More m-commerce ramblings

June 12, 2008

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Our friends over at ReadWriteWeb attending Internet Retailer today caught a relevant talk by Nic Covey, Director of Insights for Nielsen Mobile detailing trends in “m-commerce” and outlining some good data points.

To me, there are two distinct version of mobile commerce:

  1. SMS purchasing
  2. Purchasing through the mobile browser

SMS purchasing is meant to capture the impulse buy in all of us, and surely we’ve all seen those late-night low-budget commercials to buy ringtones via SMS.  But this innovation has made its way to places like Papa John’s, Tim McGraw concerts, CosmoGirl and Stuff (which printed shortcodes next to products), and even Amazon and American Eagle.

But there’s also another use case, and that’s to cement brand recognition and tie-in.

In Amazon’s particular case, TextBuyIt allows one to send keywords to Amazon’s shortcode (262966), reply with “1” or “2” to buy an item from returned results, and answer a call confirming details.  Amazon then associates your phone number with your 1-Click settings or your email address and shipping information.

One thing that Amazon’s particular case serves is comparison shopping on the road without massive graphical overhead.  It’s simple and direct and cements Amazon as the “go-to” for price checks.

American Eagle
is doing this to drive in-store traffic, which lets you text yourself items from their e-commerce storefront to find the physical item in your local store.

As for mobile browsing, Nielsen says that 9 million people have used their phone to browse the Web and purchase things (RWW indicates that this is only 3.6 percent of mobile phone subscribers) — which is paltry in comparison to the ~150mm+ online shoppers.

But it’s a growing segment, which increased by 73 percent alone since last April.

So I’m curious, if you’re reading this far, have you ever bought something using your phone?  If so, tell everyone what it is you bought and why you used mobile in the comments.

written by Scott Hurff — scott.hurff at channeladvisor