Retailers Need to Understand How Consumers Will Be Willing to Shop Using Mobile Phones
Forthcoming improvements in mobile technology, such as better form factor and faster data speeds, are causing many retailers to think about adding a mobile commerce (m-commerce) channel in the next 12 to 24 months, according to Gartner Inc. However, in order to drive m-commerce revenues in the future, both retailers and m-commerce vendors must seriously consider how far consumers are willing to shop using their mobile phones.
"Focusing solely on driving m-commerce revenue will not deliver what customers are really looking for when using their mobile phones during the shopping process," said Hung LeHong, research vice president at Gartner. "Retailers developing a B2C mobile phone strategy must enable a multichannel shopping process as well as driving m-commerce revenue."
Mr. LeHong said that a few of the more-likely shopping activities that consumers will want to do on their mobile phones, such as finding stores and checking prices, will be provided by portals and price comparison engines. He advised retailers to ensure that they were aware of the options that exist in working with these portals, mobile map providers and comparison engines.
Gartner recently undertook a survey of more than 2,000 consumers in the U.S. and the U.K. to assess the likelihood that they would undertake a variety of mobile shopping activities, from price checking and product browsing to ordering and paying for a product from a mobile phone.
Key survey findings:
"M-commerce technology vendors should differentiate themselves by providing multichannel capabilities, such as enabling mobile-phone-generated orders to be picked up in a store or allowing consumers to save mobile-phone-created shopping sessions to be later continued on a Web browser," Mr. LeHong said.
Additional information is available in the Gartner report "M-Commerce Retail Consumer Shopping Preferences". The report is available on Gartner's Web site at http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?ref=g_search&id=598407&subref=simplesearch.
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