This chart from eMarketer shows some amazing growth in the mobile commerce market. Look at that 118.8% increase in 2010. Sounds great, until you realize that prior to 2010, mobile commerce didn’t really exist. It was just people using the internet access on their phones in order to buy something.
The dollar hop from $3.5 billion to $6.7 billion in 2011 is very nice. But folks spent $37.2 billion online just this past holiday season alone. So, it’s still a very small part of overall spending.
I’m not knocking mobile, or the rise in m-commerce. I just want to look at it with glasses that aren’t tinted a rose color.
Here are the facts. Right now, the rise in mobile commerce is the natural result of two things; smartphones replacing old school cell phones and companies offering mobile sales options.
The first one we can’t do much about. That’s simply progress. The same way cable wiped out the antenna TV and cassettes did away with 8-tracks. One day our children will say to their grandchildren, “when I was a kid, you couldn’t do anything but make phone calls on a cell. No internet!” And remember the days when phones only worked if they had a wired on one end that went into the wall. . . . but I digress.
The point is, technology marches on. This is where you come in. You can either standby and let technology stomp all over you, or you can join the march. People want to and will shop with their smartphones and tablets as long as they have a safe and easy way to do it.
The biggest problem I have with mobile shopping is entering contact and payment information. Slots are too small, scripts don’t work on my tablet, typos aren’t easily corrected. Now if a merchant accepts Paypal, I’m more likely to buy because it’s one-button (ish). I don’t have to fill in field after field of info. I login to my account and Paypal handles the rest.
Sure, everyone says they worry about security, but I’m telling you, it’s about ease. iTunes and in-game downloads rack up the bucks because the transaction is complete before you have time to think twice about the purchase.
eMarketer says mobile commerce will reach $11.6 billion in 2012. Some of those dollars have your name on them. How many? That’s up to you.