Ready Or Not, Here Comes Mobile Commerce

Are you ready for a mobile customer base? You should be: Mobile devices represent a major growth opportunity for retailers by providing a new purchasing channel for consumers, says a new study.

The rise of social networking and advanced mobile technologies has redefined the online experience, according to the third annual Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) E-Commerce Study. This is enabling retailers to capture new sources of revenue by implementing mobile strategies.

There are now three times as many mobile-phone subscribers (3.3 billion) as Internet users (1.3 billion) worldwide, so Cisco expects m-commerce to follow an adoption pattern similar to that of cell phones.

The study shows that early retail adopters are already finding ways to factor the mobile phone into multichannel service delivery. For the more basic mobile offering, retailers are using short message service (SMS) to communicate promotions, provide a two-way service for customers’ questions, and offer item availability and delivery updates.

Other findings:

  • 42% of retailers provide the ability to view product information on a mobile device through reformatted Web pages or specific mobile pages
  • 15% enable users to conduct transactions (make purchases, complete inventory queries, etc.)
  • 10% are using SMS to provide information or answers to customers’ questions
  • 6% have Websites and a URL specifically designed for mobile use

The Cisco IBSG study assessed 45 retailers from North America and Europe in three categories (Global 500, Web 15, and Innovators). It looked at two aspects of online shopping from the consumer’s point of view: foundational capabilities, which include an intuitive graphical user interface, search capabilities and a convenient purchasing process; and emerging capabilities, which include aspects such as social networking and multichannel integration, that add value to the customer’s experience.

Related article:
Godiva Goes Mobile

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