Friday, February 25, 2011

Social and Mobile Commerce Make a Perfect Pair

The rise in the use of smartphones, tablets, and so on, for surfing the Internet is quickly rendering classic website selling obsolete. This is primarily due to the faster and more convenient shopping experiences made possible by using these, and other mobile devices. The area of mobile commerce will explode in 2011 and it will be the companies who get an early start on it that will be reaping the greatest benefits.

The Mobile Commerce Explosion

In 2010 many companies saw huge profits as a result of taking advantage of mobile commerce. EBay, for example, revealed that they made $2 billion in mobile sales worldwide in 2010. A similar success was also recorded by Steve Madden Inc. who announced that they made over $1 million in revenue in 2010 from goods purchased by the use of mobile devices. However, according to a study conducted by Acquity Group, the top spot in the area of mobile commerce revenue goes to Amazon, who has already made over $1 billion in mobile sales. Most of this is, however, the result of their slightly different approach to mobile commerce, namely allowing customers to purchase and download eBooks straight from their Kindle eReader. Acquity Group also found that, despite this huge potential for profits in mobile commerce, only an estimated 12% of online retailers have a mobile-ready website, while only 7% actually have checkout capability to go with it.

However, many website building companies, such as Usablenet and Vitacost, are already offering their customers the option of incorporating the Paypal mobile checkout with the final product. And the developers of ShopSavvy, one of the leading mobile commerce apps, have also recently invited Matthew Weathers, the lead developer of Paypal’s mobile checkout, to help them develop their mobile commerce strategy for this year, which will include the so-called QuickPay. This will enable users of the ShopSavvy app to buy the items without having to leave the ShopSavvy interface.

Convergence of Social and Mobile Commerce

Social and mobile commerce complement each other perfectly. While social commerce tools of sharing deals and offering individualized special savings, through sites such as GroupOn and LivingSocial, or by using Facebook Deals, drives people to visit online retailers, mobile commerce checkout tools help seal the deal without the need to visit another location. And, for retailers, it is here that the key benefit of using mobile checkout tools lies.

To put it more bluntly, it is ease of use, speed of transaction and instant gratification that the customer is ultimately looking for in online and mobile commerce. The pace of our lives has quickened considerably and everyone is looking for ways to do more in less time. Mobile commerce has the potential to provide this in the area of online shopping. Because of this, retailers offering mobile checkout options on their websites, along with their social commerce endeavors of course, will be the first to drastically increase their 2011 revenue.

Staff Blogger, the Technology Gurus, Inc.

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