This just in as of 5/8/2012! – I was right – Check out this article and associated video.
In the future I see a marriage of social networking and mobile commerce through something I call “Instant social m-commerce apps.” The “m” in m-commerce for those that don’t know stands for “mobile.”
I’ve noticed that many retailers have shopping apps for the consumers’ smartphone where the consumer can browse products, search for products, buy products and even send an email about products they like to others or themselves. I found a shopping app for Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and many others. These apps are fine and dandy but lack a functionality to harness the power that influences 85% of purchase decisions today – word-of-mouth.
The instant social m-commerce app will still allow the consumer to browse, search, buy and email products they like, but will also allow them to draw on the opinions of their closest friends and family in real time to help them make an m-commerce purchase decision.
These improved shopping apps will let the consumer put the items they’re interested in into a “shopping cart” of sorts where they can then look to see which of their friends are currently on Facebook and send them a message that will include all the items they like. This way the consumer can ask friends opinions on the items of interest in real time. The benefit of having a feedback system of this nature is based on providing the consumer instant feedback from a trusted source that can then translate into instant gratification and instant sales. We all know the consumer has to be convinced to buy in the shortest amount of time or risk them backing down from their purchase decision. What better moment to seal the deal than during the impulse buy moment. That being said, this obviously won’t work for items that have a higher involvement level, requiring more thinking on the consumers part such as luxury items.
I know what you’re saying, why not just take a picture of the item in question, add some text and send it to a friend as a picture message. Why integrate with Facebook? The main reason is just because a person has a mobile phone with them wherever they go doesn’t mean they’re available. The only way to know if they are available is if you text or call them and they answer quickly. Facebook will be integrated into shopping apps much more in the future because of how it makes people far more reachable at any one point in time. Seventy-seven percent of people use Facebook at work. Facebook currently has over 800 million users with over 350 million of them accessing the site from their mobile device or over 43% and rising. Believing that most mobile commerce will occur through smartphones in the future, I feel it’s also important to point out that 49% of smartphone owners specifically use their phone for social networking. Don’t forget the number of people accessing Facebook from home and school during the day and even the number of people accessing it from devices other than smartphones (i.e. iPod Touch).
Integrating a mobile commerce app with Facebook in this way will increase the chance of getting in touch with someone for an immediate opinion because of how many locations and devices Facebook is accessed from. I argue that Facebook is one of the best methods for achieving constant contact and thus perfect for attempting to add a more social aspect to mobile commerce thus increasing sales.
What do you think the future of mobile and wireless technology will bring as far as advertising and e-commerce are concerned?
The video below shows how we are already halfway to accomplishing this technology.
- World M-Commerce Market Future Discussed in New Study Published at MarketPublishers.com (prweb.com)
- CorFire™ & SNAP to Bring Social Networks to Mobile Commerce (contactlessintelligence.com)
- M-Commerce in 2012: The Future of Shopping (epiphanysolutions.co.uk)