The holiday season is upon us. I know, wasn’t it just July? That aside, ‘tis the season of parties, gift buying and giving, holiday songs and TV and movie classics that put the meaning of the holiday season in the proper context.
And the holiday season wouldn’t be complete without at least one viewing of that modern-day staple, A Charlie Brown Christmas. One particular interchange between Charlie Brown and Lucy sort of sums up the real meaning of the season, and in particular, the impact of technology on holiday shopping.
Lucy: I know how you feel about all this Christmas business, getting depressed and all that. It happens to me every year. I never get what I really want. I always get a lot of stupid toys or a bicycle or clothes or something like that.
Charlie Brown: What is it you want?
Lucy: Real Estate A smartphone.
Now, we all know, that as astute as Lucy is, had smartphones existed at the time of the original script development, that would have surely been her answer, particularly given how the real estate market has tanked in the last decade and in light of the estimates of mobile retail trending to something like $12B by the year 2014 (according to Juniper Research) So, I’ll do my best to channel my inner Lucy to provide some insights into 5 key statistics from a recent JiWire study of 2k mobile users that point to why a smartphone would be on her list, and how those devices are changing disrupting the world of retail this year and into the future. For every one of these insights, there are at least 20 more that provide even more clues as to how and why IP-enabled devices are reinventing retail and adding value to the consumer and merchant experience.
1. 55% of users under 30 would rather give up their computers for six months than their smartphones.
The only thing surprising about this statistic is that it isn’t higher. Smartphones ARE computers – full stop – they are just smaller. For many in developing countries, smartphones are the only way that the internet can be accessed and for many, it is a PC replacement. Apps also make doing stuff on the mobile phone more fun and easier too – there are more than 500k apps in the iPhone apps store alone, in spite of the fact that most people use only a handful of those that they may have downloaded. The table below shows just what people are doing via their smartphones in the US, Europe and Japan.
Visiting retail sites certainly registers, but is not top of the charts, just yet. For mobile and shopping to be the match made in heaven that we know it is and to move it up the charts, there are things on the back end that need to be better integrated into the merchant and consumer point of sale experience, like offer presentment, loyalty and making payment frictionless at the point of sale – whether the point of sale is in lane, in aisle or somewhere else. The former is manual and a hassle for everyone – but seems to be the standard for now, and the latter will evolve over the next few years with the jury still way far out on whether NFC will emerge as the standard for how mobile payments are transacted at the point of sale.
The jury has weighed in though (at least for now) on the apps versus browser debate when it comes to the mobile and shopping. It appears, at least for now, that browser wins hands down with 60% to 80% of shoppers preferring plain old browser for search versus specialized apps (apologies to all of you merchants who have spent oodles on apps). I don’t think that it is all that surprising since searching on the iPhone or Droids or the iPad is really as easy as doing it on the PC and with some exceptions, of course, many apps don’t provide enough value to either download or use consistently. (continued)
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Filed Under: Mobile, Payments, Consumer Loyalty