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Are You Using Mobile Shopping To Drive Sales?

The internet has given rise to an information overload. This endless pool of information (and sites like Amazon, Gather,YouTube) have led to a savvier and informed shopper that now knows the individual pros and cons of every product before they buy.

Mobile commerce or M-commerce is beginning to grow at an extraordinary rate, though initial uptake was slow due to security issues. More and more consumers are now using their smart phones not just to buy products but to also compare prices and check stocks in a particular store. Proof of the increased uptake is clear to see with the recent release of Paypal mobile App which was downloaded more than 1 million times in the first 3 weeks after launch.

Recent surveys show the increased willingness of people to shop and pay for goods using their mobiles but this is not the only advantage of M-commerce. It can also be used to help drive more shoppers and sales in their retail stores. Google themselves have seen the potential here and have recently launched a new service called Google local inventory search. Moving things on a step from its product search, this service allows you to find stores near you that have a particular product in stock. Though it was a low key launch with only a few stores currently participating it shows definite intent by Google and confirms that they firmly believe that mobile shopping has a big part to play in the future of the retail industry.

Even though Google sees clear potential here, it seems that many retailers do not. Even the largest online retailers have little plans to add mobile shopping to their routes to market and traditional retailers fair worse with even fewer planning to use any sort of mobile shopping or marketing to help drive more sales and open a new sales channel for their business. Only the largest of these are making any effort to drive more sales using mobiles.

Target have lead the way with the release of an App similar to Google’s local inventory search, combining their stock management system with a  GPS, the app  will search for the closest store that has a particular product in stock.

Retailers of all sizes need to see the potential here and do their upmost to facilitate this for their customers, if they can allow them easy access to further information about any product they stock it will give that customer more confidence in that product and move them one step closer to making the purchase. What do you think?

Neil is currently plying his trade as head of marketing for eMobileScan, a technology company specializing in offering their customers a tool set that will help to increase the productivity of their workforce.

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  • Interesting post Neil.nRegarding how retailers would see this opportunity, I know is very tough. nI go to shops a lot and always come up with some good ideas but as soon as I think who would be the customer I see a brick wall because I imagine myself and team making a tremendous effort to “convince” retailers that this “app/service” is a no-brainer. Don’t have the patience to work like that 🙂 As you said, it’s always the biggest brands willing to test and innovate.

  • Nialldevitt

    Hi Marc, Mobile shopping is potentally HUGE! I think that it is amazing that so few business are copping on here, just means more opportunity for those that do I suppose.

  • Sorry Neil, was talking to a Marc before making this comment 🙂

  • I suspect it will catch on once the wheel is in “motion” and then it will take off exponentially. Similar graphs could be seen for most online advances, they start slowly, and once momentum kicks in, there is no stopping us :)nnI seriously need an iPad 🙂

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