Mobile commerce remains a key focus for bricks and mortar and online retail as shown in this news roundup. A new Forrester report shows mobile devices helped drive roughly $2 trillion in off-line retail sales in 2016. Mobile shopping has not yet peaked and could reach $152 billion (24% of online retail sales) in the US alone by 2021. Adobe’s 2017 Mobile Maturity Report said that marketers now spend one-third of their digital marketing budget on mobile programs.
Saima Alibhai, Practice Manager, Professional Services at Bronto Software says AI may deliver the real prize for retailers when shoppers can buy through interaction with a retailer’s digital assistant. Alibaba’s GM for North America, Lee McCabe, said online and off-line retail must work together as omni-channel is essential for success. The company’s recent acquisition of two large Chinese retailers – Suning and Intime – shows evidence of the strategy.
Tencent’s WeChat has partnered with Citcon to bring its mobile payment services to the US and will initially provide services for Chinese tourists and travelers. App Annie reported China’s iOS App Store had record revenue in its latest quarter and sales are 15% larger than the US. As the US app market plateaus, John Tan, director of business development for StartApp, says there may be opportunities in China for US companies with the right Chinese partner.
Koupon Media’s third-annual State of Mobile Offers Report says there are more than 104 million mobile coupon offers available in the US alone. BizApps CEO Andrew Gazdecki predicts 2017 will be the year mobile commerce, citing Mobify research which says 68% of consumers expect to shop with a mobile device in the next two years. Bank of the West customers can choose from five popular third-party mobile payment apps including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Microsoft Wallet and Mastercard’s Masterpass. But will customers adopt, shrug or be confused? Finally, Walmart upgraded its proprietary app to allow customers to scan and pay for pharmacy products and money transfers.
Mobile Influenced $2 Trillion in Retail Sales In 2016
Mobile devices helped drive roughly $2 trillion in offline retail sales last year, comprising two-thirds of all shopping in that category for 2016, a Forrester study found. But as impressive as that number is, Forrester’s report, The Biggest Prize In Mobile Commerce Is Influencing Offline Sales, it could be higher.
Consumer shopping on smartphones has not yet peaked: By 2021, consumers will spend $152 billion directly on mobile phones, or almost 24 percent of total online sales. More importantly, mobile phones will influence $1.4 trillion in offline sales within the next five years. Overall, Forrester projects that smartphone retail sales will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 20.4 percent over the next five years.
The report serves as a complement to a previous Forrester analysis earlier this month with the NRF, which found that digital touchpoints actually impacted an estimated 49 percent of total U.S. retail sales. Via geomarketing.com
One-Third of Digital Marketing Budget Spent on Mobile Marketing
In a new report, Adobe showed 85% of marketing decision makers and 94% of IT decision-makers say their organization has a centralized mobile leadership team in charge of the consumer mobile experience.
Marketers are already aware of mobile’s growth, but this shows how brands are gearing up to deal with mobile.
In the past, marketers and brands would respond with a “mobile-first” approach, but according to Adobe’s 2017 Mobile Maturity Report, marketers appear to be maturing in their mobile efforts. The survey furthermore said, 80% of marketing companies have a team dedicated to creating and publishing mobile apps, and 90% of IT decision makers say the same. Via dmnews.com
The quicker, safer and more immersive future of mobile commerce
Mobile commerce is more than just smartphones. The likes of Google, Apple and Amazon have all been busy working on digital assistants in the form of Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa, respectively. Google’s new smartphone, the Pixel, has debuted a new look for its assistant, where users interact with it through an instant messaging platform instead of speaking to their phone. And it’s no coincidence that Amazon has also been hard at work on upgrades to Alexa, which has enabled the ecommerce giant to move into people’s cars.
The real prize, though, will be when retailers are able to offer consumers the opportunity to chat to a digital shopkeeper. Interfacing with a retailer’s AI chatbot to buy a certain product could actually be faster than navigating through their website. For retailers, a chatbot would allow them to provide a more useful service by offering suggestions based on customer shopping behaviour much earlier in the purchasing process, rather than the more reactive process that has been used to date. Via netimperative.com
Etail West 2017: Alibaba Exec Talks Linkage Between Online and Offline Retail
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. sees a future in retail that is both digital and in real life.
“We’re very good online, but we think commerce should be one thing,” said Alibaba vice president and general manager of North America Lee McCabe during a presentation at the Etail West conference in Palm Desert Thursday. “Offline [retail] is not having a good time, especially the big box retailers. Pretty much the same is happening in China but we’re looking to arrest that.”
