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Mobile commerce is moving from experiment to mainstream

Jack Loo | July 31, 2012
Smartphones, apps and other technologies are driving mobile forward: ABI Research

Mobile commerce is transitioning from what was initially viewed by many as a retail experiment to a viable component of a full-blown multi-channel offering, according to an ABI Research analyst.

"M-commerce is not yet mass market, but it is delivering remarkable growth in tough economic conditions," said ABI Research practice director, John Devlin.

Push factors for a booming mobile commerce scene include the rapid adoption of smartphones in both mature and developing markets, as well as a retail market in which traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are implementing multi-channel strategies in the face of increasing competition from Internet-based vendors.

An "app-store mentality" has also helped led to the market developing incredibly quickly. Consumers are able to use their mobile devices to purchase a range of physical and digital goods and to choose from a range of options as to how they pay for them. The introduction of HTML5, visual search, NFC, augmented reality, full Internet browsing, and (in-door) location will increasingly play a part in "showrooming" and m-commerce.

"Consumer awareness has been boosted by the 'Groupon effect' and now everyone wants a bargain. This is further exacerbated by the need in the retail sector to a) differentiate from the competition, b) be seen to be offering value, and c) increase consumer engagement and interaction. Mobile helps to fulfill all of these criteria," said Devlin.

"There remain questions, as how to best realise the value and ROI of m-commerce but innovative retailers with the resources to invest in the development of their mobile portfolio have clearly identified this as the way forward," added Devlin.



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