Blogging Out Loud

Connecting You with the Latest Marketing Tips and Trends.

Oh My, M-Commerce.

Smartphone applications are attracting consumers in new and exciting ways.

Apps aren't just for iPhones. Marketers should take notice of emerging opportunities in the Smartphone market.

One-stop shopping. The words inspire a flutter in my heart, a sigh from the soles of my hard-working, tired feet. If I could sing the praises of any one modern convenience, it would be for stores where I can pick up a pair of fashionable sneakers and Dole bagged salad along with a few California avocados, fill a prescription and swing by the bank (even better if I don’t run into a neighbor who wants to chat about my plans for Labor Day). Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be able to do all this…and more from the palm of my hand. Sure, home computers and high-speed Internet have made otherwise mundane errands as exciting as finding a vintage Chanel bag on eBay. But it’s Smartphone technology that’s really got a hold on me, and boy, oh boy, am I rapt. From bargain-hunting to banking to luxury shopping, new Smartphone applications are making one-stop shopping a thing of the past, if only because I can now buy on the go.

Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but it seems like brands and businesses that don’t embrace mobile technology run the risk of being left behind. At the very least, they might be over-shadowed by more forward-thinking companies. Brand loyalty is already on the decline; products want to avoid being seen as archaic — or simply not seen.

The numbers alone are astounding. Gartner research shows that Smartphone sales were up 49 percent in the first quarter of 2010. And according to a recent study by Pew Research Center in Washington, 59 percent of U.S. adults go online wirelessly, via Wi-Fi or mobile connections, using either cell phones or laptop computers. Among cell phone owners, 54 percent used their devices to share photos and videos; 23 percent accessed a social networking site; and 11 percent made a purchase. That last number is only expected to rise. Another study by ABI Research estimated that by 2015 shoppers globally will spend an estimated $119 billion on goods and services purchased with their mobile phones. U.S. numbers are a solid example, with mobile commerce (known as m-commerce) jumping from $396 million in 2008 to $1.2 billion in 2009; 2010 numbers are projected to reach $2.2 billion.

We’ve already talked about the new face of coupons and ways in which brands are engaging consumers online. Emerging mobile technology allows businesses to take things one step further. Whether it be Smartphone applications similar to those recently introduced by eBay and Fandango (thank you, Fandango, from the bottom of my line-hating heart), incorporating WiMO technology, or something as simple as launching an SMS campaign, opportunities abound. Smart marketers will take notice and take advantage. And smart shoppers — like me — will invest in a few more pairs of pajamas, since I no longer need to run to the store.

Brought to you by Vertical Marketing Network, a Leading Integrated Marketing Agency.
Photo credit: William_Hook

About JJ Nelson

Freelance blogger for Vertical Marketing Network; food writer; bartender.

18 comments on “Oh My, M-Commerce.

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  12. Cristina
    August 11, 2010

    Brands that are on the moblie space are really embracing technology and giving the consumers a great user experience. I simply love for example when I can launch my banking app to schedule bill payments and check my balance without the hassle of turning on the computer or calling the typical 800 number. In today’s world people are expected to get info rather quickly and being able to interact with the brand from their mobile phones is a big plus.


  13. Ryan Bish
    August 10, 2010

    Pay, Shop, Bank, Photograph, Blog, email, surf the net, locate, map, record video, listen to music and radio…wow I can’t believe how far the mobile phone has come, it is truly amazing. What is also amazing is the phone I currently have is a flip phone that does nothing of the above, boy do I need to get in the game here! Anyway, Mobile commerce is coming quicker than we all know, marketers should realize the new power of the mobile world and the power it gives to all consumers no matter what the age group. Say goodbye to paper coupons, letters, photo kiosks, town hall meetings, paper money, privacy & everything else!!!


  14. naushad (textopoly)
    August 4, 2010

    Great article and stats! I agree with you 100% that if brands don’t embrace mobile they run the risk of being left behind. I’m shocked at the number of brands I personally interact with that don’t have a mobile site! What’s up Fatburger?!

    A brand that has a strong mCommerce solution and mobile site is True Religion Jeans & Southwest Airlines! I’m a fan of ESPN’s mobile site as well.


  15. Valerie
    August 3, 2010

    I can’t wait until we are able to use our phones to pay for everything and anything we currently use a credit or debit card for. As a consumer I would be highly motivated by the convenience of using the phone I always have in my hand than having to dig through my handbag looking for credit or frequent shopper cards. The retailers and brands who embrace and integrate our phones into the shopping experience will reap the benefits of increased sales and loyalty.


  16. Barbara
    August 3, 2010

    I just heard on the Radio at lunch yesterday, on KPCC 89.3, “Pay with your Phone” here is the link They discussed payments and also brought up a little marketing as well. Example they gave was walking by a store, let’s say the Apple Store and having them send you a discount or a message or an ad for that iPad that you’ve been thinking about. It will not be in my life time, but one day we will be able to use our cell phones to scan and analyze ourselves medically, Star-Trek here we come.


  17. Amber
    August 3, 2010

    I love following all the technology that keeps emerging from smart phones. Every day it seems that a new feature can be added that will simplify your life somehow. From making purchases on line, as you mentioned, to letting everyone know what you have done in the past five minutes, smart phones seem to do it all. I think this past election with the “texting” campaign that Obama had was groundbreaking and just shoved the smart phone reliance forward even further. Seems there isn’t anything you can’t do with a smart phone, nor has there been any market that hasn’t thrived from walking the “smart phone” road.


  18. Alice
    August 3, 2010

    I love how everything is so convenient now. Devices such as a smart phone or an ipad cancel out the medium of hopping on to our laptop. It’s more portable and simply faster. Smartphones are only going to get smarter. And consumers are easily on the prowl to get something that’ll entertain them or make their life easier.

    Having traveled to Japan a few times, I feel like America is still a few years behind in technology. They have devices on their cell phones that act similarly to a fast pass on your credit card. You basically just swipe your phone in place of a credit card. Over there, they’ve basically eliminated the need to carry their credit card. It seems like modifying and simplifying our lifestyle is the way of the future.

    However, it terrifies me in regards to how dependent we’re going to be or already are. Wasn’t life simpler without all these high-tech gadgets?


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