Alibaba took a large ownership stake in electronics and appliances retailer Suning Commerce Group Co., where it thinks it can make the link between online and brick-and-mortar shopping by making actions such as product pick-ups or in-store returns easier “with all the goodness that online has to offer with data [and] breadth of product,” McCabe said. Via wwd.com
WeChat Pay spreads to North America with latest partnership
Tencent’s WeChat, China’s leading mobile social communications service, has its sights set on North America with a new partnership that will set up mobile payments infrastructure to accept its WeChat Pay service on the continent.
As the first payment partner of WeChat in North America, Citcon (an integrated mobile payment and marketing platform that connects global merchants with Chinese consumers) will enable millions of businesses to accept WeChat Pay, which is already one of China’s most popular mobile payment methods in a country that touts unprecedented mobile payments uptake.
Citcon will help to facilitate merchants to be able to accept WeChat Pay via its smartPOS, API and software products through rates comparable to credit card processing. In addition to the convenient payment solutions, merchants will also be able to manage business performance and customer insights, run marketing campaigns, guides users to merchants’ ecommerce stores while saving their shopping preferences for future visits and manage lifetime customer loyalty programs. Via mobilecommercedaily.com
Can Western apps break through to China?
A recent App Annie report released in October stated that China hit an industry record with the highest revenue quarter that the iOS App Store has ever seen. In fact, the study notes that not only does China hold a 15 percent lead in revenue generation over the United States, but also that China’s growth is projected to climb further by 2020.
As US-based mobile companies see domestic stagnation and look for areas of increased growth, it is clear China remains a massive opportunity.
What is driving growth?
Among the many drivers of exponential growth in the Chinese market, few are more significant than the increased affordability of well-made smartphones. As just one example, Xiaomi built a multi-billion-dollar business manufacturing relatively inexpensive smartphones for the masses. Via mobilecommercedaily.com
Marketing to Today’s Mobile Consumer
Convenience stores are scoring more in-store impulse purchases by hitting customers right in their back pockets, or wherever they keep their smartphone. It makes sense that on-the-go consumers respond to on-the-go incentives, and that is why forward-moving convenience stores are going mobile — with marketing technology, that is.
Last year proved to be a “blockbuster year” for the mobile offer industry, with small-format retailers (including convenience stores) out in front. Mobile offers are more popular than ever, with 104 million mobile coupon offers in the United States alone, according to Koupon Media’s third-annual State of Mobile Offers report, released this January. Via csnews.com
Mobile commerce is the trend for 2017
Move over e-commerce – 2017 will be the year of m-commerce.
Across the globe, there are 7.7 billion mobile connections; that’s more connections than people on the planet. In the US, 58 per cent of adults have a smartphone, and roughly 50 per cent have a tablet device. Mobile web adoption is growing six times faster than web use did during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. The learning curve isn’t nearly as steep for mobile web users as it was for early Internet adopters, and today’s users adapt to mobile with ease. According to one analyst, “Mobile users will do anything, and everything desktop users will do, provided it’s presented in a useable way”(Mobify).
M-commerce is on the verge of exploding. Marketing experts know that in 2014, m-commerce made up 11.6 per cent of total e-commerce spending; they estimate that will increase to 45 per cent by 2020 (BI Intelligence). Sixty-eight per cent of consumers expect to do more shopping via a mobile device in the next two years (Mobify). Businesses must shift into the mobile marketplace to ride this wave of growth and meet their customers’ expectations. Via banklesstimes.com
Bank of the West offers five major mobile wallets to customers
While some banks have opted to create their own mobile wallet systems, others choose the route of integrating with more popular third-party solutions.
That is the route being taken by Bank of the West with a new series of partnerships that puts the power of the top names in mobile payment in the hands of the bank’s customers.
Through this new series of partnerships, Bank of West customers can use their bank account with five of the top names in mobile payments. This includes Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay – three of the biggest payment options offered by phone manufacturers – as well as Microsoft Wallet and Mastercard’s comprehensive payment option Masterpass Via mobilecommercedaily.com
Wal-Mart upgrades app to speed up pharmacy refills, money transfers
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced an upgrade to its mobile app Tuesday that will allow customers using its pharmacies and money services to skip paperwork and save time waiting in lines by using “express lanes.”
For Walmart’s pharmacy, customers will be able to refill prescriptions from their smartphone and use an “express lane” to pick up their order, scan the prescription’s code through the app, and pay for it electronically. Walmart said it will start rolling out the new capabilities in March, and they should be available at almost all of its 4,700 stores by the fall.
A similarly paperless transaction will become available to money-services customers. Instead of filling out a form for a money transfer, app users will be able to enter the data on their phone, enter the money-services express lane, and scan a register code to verify the transaction. About 1,200 stores will offer the money-services express lanes, the company said. Via marketwatch.com
Mobile moving fast
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