Tag Archives: mcommerce

5 Mobile Marketing Questions Every Business Owner Needs Answered

Everywhere you look, people are on their smartphones — but many aren’t talking. They’re browsing, texting and using apps, which makes them a tempting target for marketers.

According to communication technologies agency the International Communication Union, there are now 5.9 billion users of smartphones and other mobile devices, representing 87 percent of the world’s population. The ICU also reports that 1.5 billion people are using the mobile web.

That’s a huge business opportunity. But where do you start? Here is some insight on five mobile marketing questions every business owner wants answered.

1. Should I build a mobile website or a mobile app?
Most businesses will want to build or optimize their websites for mobile rather than build an application. Think of the fundamental reasons your customers would visit your website, especially if they’re on the go. Make sure that on a phone or tablet screen your site’s navigation is easy to use, there’s no need for unnecessary zooming or scrolling, and the main things your audience wants are easy to locate.

One of my favorite examples of a great mobile website is PapaJohns.com. There are three big buttons — order a pizza for delivery, order a pizza for pick-up and find a location. If you want something else, go to the website on a computer, not a phone.

2. When does a smartphone app make sense?
Apps don’t replace your mobile website. They supplement your audience’s experience. Some businesses — especially media outlets or those with a high volume of original content, such as blog posts or videos — may be able to develop a useful service via an app.

New York’s Mermaid Oyster Bar includes its menu, locations, hours and a reservation link on its mobile-optimized website, along with a button to install its Oysterpedia application. The app is a companion encyclopedia of all things oyster, including photos and descriptions of the many varieties. It lets users bookmark their favorite oysters and share information with their social networks.

The app is subtle. It doesn’t directly ask people to visit the brick-and-mortar location, but it certainly establishes the restaurant as an authority. And where would you prefer to dine on oysters? Where the authority prepares them, of course.

3. What is responsive design and should I invest in it?
Responsive design is a relatively new approach to web design and development that essentially bakes in mobile optimization to your website rather than your having to create multiple site designs. Think of it as having one website rather than three — one for the desktop browser, one for a tablet and one for a phone.

Some content management systems and blog themes are emerging that incorporate responsive design. Also, many developers are building new websites with responsive design techniques in mind. So, responsive design can be had for minimal investment if you’re using WordPress or a similar open-source content management system.

4. What are QR Codes and how can I use them?
QR, or quick response, codes are basically bar codes that serve as a link to send a phone’s browser to a web address. Users scan the code with a QR code reader they have downloaded to their phones.

You can use QR codes to deliver coupons, get customers to register for your email newsletter, or even send them to “Like” you on Facebook. But be sure to make the QR process simple and efficient. The web address you send people to should be optimized for mobile, and you should include instructions on using the code for newbies.

Just over 6 percent of U.S. mobile users had scanned a QR code as of mid-2011, according to digital analytics service comScore, Inc. So, the market penetration is small. But the adoption of QR use has grown exponentially since the bar codes hit the U.S. market in the mid-2000s.

5. How close are we to mobile commerce?
Depending on your definition, we’re already mobile-commerce ready with existing technology. Not only do mobile hardware accessories such as Square provide credit card readers that plug into your mobile devices, but platforms including Flint Mobile also remove the hardware requirement by using your phone’s camera to scan the credit card number.

But other products such as Google Wallet, which incorporate Near Field Communications — a far more secure radio communication from a device like your phone to another device such as a cash register — are still in limited testing phases. The carrier, device and operating system companies have yet to agree on industry standards for security and privacy protection. So you’re not likely to see people waving cell phones in front of your credit card readers in the near future. Still, keep an eye on Google Wallet and other mobile commerce developments.

We have answered some of the basic questions, but there’s a lot more to know about mobile marketing before you dive in. Helpful online resources include Google’s HowToGoMo.com and the site mobithinking.com, which includes many statistics and insights.

Article Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223711

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Groupon Tinkering with Mobile Payment Solution

Groupon may be ready to take on the likes of Intuit and Square with its next offering – a mobile payments platform that could shake up this growing industry and its leading players today.

