Smartphones to help fuel m-commerce growth

13 August 2010

NEW YORK: An increasing number of brand owners are seeking to exploit the opportunities afforded by m-commerce, with the iPhone and iPad among the main tools attracting interest.

Adobe, the software provider, conducted a survey of 446 companies, 75% of which had their headquarters in the US, and a majority being drawn from retailers, advertising agencies, IT specialists and the media category.

Nearly 80% of contributors expected to employ this channel for marketing and purposes, declining to 62% for e-commerce, 50% for product information, and 40% for customer service.

In terms of strategy, 80% of respondents either already had or were developing a dedicated mobile site, 50% said the same for an iPhone app, and 35% following such a route for the iPad.

Another 30% currently used text and picture messaging, and around a quarter had established applications for Google's Android operating system.

Mobile websites drove almost a fifth of all internet traffic, falling to 8% for iPhone apps and less than 5% for the variety of further alternatives.

With regard to displaying products, 81% of enterprises are hoping to have "360-degree spin" features in place by the end of this year, 75% expressed a desire to offer brand comparisons and 74% wished to stream live video.

Custom design and catalogues were mentioned by 73% and 64% of participants respectively, with the number of firms that had succeeded in rolling out these tools are typically at least 40% lower to date.

Looking ahead, 23% of organisations intended to introduce advertising, promotions and bar-coded coupons, while only 9% provided this facility at present.

Just 5% offered the ability to on mobile handsets, and 19% planned to add this functionality this year, totals that were similar for comparing prices available in store and online.

Coda Research, the consultancy, has predicted that revenues generated through this channel should rise by 65% in the US each year to 2015, climbing to $24bn and a 9% share of e-commerce sales.

eBay, the auction portal, anticipates that its sales from mobile devices will reach $1.5bn in 2010, while Amazon, the retail giant, reported returns of $1m for the 12 months to June 2010.

Globally, ABI Research has forecast that shoppers will spend $119bn via wireless gadgets in 2015, with Japan set to retain its status as one of the sector's leading major markets.

Data sourced from Adobe; additional content by Warc staff