I am looking forward to January when my mobile contract is up and I can switch phones as I’m anxious for a Smartphone. Not that I’m anxious to be shopping from it though. And especially not once my shopaholic teenager finds out you can shop from your phone. Black Friday for her was all she needed to send her running to the stores and if that wasn’t enough she came home to boot up the computer and use my credit card for some additional deals.
Jayne O’Donnell of USA Today reports that this holiday season, some 19% of Americans will use their mobile devices for shopping according to a survey from Deloitte. 39% of those 18 to 29 say they’ll use their phones to find store locations, obtain coupons and sales information and research products and prices. One-quarter of all who plan to use their phones to shop say they will make purchases on the devices.
The mobile shopping market is small, even if the sales numbers are at $750 million. But compare it to the $2.3 trillion retail industry.
The trade publication Internet Retailer reported this month that 112 retailers have m-commerce sites and/or apps, and several have more than one.
Toys R Us: and Walgreensadded mobile sites this week. Sears, which also owns Kmart, was one of the first major U.S. retailers to offer a mobile site, in November of last year.American Eagleadded a mobile site in September, while Victoria’s Secretrecently upgraded its site to allow mobile purchases.
Being able to use mobile devices to do price comparisons, check availability and simply browse other bargains can be invaluable. Deals that aren’t promoted ahead are strategically placed around stores. And a Smartphone allows you to browse the Web while you are shopping for product and price comparisons can save time and money. Forget the old days of running from store to store and then going back to the first store to make the purchase.
Mobile shopping sites are sized for small screens so they are easy to navigate and some allow you to go right out checkout. Some of the latest in mobile retail:
Best Buy: The electronics retailer has had a mobile site since June; it became fully functioning for purchases at the end of September.
Toys R Us: The toy store chain added a mobile site this week. Greg Ahearn, senior vice president of marketing and e-commerce, says it’s designed so consumers can quickly find stores, get “mom ratings” and product descriptions, and make purchases.
EBay: EBay’s mobile website attracts 1 million visitors a day, the company says. “It’s quite possible more people this year will use mobile commerce through eBay and avoid the stores altogether,” says Steve Yankovich, eBay’s vice president of business solutions and mobile.