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Mobile is an important factor this holiday season – inside and outside of physical store locations

November 15, 2013

Mobile commerce refers to much more than consumers purchasing products via mobile credit card terminals - it also refers to the way that they can use their phones to aid their in-store shopping excursions.

Mobile commerce refers to much more than consumers purchasing products via mobile credit card terminals – it also refers to the way that they can use their phones to aid their in-store shopping excursions. 

Three out of every ten U.S. shoppers who own smartphones use the devices while they’re in physical store locations to help them purchase products, according to a recent report from Usablenet. More than 70 percent of these individuals use their devices to compare product prices across numerous retail outlets, and more than 50 percent use their phones to investigate customer reviews, illustrating the ubiquity of these “showrooming” practices.

However, many brick-and-mortar retailers may be able to use this to their advantage, by offering in-store Wi-Fi and tying discounts and promotions into mobile applications. For example, almost half of all U.S. respondents told Usablenet they’d be receptive to receiving personalized messages or promotions on their mobile device when they visit physical store locations. 

“Retailers have an immediate opportunity to proactively encourage shoppers to use in-store Wi-Fi and engage with the retailer’s mobile-enabled web sites and apps,” Peter Leech, managing director and retail practice leader at The Partnering Group, told Internet Retailer. “It’s a big opportunity to capture those eyeballs before they seek an alternate source of product detail and pricing information on another retailer’s mobile offering.”

The practice is expected to become even more ubiquitous across the holiday season: the firm reported that more than 40 percent of all applicable respondents plan to use their smartphones to get coupons or discounts during the holidays, for example. 

Email marketing is extremely successful when seen on mobile devices
There’s another way that retailers can leverage mobile credit card processing capabilities into increased revenue this holiday season: by tying their branded smartphone or tablet application into their email marketing attempts. That’s because, according to a recent report from Yesmail Interactive, more than 15 percent of all online sales driven by email happen through a mobile device.

Tablets are also taking up a large portion of this figure, according to the firm. More than half of purchases made at mobile credit card processing pages via email marketing messages happen on a tablet device. 

“Emails opened on mobile have a better chance of reaching consumers at the right place and right time during the busy holiday shopping season,” said Michael Fisher, president of YesMail. “Marketers should recognize that ‘mobile’ doesn’t always equal ‘smartphone.’ Focus on tablet users for holiday campaigns, as 56 percent of mobile shoppers use tablets for their purchases.”

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