, and with online shopping at an all time high, the cool catchphrase today is e-commerce. Although people have been spending more money online than in brick and mortar stores over the last decade, people still want to see, touch and feel their purchases even if they plan on making the purchase online.

Enter the next hot catchphrase in the marketing realm, “m-commerce” or mobile commerce, where consumers complete transactions right from their phone. Now you may be saying, “what is so revolutionary about making a purchase on your mobile phone?” Well, believe it or not the United States is way behind when it comes to m-commerce. m-commerceSo far behind Asia it’s staggering. About eight percent of the consumers in the US have bought something with their phone compared to 32 percent in Taiwan.

Retailers will be looking for ways to innovate their mobile marketing plans as statistics say that shoppers using smartphones will account for at least $127 billion or 28 percent of the $477 billion the National Retail Federation predicts consumers will spend this holiday season according to IDC Retail Insights.

Retailers such as Best Buy, Home Depot, and Amazon are some of the retailers putting their mobile marketing campaigns into overdrive. These retailers, amongst others, are partnering with barcode scanning application developers to allow consumers to get discounts and find product information on their phones, thus encouraging shoppers to make impulse purchases on their handset.

For example, Best Buy has partnered with the shopping app released by TheFind.com to generate an ad for Best Buy whenever a customer scans an electronic product, even while in competing stores. The Home Depot app lets shoppers calculate how much paint they may need to complete that painting project which encourages users to take the plunge into redecorating a room.

Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm, thinks the phone is going to become the payment mechanism in the future: “You’ll probably just scan whatever thing it was that you’re buying. It will cause the checkout to happen. It will cause the security to happen, so that when you walk out the door it won’t ring the bell.”

As more consumers will be completing transactions via their phones it will be imperative to reach consumers and maximize sales via the mobile devices. The retailers that are successful in leveraging m-commerce will survive while those that don’t will go the way of other retailers that failed to evolve with consumers tendencies.

What type of trends do you see in m-commerce and where o you think it will lead in the future?


Tom Moccia

Tom Moccia is a native of Stamford, Connecticut and moved his family west in 2000 and now calls Stockton, California home with his wife and two...

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