August 24, 2011
The number of smartphones has been doubling every year, and by the end of this year will exceed 125 million in the U.S. alone, about half of all mobile phones on the market in this country. In addition, Apple’s iPads have approached almost 20 million units sold to date. And they seem to have altered the way we perceive and interact with mobile commerce.
Consumers have quickly made the transition and are learning to love mobile commerce apps and web sites. This year, they’ll buy over $6 billion worth of goods and services on web-enabled phones and tablets, doubling last year’s number, and next year that number is expected to double again.
Online merchants are already cleaning up on this second e-commerce revolution. About 25% of the largest e-retailers already have a mobile site or app, most of those launched in just the last year or two. Another 25% are preparing to implement mobile commerce soon. But fully half are not ready to make the move, and virtually all second-tier e-retailers have no mobile program whatsoever.
They all need one – and fast. Estimates are that 15% to 20% of all visitors to e-commerce web sites NOT equipped for mobile are coming from consumers shopping from smart phones and tablets. If you don’t have a mobile initiative in place you had better adopt one fast or you risk losing business to your competition, perhaps forever.
Once they see your site isn’t optimized for mobile phones, they just leave and they may never come back. To avoid this crippling blow to your e-retailing business, you simply must make your move toward mobile commerce.
Brick & mortar retailers that have initiated mobile POS payment abilities in their retail operations, such as Apple and Nordstrom, have started a wave of momentum that has IT departments across the nation rushing to develop mobile payment initiatives.
Mobile in retail has received a spectacular reception because it produces a much more pleasing customer experience for one reason. It enables a purchase to be made anywhere on site while capitalizing on the impulse buying decision.
For instance, a customer in a dressing room with a number of different items or sizes now instantaneously checks out right when the impulse develops. No gathering up of packages and trudging over to a waiting line of bustling customers at the point-of-sale, where by the time the clerk gets to them, an impulse decision may evaporate and a sale can be lost.
The customer now simply hands the attending sales clerk the desired item(s), the clerk scans the product barcode with a mobile infrared scanning and payment card-swiping device (which encases an iPod), then swipes the payment card, hands the device to the customer, the signature is captured (and photo if desired) on the device and is automatically embedded on the printed and/ or emailed receipt.
Whether you’re a ‘brick & mortar’ merchant or an e-commerce online merchant, retail or wholesale, if you’re trying to sell in today’s marketplace you’d better have a mobile payment application or system in place or you risk missing sales and perhaps more.
The mobile revolution is marching to the insistent drumbeat of progress and convenience is its heralding call. When consumers use technology and become accustomed to it they begin to anticipate and expect it.
If the mobile revolution has caught your attention but you aren’t quite sure how to implement it, or capitalize on it, then you may want to Google ‘mobile POS payments’. Find out how to take advantage of and utilize mobile before it marches right on by and you miss out completely on the mobile revolution.
Rick Berry is president/CEO of ABC Mobile Pay, a registered ISO/MSP, and merchant service provider based in Valencia, CA. ABC Mobile Pay – firstname.lastname@example.org – 877-258-5223
Follow Rick on Twitter @abcmobilepay