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Ralph Risk,marketing director EMEA, Lightspeed Research
Our research with the Mobile Marketing Association has underlined the growing appetite for mobile commerce, especially among younger consumers. The survey, carried out in France, Germany and the UK, reveals interesting differences in mobile behaviour.
The rapid adoption of smartphones and use of app stores has laid the foundation for an acceleration of mobile commerce. The UK has the highest number of adopters - 19% in April, compared with 13% of Germans and 9% of French. The figure is 29% for 18-34-year-olds, who are driving UK mobile commerce.
The most common form of mobile commerce is buying content for phones, such as ringtones and apps, with 12% of UK respondents making such a purchase in April. Just over half of those who bought content used the mobile web (52%), and 82% said the process was quick and easy. Half felt it was secure and trustworthy. By comparison, Germans purchased through messaging (49%) and the French through mobile apps (56%).
We asked respondents how interested they were in making a range of mobile transactions. In the UK, 27% were interested in using discounts or coupons, and 28% in collecting or redeeming loyalty points - also the activity of most interest to the French (33%). This suggests an opportunity for retailers and operators to use mobile for CRM, customer loyalty campaigns and sales promotions.
What was perhaps most revealing about the research was the indication that mobile commerce will become more important in the future. Almost half of those who have bought a product or service (48%) would do so again. However, two areas of concern were highlighted. First, only 50% of respondents in the UK felt their mobile content purchase was secure and trustworthy, although they had more faith in the security of using or purchasing tickets (64%) and in buying physical goods and services (60%).
Second, consumers are put off by receiving marketing messages once they’ve used their vouchers. Of those who had collected or redeemed a loyalty reward as part of a mobile transaction, just 23% said they hadn’t subsequently received unwanted marketing, while only a third (33%) said they’d make this kind of transaction again.
So, while there’s definitely an appetite for m-commerce, there’s also a need to listen to and address consumers’ concerns before it can become anything like as mass market as the mobile device.