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The convenience of having local information oozing out of our handsets whenever we need it means mobile search is becoming big business.
We search differently on our mobiles than we do on our desktops. When we are out and about we hunt for products and services we need soon, if not immediately. For example, it might be the location of, or directions to, a restaurant, entertainment venue or retailer.
Argos has just launched its first iPhone app, in response to 600% increased in traffic to Argos.co.uk from mobile devices. In December, Argos had 750,000 visits from iPhones and iPods, so the demand is clearly there.
The app, developed in-house, isn't a full mobile commerce offering, though that is something which may follow later. Instead, the app allows customers to browse and check stock levels at their local stores, before making a reservation for in-store collection.
Mobile coupons offer an excellent opportunity for retailers to appeal to customers on the go, and to drive them in stores with special offers and discounts.
For example, US retailers such as Target are offering coupons which can be downloaded to their phones and scanned at the checkout, while in the UK, apps like Voucher Cloud allow users to search for local businesses offering coupons which can be redeemed in store.
Here are ten reasons why retailers should consider the use of mobile coupons in their marketing strategies...
Sccope is one of the best mobile price comparison services I have seen so far, and has a mobile site, an iPhone app, as well as services on the Vodafone and T-Mobile mobile platforms.
I've been talking to Douglas Orr, the founder of parent company Cogenta, about Sccope's mobile services, and how he sees the mobile commerce market developing over the next few years. He also has an interesting solution to the problem of making mobile checkouts easier for customers.
Douglas will be speaking about the future of mobile commerce at Econsultancy's Future of Digital Marketing 2010 event, held in London on June 16.
On any desktop e-commerce website, the checkout process needs to be as smooth as possible to maximise conversions. This is even more vital on so mobile sites.
When users are buying from a small screen device with variable connection quality, a long or complex checkout process will deter customers from making a purchase.
Here are a few tips on mobile commerce checkouts, along with some examples of how it should be done...
Marks & Spencer has just made its first move into mobile commerce, and unlike some other UK retailers, it has opted for a mobile website rather than an app.
M&S says this is a 'major step forward in mobile retailing', a move which will change the mobile retail landscape.
I've been trying the new site out (on an iPhone), and though it's generally impressive, M&S may want to make a few changes to make the checkout smoother...
Last week, I attended the ChannelAdvisor Catalyst E-commerce conference, a lively two days of insightful presentations, panel discussions and debates and a real focus on the channel aspects of developing and driving e-commerce.
Here I round up some of the key points from the conference...
Ocado has launched another mobile app, this time a voice search app for Android phones, and the online grocer seems to be having some success with mobile commerce.
Having launched an iPhone shopping app last year, this move broadens Ocado's mobile presence, making the app available on 20 different handsets.
While plenty of US retailers have mobile commerce sites or apps, it seems those in the UK have been slower to move into mobile.
I covered this topic last year, and could only think of three m-commerce sites in the UK, two of which were Amazon and eBay. There are now a few more, but a lot of big names are yet to move into mobile commerce.
Strong growth is predicted for the mobile commerce market, and there are plenty of reasons why a mobile commerce site (or app) can benefit retailers. I've been listing the UK retailers with a mobile presence...
Customers are increasingly switching between channels when researching and making purchases, with the vast majority using at least two in their purchase decisions.
This is one of the findings of an ATG Cross-Channel Commerce study (registration required), which surveyed 1,054 US consumers...