Speaking in confidence to Reuters, two unnamed sources confirm that the daily deals giant is now actively testing in the field a new mobile payments platform with a select few Groupon merchants.

Groupon’s nascent payment service comes with an Apple iPod Touch, and a case that wraps around the back of the device, which allows merchants to swipe credit cards, the people said. They did not want to be identified because the service has not been officially announced, and is in an early testing phase with some Groupon merchants.

If the offering successfully makes it out of testing with the company’s blessing for national launch, the service will likely be competitively priced and perhaps significantly undercut the transaction fees charged by Intuit and Square.

Would you be inclined to use a Groupon-branded mobile payments service?

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The Scope of Mobile Today

We’re almost halfway through 2012. Can you believe it?

The skyrocketing number of smartphone users and amplified mobile marketing budgets tell us one thing: the scope of mobile is broadening more and more each day.

As we near 2012’s median, here are insights into the booming world of mobile:

Mobile Web

  • Mobile Web is predicted to reach 2 billion users by 2015.
  • The largest age group of mobile Web users is ages 25-34, making up 25.6% of the user population.
  • When looking at the entire population of mobile Web users, 51.3% are male and 48.7% female.

Mobile Activity

  • An average mobile device user has their smartphone with them 23 hours per day.
  • The most common mobile activity is text messaging (74.3%), with photos (60.3%) and email (40.8%) trailing close behind.
  • 58% of all SMS opt-ins are done by the 25-34 age group.

Mobile Advertising

  • The average mobile marketing/advertising budget is between $75,000 and $100,000 per campaign.
  • The mobile advertising market is expected to surpass $5 billion by 2015 (compared to the $1.24 billion in 2011).
  • Mobile search makes up the largest investment of advertisers (49%), and following that are display advertising (33%), SMS/MMS marketing (12.2%) and mobile video (5.8%).
  • 71% of smartphone users have used mobile search after seeing an ad.

Mobile Shopping

  • Nearly 1/3 of consumers say mobile is their go-to shopping method.
  • 87% of consumers shop via websites on a laptop, 14% on a smartphone and 9% on a tablet.
  • Men and women engage differently on mobile devices when it comes to shopping: women use smartphones to make their shopping experience more social, while men use it to find information about their potential purchases.
  • Mobile coupons generate 10x the redemption rate as traditional coupons.
  • 70% of smartphone users use their devices when shopping in-store, and 29% who do end up purchasing the item online–this is called the Showroom Effect.
  • 53% of those mobile searchers have made a purchase after a smartphone search.

QR Codes

  • 50% of smartphone owners have scanned QR codes, and 18% of them made a purchase after scanning.
  • 48% of companies plan to invest in advertising with QR codes in 2012.

So, there you have the numbers and be you informed! Ignorance is no longer an excuse for marketers not tapping into mobile. It’s clear that advertisers certainly have a wide range of mobile options to choose from, with mobile Web, advertising, SMS, coupons and QR codes at their fingertips.

Hello generation mobile!

Check out the following sources to see where the numbers came from:

Mobile Marketing by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Is Mobile Advertising the Future of Marketing?

How Consumers Engage with a Mobile Device

The Future of Money and Mobile Commerce [INFOGRAPHIC]

If you’re over the age of 20, you’ve likely used a credit card, counted change and maybe even written a check. But is all that about to change?

Mobile payment hasn’t become the de facto method of financial transactions just yet, but it is projected to overtake those archaic checkbooks and bank notes you’ve been lugging around.

Three types of mobile payments dominate the marketplace today: m-commerce (uses a mobile browser and online wallets), m-payments (uses mobile apps), and m-wallets (replaces your entire wallet). Furthermore, consumers can access several forms of transaction on their mobile devices, including scannable barcodes, mobile coupons and self-checkout.

But are consumers ready to wholeheartedly adopt the latest in mobile payment technology? Adults who are unbanked, for instance, may face a barrier to mobile transactions — there are currently 17 million unbanked adults in the U.S. But many smartphone users welcome the convenience of mobile payments (87% in the UK), while others worry about the privacy factor (79% in Asia). Still, 49% of consumers in the U.S. found shopping on a smartphone awkward.

