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32pc of consumers would make mobile purchase if given discount: Sybase

One out of three respondents who are willing and able to purchase goods or services with their current mobile devices would do so this holiday season using their handsets if they were presented with mobile-based incentives, according to a Sybase 365 survey of 1,000 consumers. 

When asked whether mobile-based incentives—coupons or discount offers, text or email alerts, gift cards—would entice them to make a purchase on their mobile device, 32 percent of respondents said these incentives would. The remaining 68 percent of respondents to the question either stated they would not make a mobile purchase or that they cannot do so on their current devices.

Mobile Commerce Daily’s Dan Butcher interviewed Cameron Franks, area vice president of sales for the Americas at Sybase 365, Dublin, CA. Here is what he had to say:

What is the key finding of the mobile holiday shopping survey?
The key finding of the recent Sybase 365 survey results was that 32 percent of consumers, if offered mobile-based deals, coupons or alerts, could be incented to make a purchase on their mobile device.

The finding suggests that consumers are slowly transitioning from mobile commerce awareness to enabling and facilitating transactions.

While the majority of respondents to our survey would not make a purchase on their mobile device this holiday season, a large percentage believed that their mobile devices were not enabled with mobile payments or purchasing features or applications.

Clearly, there is still room for improvement in building awareness around mobile payments and transactions, but it is apparent that if consumers are presented with an incentive such as a mobile coupon or deal alert, they will be more likely to make a purchasing decision based on that communication.

What is the most surprising finding?
We were not surprised by any of the survey findings. Sybase 365 understands that the key to driving mobile commerce purchasing decisions and transactions is consumer awareness.

While the percentage of consumers who will be making purchases on their mobile devices this holiday season is still low, we anticipated as much and are focusing on the evidence that momentum is building for mobile payments.

We look forward to conducting a similar survey at this time next year so that we can benchmark these results against those of 2011.

We anticipate that there will be an even larger percentage of consumers willing to make purchases on their mobile phones next holiday season.

At this point, the technology that facilitates mobile payments is developing at a much more rapid pace than consumer awareness.

Consumers are looking for a comfortable, familiar, secure environment to conduct a payment transaction.

Retailers and brands must focus on creating a secure and easy-to-use mobile site that consumers can use easily and feel confident that their payments and personal information is secure.

What advice can you give to brands/marketers and retailers/merchants based on your findings?
The best advice that Sybase 365 would give to brands or retailers and their marketing managers is to add a multichannel mobile customer relationship management approach to their marketing strategy in order to reach 100 percent of their overall audience, which includes using all mobile channels—SMS, the mobile Internet and applications.

Consumers are becoming more demanding and will remain loyal customers to those merchants who reach them where they want to be targeted.

Merchants must ask themselves two questions when developing an effective mobile strategy: Are your customers active mobile users? How willing would they be to respond to mobile coupons or offers?

Once they have delivered the responses to the questions, they must implement a multichannel marketing strategy that includes targeting customers at bricks-and-mortar locations, online and mobile.

As more consumers adopt smartphones and mobile commerce services become easier to use, retailers and businesses alike will recognize that mobile may be the preferable channel, but until we reach the point of widespread adoption of mobile commerce, a multichannel approach must be the focus.

As the big brands and retailers set the mobile commerce tone, how will the smaller and independent brands and retail outlets compete? They must listen to their customers and reach them where they want to be reached.

What is driving growth in the adoption of mobile commerce/shopping by consumers?
The results from our recent survey show proof that interest and demand for mobile commerce exists, but we have still yet to reach the tipping point for widespread mobile commerce adoption.

Convenience, immediacy and ease of use will be the driving factor behind driving mobile commerce growth.

Consumers are demanding a more convenient way of making payments. They want a familiar and enjoyable shopping experience, and they do not want to have to worry about security or technology hiccups.

There has been much debate recently about the feasibility and implementation of Near Field Communication and whether that will be the tipping point for widespread adoption of mobile payments. 

NFC will most likely be part of the technology mix that drives the growth of mobile commerce, but it will not be the only solution.

The industry at large must find a way of improving remote and proximity payments via mobile. 

The experience of transitioning from purchasing goods online at an ecommerce site to mobile purchases must be seamless.

The growth in mobile commerce is happening slowly.

The majority of consumers are already using SMS text messages on their mobile device, so it appears that they are a natural channel for delivering marketing and advertising directly to customers.

Rite Aid has already implemented an RX alerts service, which delivers mobile messages to customers when they are prescriptions are ready to be picked up.

And Target’s mobile Web site and apps help customers compare prices and deals, as well as offer specialized deals when they detect that a customer has entered a store.

Retailers are some of the new businesses working to break new ground with mobile commerce by creating mobile payment store loyalty card applications, coupons or deal alerts to engage customers.

As long as they are able to develop a system that is convenient and easy to use and replicate the same kind of experience that consumers already have become familiar with online, mobile will become the preferable channel for commerce and transactions.

Final Take
Sybase and Jagtag