Ka- Ching! Shopping Goes Mobile

When online shopping first took off, even I was skeptical as to its success. The notion of buying something without looking at it, touching it, trying it on seemed bizarre to me. Odd until I actually experienced it and now shopping is shopping regardless of where it is done.

Let’s face it, convenience overrides the risk of getting something you don’t like, at least in my book it does. Maybe it’s because the return process online is so much easier than actually returning something to a store. All I know is that online shopping has spread like wildfire. Recently, Nielsen published online shopping trend statistics and found that over 875 million consumers have shopped online –the number of online shoppers has increased by 40% in just two years.

But with the advent of smart phones and the iPad, will online shopping evolve into mobile shopping as well? Is mobile shopping the next revolution of shopping? When I found myself eagerly searching the app store for such applications, I thought, yes.

This is evidenced by a good number of retailers moving their business from the stores to the phones. Several companies such as Sears, Staples, Estee Lauder, Barnes and Noble and Guilt.com are taking a proactive approach and going mobile.  Sears for example, first went mobile with a few categories such as electronics, but once it took off, they found that consumers wanted to buy items via their mobile devices such as refrigerators and other appliances.

Gilt Groupe has been quick to adopt mobile applications to provide users with the ability to shop for clothing, accessories and other brand name products via their mobile devices. Gilt Groupe launched Gilt on the Go App for iPhone on the Apple App Store. Gilt Groupe also announced the launch of its Gilt App for iPad, becoming one of the first retailers to develop an iPad application.

If consumers thought online shopping was convenient, then how will they feel about mobile shopping? Mobile shopping gives a consumer the opportunity to shop from anywhere and at any time, 24/7. Netsize has released global survey results indicating that almost 95% of mobile professionals would use mobile shopping services.

  • 94% of respondents said they would make payments for goods worth up to €25 ($32) using their mobiles
  • 83% said they would pay for single items like tickets up to €50 ($65)
  • 51% said they would pay for goods worth up to €100 ($130)
  • 60% said that being offered a choice of payment methods was important