Mobile Commerce On The Rise… Fast

Electronics marketplace Retrevo this week released a new study suggesting that mobile shoppers have doubled since February. According to the company, 20 per cent of US consumers have purchased something from a retailer using their cell phone.

While this isn’t a surprising trend, the fact that mobile commerce is growing so quickly is somewhat surprising. If nothing else, it would seem to indicate that the ever-increasing prevalence of smart phones is having a very noticeable impact.

I’m excited to see how this trend continues over the next few months. It’s hard to name an industry that isn’t affected at some level by the growth in smartphone technology, from fast food (Pizza Hut iPhone app, for example), to television content (Rogers On Demand Mobile). With the popular launch of the iPad, which has already drastically increased the amount of content I consume each day, I think there’s even further to go.

Interestingly, the company suggests that credit cards might be getting in the way of mobile commerce growing even faster than it already is, saying, “if you want more sales from mobile customers, make it easy for them to store their credit card info…” They link that to the question, “if retailers can’t get the credit card out of the way, how about the carriers?” In Canada, the cellphone carriers have put their weight behind Zoompass – a joint venture of the main telcos which is working on the evolution of the mobile wallet on a platform that works across the carriers .While this has also happened out in Japan, I’m not aware of any such move in the US.

Other statistics from the study:

Have you ever purchased something from a retailer using your cell phone?

  • 20% Said yes
  • 27% Said no, but that they would purchase something from their cell phone eventually
  • 53% Said no, and that they don’t ever plan to

What would make you more likely to purchase something from a retailer using your cell phone?

  • 24% Said, not having to provide their credit card info
  • 13% Said if their credit card was stored with the retailer
  • 16% Said they’re comfortable making purchase from their mobile phones now

What about you? Do you already make purchases via your mobile phone? If not, what would make you more likely to start?

(Disclosure: Rogers and Zoompass are both Thornley Fallis clients)

Dave Fleet
Managing Director and Head of Global Digital Crisis at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.