Mobile commerce has strong potential


Some companies may still ignore mobile commerce, believing that consumers are not ready to shop on their phones and tablets. The data coming out of the industry, however, tells a different story.

Recently, BigCommerce blogger Brianne Brewer and her colleagues assembled a list of facts from around the web that tell a clear story - mobile devices are a new platform to support purchasing power, and companies that do not adjust their transaction management and outreach strategies accordingly could soon fall behind.

Rise of mobile

The first shocking statistics given by Brewer highlight the power the internet now wields in the consumer space. By 2014, she stated, half of purchases in the U.S. will be online, and $18 billion in revenue will flow to companies through mobile transactions. New technologies are on the horizon, including near field communications. According to BigCommerce, use of this touchless technology is expected to spike significantly in coming months, leading to possibilities for companies with payment systems keyed to include it and passing over those without.

BigCommerce also aggregated data on shopping habits and reported that men are more likely than women to make a purchase through their phone, but that women are in favor of purchases on tablets. Both types of devices have become ubiquitous, with smartphones accounting for a higher percentage of phone sales than ever and tablet shipments still on the rise.

Tablet numbers spike

There are many more tablets in circulation than ever before. Executives holding back on targeting tablet customers for fear that the demographic is too small or too much of a niche can take comfort in the fact that 25 million tablet computers shipped in the second quarter, according to IDC. The source stated that 17 million of those devices were Apple's popular iPad. The rest of the market belongs to a variety of intriguing contenders, from Samsung's Galaxy line to the affordable Amazon Kindle Fire. With more options than ever, customers have made 2012 a remarkable year for tablet shipments. IDC stated that the second quarter even exceeded shipping totals from the fourth quarter of 2011, a previous benchmark.

Tablets do not cater to exactly the same use cases as smartphones. Their screens can display far more information and images and are, relevantly to sellers, roughly the size of a catalog. A specific strategy catering to customers with the device could be a strong move, especially considering the sheer number of consumers picking them up every day.