Yes, I have more information for you on mobile (it’s a hot topic in the industry, if you haven’t guessed that by now).
I’ve mentioned the “idea” of mobile wallets in a few posts before, and now it’s really starting to happen. Google is rolling out their Google Wallet with a 5 city road show (Orlando is not one of them, unfortunately) and even given some mobile phone users $10 towards their purchase for trying it out.1 What I find interesting is that Google is using the PayPass technology that has been in place everywhere as the reader for the mobile app. That’s a great marketing trick of using mechanisms that are already available instead of reinventing the wheel.
American Express has also gotten into the game of mobile payments, but on a person to person level instead of a person to business. It’s meant to act as your Wallet, but can also be used to manage your kid’s allowance, pay the babysitter when you don’t have cash, or split the bill at a restaurant with your friends. The catch is that the baby sitter and your friends have to have Serve, too. And you credit/debit your friend’s or lawn maintenance guy’s Wallet by sending each other emails through the system. I liked the idea, but I feel it would get very lonely waiting for everyone to come on board to use it, too.2
Even though we’re only at the early-adopter stage for this mobile wallet technology, more people are starting to think of their mobile as an extension of a storefront. Mobile commerce is expected to grow to $10 billion n 2012, half of all new cell phones bought are smart phones, and 60% of mobile shoppers are using their devices in-store.3 Because of these trends, Google has started their GoMo initiative (Go Mobile) to get small businesses to start building their web pages to be extra mobile friendly, or building a WAP (Wirelss Application Page) altogether.4
What does all of this mean to you as the consumer? Mobile will become a key tool in every point of the purchase funnel – with mobile ads reaching you to build awareness, easy to use WAPs or apps to help you learn more and develop an opinion and begin to prefer different products before ever buying them, ease of use of buying a product either on the mobile device or with it at a store, and with post-purchase, it will aid in retention through loyalty communication and allow you to share either their new love of the product or their buyer’s remorse immediately with their friends.