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Mobile commerce to grow 875pc over next 5 years: Amazon exec

NEW YORK – An Amazon Payments executive at the Mobile Shopping Summit said that mobile commerce is expected to grow from $2.4 billion this year to $23.4 billion by 2015, an 875 percent increase.

Those figures are based on projections from Coda Research Consultancy. Amazon is enabling payments via the mobile Web and applications for clients such as J&R, Petco, The Wet Seal, and Baby Phat.

“We offer payment services providing consumers, sellers and developers a simple way to pay and get paid online and via mobile,” said Jeff Pandolfo, business development manager at Amazon Payments, Seattle. “Mobile shoppers are currently early-adopters but mobile commerce is going mainstream.

“Consumers will convert and they will buy on mobile,” he said. “We’re focusing on bringing the Amazon technology off to provide merchants with ways to get paid online and via mobile and boost their conversion metrics.

“We work with our merchant customers to optimize that experience and make it great, helping them figure out how to seal the deal in mobile and make that conversion metric go up.”

Amazon claims it has 110 million active consumer accounts worldwide, millions of sellers and hundreds of thousands of associates. It offers on-demand infrastructure for hosting Web-scale platforms and services.

It core mobile payments platforms are 1-Click, offering one-click checkout to consumers who are logged into their Amazon account, and PayPhrase, letting non-Amazon customers checkout by entering a password and PIN number.

PayPhrase lets parents set up multiple accounts per household or per credit card.

“Consumers can buy now with 1-Click—that’s how easy we try to make things for our customers,” Mr. Pandolfo said. “The bar for a good experience is very high on mobile.

“Customers may be on the bus in transit, so it requires greater concentration, and we as retailers have to give more attention to the design of the mobile experience so that it is quick, easy and fun,” he said.

Consumers are becoming more comfortable with making mobile purchases, per Mr. Pandolfo, and it is not just virtual goods—it is tickets, apparel, personal care products, books and electronics.

Consumers are engaging with their mobile devices more and more, and they are engaged at the point of purchase decision.

First, consumers are searching and browsing for product information. Second, they want the ability to comparison-shop on their mobile device to see if they are getting a good deal. Third is actually making purchases using their handsets.

“We’re seeing customer interaction with mobile through every step of the purchase process,” Mr. Pandolfo said.

Baby Phat
Baby Phat offers Amazon’s checkout option on both its ecommerce and mobile commerce Web sites.

Edward Foy, CEO of eFashion Solutions, said that his company powers ecommerce and mcommerce for Baby Phat, Playboy, Sean John and DKNY.

In addition to Amazon, eFashion solutions partners with MyBuys.

“We got the opportunity to leverage third parties to launch a mobile commerce site without eating up a lot of budget,” Mr. Foy said. “Once Amazon Payments came out, we launched it on, and we knew it would be a great fit for mobile.

“It’s easy for customers to purchase using their phones,” he said.

On average, 5-6 percent of Baby Phat’s traffic was coming from mobile devices, even before the site was mobile-optimized, but the question was “Will they convert?”

“We know mobile is the future, and Amazon was one partner that helped us get in front of the client, make it a priority and roll it out, which was pretty easy,” Mr. Foy said. “We’ve been seeing some great results.

“We’re seeing higher transaction rates, anywhere from 10 to 25 percent higher conversion rates, higher purchase amounts and we’re seeing current customers purchasing more frequently,” he said. “As we start promoting Baby Phat’s mobile site more we hope to add incremental sales as well.”

Novel idea
Century Novelty, an online retailer of party supplies, decorations and costumes, has readied itself for the mobile commerce revolution by launching a new mobile Web site created by SLI Systems.

In just a few days and with only a few hours of effort by Century Novelty, the mobile site went live in early October and now delivers relevant product and company information to mobile device users, helping Century Novelty capture more sales on the mobile platform.

With SLI Mobile, online retailers like Century Novelty can get up and running with mobile sites, including essential search and navigation capabilities and all necessary product pages.

The SLI Mobile offering integrates with third-party check-out providers such as Checkout by Amazon, which is being used by Century Novelty.

For Century Novelty, the incentive to launch a mobile commerce site came when the company realized that mobile sales accounted for a growing percentage of overall revenues.

“We thought mobile didn’t make sense for us, but we launched our mobile Web site less than a month ago, and the reason was that the previous month we saw $20,000 in sales coming through mobile,” said Ian MacDonald, vice president and general manager at “Since the launch of the mobile site, we’ve blown that figure out of the water.

“We’ve already seen a huge increase in traffic via mobile,” he said. “We knew at least a third of our customers already have an Amazon account, and those that don’t can type in their billing, shipping and credit card information.

“We’ve only been live about three weeks, but I expect conversion rates, time spend on mobile and sales via the mobile site to increase steadily.”

Final Take
Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief, Mobile Commerce Daily