The future is mobile – update

Smartphone+shopping It's hard to believe how fast everything seem to be moving in the world of mobile marketing… here are some of the things I've been reading and hearing about since my 'predictions' a year ago and even this post from October 2010.

Smartphone dominance isn't far off - Peter Sondergaard of Gartner predicted last June that by 2014 "80% of users in western world and affluent users in emerging markets will have a smartphone" (via @joannejacobs).

The rise of m-commerce – retailers are realising the importance of having a mobile site and/or app. Mobile traffic to John Lewis's site rose by 50% year-on-year in the last quarter, and the H&M combined iPhone and iPad app has been downloaded 2 million times since its launch last August. (Fashion retailers lead charge into mobile shopping, New Media Age 26-1-11) A recent survey found that 41% of retailers expected to have a mobile site or transactional app within the next year, and 65% within 2 years.

Location-based services - last year the talk was of Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places, and marketers saw opportunities to target consumers with offers based on their location. Some early adopters such as Domino's Pizza have claimed their Foursquare promotions to have been a great success. But consumers have concerns about privacy, and the plethora of different services means no one service can claim a critical mass of users.Things may change with the arrival of mobile payments…

The emergence of mobile payments – Near Field Communication technology (NFC) allows you to make a payment with a mobile device, a little like Bluetooth but more secure. With an NFC-enabled phone, you may be at a location, presented with an offer, and pay for it there and then in a kind of fast-track. O2 and Orange plan to launch this kind of contactless payment system in the summer, according to Media Week, and it's strongly tipped that Apple will incorporate NFC in the next generation iPhone and iPad.



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