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Smartphone Users Buying In to Mobile Commerce

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

January 07, 2014

Smartphone Users Buying In to Mobile Commerce

By Stefania Viscusi
Assignment Desk Editor

Paying for services or making a purchase using a mobile device is becoming commonplace today despite earlier speculations that the technology would only take off if the near field communications market was successful.

That assumption is no longer valid in a world over run with mobile devices and apps being brought to market daily that offer ways to save on purchases either through presenting a mobile coupon or code or using the mobile device you already have in hand to put a payment through.

I began using mobile coupons about a year ago when a particular store I shopped at marketed the deep discount to me via email and told me all I had to do was show my phone screen with the coupon barcode to the cashier. The transaction was simple; I didn’t have to find a printer or remember to bring the piece of paper along with me when I shopped. Since then numerous other retail locations I shop at have introduced this same idea – offering consumers a chance to get the same, or better, discounts by showing their mobile screen at checkout. Some have even taken it a step further and will accept mobile payments from merchants like PayPal (News - Alert) that require you to check in at the location via their mobile app or with Google Wallet wherever contactless payments are accepted.

It looks like I’m one of many already making use of this technology as the latest research from Parks Associates (News - Alert) shows 20 percent of all smartphone users (over 40 million U.S. consumers) used a mobile commerce solution in 2013.

Image via Shutterstock.

This year was also a landmark year for shopping from mobile devices during the Thanksgiving and Christmas gift buying season.   Up until the night of Christmas Eve, consumers were on their mobile devices searching for last minute gifts and making purchases.

The Parks Associates report, “Transforming Commerce: Mobile Wallets & LBS,” revealed at this week’s CES (News - Alert) show, uncovered almost 50 percent of holiday shoppers looking for consumer electronics this past holiday were using their smartphones while they shopped, with 35 percent saying they planned to use their smartphones to look up product information and another 31percent admitting to using mobile apps to do their holiday shopping.

Senior analyst Jennifer Kent said, "We saw mobile apps and social media play an increasingly important role in holiday shopping, with almost 1 in 2 holiday CE shoppers using their smartphones as part of the shopping process."

With these numbers in hand, it’s no surprise then that the Parks Associates report projects nearly 113 million consumers will buy in and start using mobile commerce over the next three years. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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