Then again, many people found paper checks awkward and credit cards confusing the first time around.

Where do you fall in the mobile payment debate? What kinds of transactions do you handle on your smartphone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Pew Says Mobile Payments May Replace Cash and Plastic By Decade’s End

The world could be a dramatically different place by 2020. In only eight short years, cash and credit may be gone from our daily experience. In their place? Mobile payment platforms that will simplify and expedite how we pay for goods and services.

“As adoption of advanced mobile devices such as smartphones has exploded in recent years,” a new Pew study reads, “consumers have grown increasingly comfortable using their phones to transfer money, purchase goods, and engage in other types of financial transactions.”

Recent Pew Internet surveys find that one in ten Americans have used their cell phone to make a charitable contribution by text message, that more than one-third of smartphone owners have used their phones to do online banking services like paying bills or checking a balance, and that 46% of apps users have purchased an app using a mobile device.

Incredibly, some sixty-five percent of the technology experts surveyed by Pew believe that mobile wallets will be fully trusted and adopted by consumers to such a degree that they will replace cash and credit by the close of the decade.

Starbucks Can’t Get Enough Mobile

Starbucks Cant Get Enough Mobile 300x217 Starbucks Cant Get Enough Mobile

Just as loyal coffee enthusiasts can’t get enough Starbucks, the folks at Starbucks can’t seem to get enough of anything related to mobile.

From mobile apps to mobile payment platforms, Starbucks is on the vanguard of mCommerce advancements that may soon be far more pervasive throughout the retail space than they presently are.

According to new details that have come to light this week, Starbucks has already processed more than 42 million mobile payments. That’s not bad considering that the program just began last year.

From VentureBeat:

In December 2011, Starbucks revealed that it had processed 26 million mobile payments. Adoption continues to grow exponentially, the company said.

“You’re going to see us as a company that will push the envelope around mobile pay,” Starbucks chief digital officer Adam Brotman told VentureBeat. “We want to innovate in that area before others catch up.”

PayPal Payments Lets Small Business Take Your Money Any Way They Want

Wednesday PayPal announced the next move in its revamp of its product line: PayPal Payments, which lets you take customers’ money in person as well as online and on mobile devices.

“The heart of PayPal is small business,” Peter Karpas, North American VP of customer engagement told Mashable. “The lines between online and offline and mobile are totally blurring for them. This comprehensive revamp of our products allows small businesses to get paid however they do business.”

Labeled Standard, Advanced, and Pro, each tier offers some of the same basic functionality. Payments can be accepted in 25 different currencies from 190 countries, and can be taken from PayPal accounts as well as via credit card or check using PayPal’s new PayPal Here app.

PayPal announced PayPal Here earlier this month. Going up against Square in the mobile payments space, the app offers businesses a card reader so they can accept on-the-spot payments. The app can also accept checks by taking a photo of them, and can be used for invoicing and keeping track of cash payments as well.

Customers who use PayPal can also check in to a business using the traditional PayPal app on their phones, and pay for purchases by simply saying “Put it on PayPal” and having the merchant select his or her name and photo from their own merchant phone or tablet.

The Standard tier of PayPal payments is free for businesses to use. The Advanced tier adds the ability for customers to pay for purchases without leaving your website for $5 per month, and the Pro tier lets you design and host your own checkout pages for full control, as well as accept credit card via phone, fax, and mail.

PayPal checkouts are also optimized now for mobile, so when customers visit a small business’ website to make a purchase, they don’t have to pinch-to-zoom or manipulate the website in order to complete their purchase.

Payments via PayPal were previously called “website payments standard” and “website payments pro,” and as of today PayPal is also dropping the “website” terminology from the name. Comparing it to Apple’s decision to remove “computer” from its named in 2007, Karpas says the company is dropping the website terminology to indicate that the company is moving to accepting payments however you do business.

Let us know what you think about PayPal Payments in the comments.

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