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61 percent of Fortune 500 will offer mobile commerce capabilities: study

Sixty-one percent of Fortune 500 companies plan to incorporate sales and commerce capabilities into their mobile offerings, according to a Kony Solutions Inc. study.

In addition to sales and commerce functions, informational resources (75 percent), brand awareness (61 percent) and customer service and support (56 percent) were other key components of their mobile strategy. While retail companies clearly were the top respondents to indicate plans to offer mobile commerce capabilities (82 percent), travel and hospitality businesses came in second with 58 percent.

Additionally, the survey found that companies consider offering a mobile Web site to be the highest priority (73 percent), while downloadable mobile applications were their second priority (66 percent) and the third most important was an SMS offering (55 percent).

Mobile Commerce Daily’s Dan Butcher interviewed Sophie Vu, director of marketing and business development at Kony Solutions, San Francisco. Here is what she had to say:

What is the key finding of the study?
Large corporations and Fortune 500 companies are beginning to truly understand the potential of the mobile channel to offer a new revenue stream by capturing the attention of consumers where they are when they are ready to make a purchase.

In fact, 61 percent of companies surveyed indicated that they would be integrating mobile sales and commerce capabilities as part of their mobile offering.

What is the most surprising finding and why?
With a 2010 Gartner report estimating that the iPhone holds less than 3 percent of the mobile market share, it was surprising to find that more than 85 percent of respondents to our survey indicated that their biggest device priority for mobile support was the iPhone.

A serious dichotomy exists between the pervasiveness of the iPhone and its perceived importance.

With the growth of mobile commerce, companies just cannot afford to develop a mobile strategy around just one device, ignoring customers who use a different mobile operating system.

What advice can you give to marketers and merchants based on your findings?
From our survey, it was clear that companies are still struggling to create a mobile strategy that balances the cost of developing and deploying mobile offerings across multiple devices with the need to reach the widest range of consumers.

It is vital that organizations educate themselves when it comes to mobile strategy development, ensuring that they maximize their mobile investment and “future proof” their mobile offerings against new operating systems and devices that will inevitably be introduced in this evolving market such as the new iPhone OS4 launch last week.

Marketers need to focus on a long-term, multichannel mobile strategy that reaches the biggest consumer base, regardless of what device they are using.

Using a single application definition to write one code for all devices, across all operating systems will be the fastest and most cost-effective way to execute this strategy.

Why do you think more consumers are using their phones for mobile payments and mobile banking?
It is about immediacy. Consumers want to be able to make a transaction and bank on the go wherever and whenever they want.

Marketers who can develop applications, mobile Web and SMS capabilities to meet this need for convenience will benefit by capturing the impulse buys that would otherwise be lost.

What is driving growth in the mobile commerce space?
The growing comfort consumers have with using their mobile devices to make payments and mobile payments is driving growth in this sector.

With a recent ABI Research study predicting that shoppers will order $2.2 billion in physical goods via mobile devices, a $1 billion increase from 2009, it is clear that more consumers are at ease making mobile purchases.

Companies are realizing that this could become a major revenue channel—if done right.