Is Mobile-Influenced Commerce The Next Big Boom?

Mobile-Influenced Commerce

Recent data presented by Deloitte Consulting LLP shows shows that:

  • 2012: Mobile-Influenced Commerce will be responsible for $159 billion in 2012 sales.
  • 2012: Direct mCommerce sales will draw just $12 billion in sales.
  • 2016: Mobile-Influenced Commerce will account for $689 billion (19.5%) of total retail sales.
  • Direct mCommerce will be only $31 billion.


About 19 million US smartphone owners (or 17.4% of owners) completed a purchase via their device, aka mcommerce, during the three-month period ending April, 2012, according to comScore. This includes purchases such as tickets, meals for delivery or pickup, daily deals or discounts and gift certificates, but comScore’s list is missing other purchases that require the use of a mobile device such as music, videos, ebooks and games.

comscore what people buy on their smartphones

Mobile is More Than Mcommerce

Mobile devices empower their users with easy access to information, including:

  • Store locations
  • Product availability
  • Product features
  • Product reviews
  • Price comparisons

Mobile usage influences 5.1% of all retail store sales in the US or about $159 billion in 2012 forecasted sales, according to Deloitte research.   Consumers are using their mobile devices in retail locations for a variety of reasons. Retailers, however, are most concerned with the consumer practice of showrooming where consumers check out products in their stores and then buy online. Based on the results of ForeSee’s Mobile Satisfaction Survey, most shoppers turn to their smartphones for information about the retailer, specifically for their mobile website or app.

Additionally, buyers use their smartphone to check prices often through a price comparison app or website. This group is roughly one in three or four consumers, based on various research sources.

Implications for Marketers: Provide An Enhanced Shopping Experience

Deloitte found that shoppers who use a retailer’s dedicated app were 21% more likely to convert than those who didn’t. This may be attributable to an improved shopping experience that aided their purchase decision.

There are multiple stages in the purchase decision making process. Brands can provide the information relevant to the customer’s buying decision in the place where consumers are increasingly looking for this information – on their mobile device. Companies can influence their buying decisions by being the resource they consult as they research product information before, and during, their shopping trip, and being the digital voice they are hearing from while they are in your store.

3 Mobile Influence Marketing Strategies

Heidi Cohen provides this advice on how to leverage your mobile influence:

  1. Provide prospects and customers with easy-to-access, mobile-friendly information since they’re researching their purchases via online, tablet or smartphone.
  2. Offer both mobile website and app options. With the growing use of both alternatives, allow your customers to use the forum they choose. Ensure these platforms are consistent with your online website, social media and retail establishments to provide a seamless customer experience.
  3. Give mobile consumers the best price. While I’m not a proponent of competing on price, if you’re offering discounts anywhere, give on-the-go prospects the best price to close the deal since they may be in your store or your competitors.

A Mobile-Optimized Version of Your Website Is Not Enough

To unleash the full potential of Mobile-Influenced Commerce , companies must integrate mobile with their social media strategy and brick and mortar/field sales strategy, to create a richer buying experience. They should:

  • Make sure physical locations offer Wi-Fi connectivity to customers who expect the ability to utilize their mobile devices to make more-informed purchase decisions.
  • Invest in improving dedicated apps or websites to attract, retain and convert smartphone shoppers.
  • Keep costs down by partnering with cutting-edge companies that can offer additional functionality, via API, to existing apps -to increase use and engagement levels.
  • Pull together the social media strategy, Wi-Fi access and app functionality to deliver shoppers to the company’s physical location,  engage them at the point of purchase and influence their purchasing habits.
    • Use new technologies to offer discounts and rewards, subscribe them to loyalty cards and invite them to take advantage of free memberships via mobile.

Snap! principle of Mobile Influenced Commerce:

 To reap the optimal rewards from changing market conditions, forward-thinking companies position themselves to leverage their digital assets to tap into the power of Mobile-Influenced Commerce.