How mobile commerce is creating innovation & collaboration
Banks and mobile operators are working together
This week we were interested to hear that Deutsche Telekom had teamed up with MasterCard to create a mobile payments application. The move comes in the wake of Vodafone’s partnership with Visa. Further proof that the evolution of the mobile wallet requires mobile operators to collaborate with banks so both parties can take advantage of developments in mobile commerce.
Retailers are all benefiting from mobile shopping
The launch of IBM’s augmented reality mobile shopping app shows that the tech giant is also keen to collaborate, this time with retailers. It makes a huge amount of sense for customers to be able to use their mobile phone like a personal shopper (and this one lives in your pocket and is better suited to cross-sell and up-sell). Retailers like John Lewis and Comet have already cottoned on and their apps work like in-store shopping assistants, while the Amazon app offers the capability to search by barcode.
While the augmented reality is a nice feature in IBM’s app, it’s expensive and the experience is fairly limited right now. Augmented reality requires a large amount of data transfer which today’s mobiles still aren’t very good at. However the advantage of mobile (over online and offline marketing) is that it can offer the retailer an aggregation of personal data – demographic, geographic, financial – which can then be tailored to customers and used to add an extra dimension in the in-store experience. While customers aren’t going to download an app for each store they purchase from, they’ll be looking for a platform which hosts a number of retailers, which is the thinking behind our SimplyTap app.
Small businesses are getting solutions too
Similarly, Dan Wagner is offering small businesses a mobile payment system with the launch of mPowa. Dan is an industry luminary who has massive insight into commerce and mPowa has broad platform and geographic appeal. However he’s joining a space already inhabited by iZettle and Square. We hope he makes a big success of it, there’s room for all of these guys.
NatWest adds more weight to NFC
Following on from PayWave (Samsung/Visa), PayPass (MasterCard), QuickTap (Orange/Barclaycard)and PayTag (BarclayCard), NatWest have announced TouchPay, their NFC payments service in partnership with Visa. NatWest have already established an enviable mobile banking base, having bravely ventured out into the space before their competitors. Undoubtedly it will be a great success.
Smartphones are everywhere
We can’t get enough of smartphones and new figures suggest that by 2015, 90% of the mobile market will be smartphone-based. But it’s not just the iPhone dominating the market while Nokia and Blackberry are suffering losses. We’re also seeing the rise and rise of Samsung, propelled last month by the release of the awesome Galaxy S3.
Helping retailers join together
Last week’s BRC Retail Symposium concluded that retailers need to be careful not to miss out on the mobile revolution. It’s in line with views which have already been expressed in the industry, including in our Retail Week Report which was published in May. Now we know that mobile is going to be big we need to work out how to help retailers through the revolution and not leave a whole group behind; because being a great retailer doesn’t mean you’re necessarily great at mobile marketing or mobile commerce.
Instant purchase for everyone
One of the ways that we’re helping retailers survive the mobile revolution is by simplifying purchase, making the journey shorter and capturing data. This week SimplyTap placed HMV adverts in Empire magazine which allowed customers to buy directly off the page with QR Codes. In the same issue of Empire, Amazon and Sainsbury’s were advertising rival products. Where it would have previously been a fight of the advertisers, only the QR code in the HMV ad allowed customers to make an instant purchase (the Sainsbury’s ad rather obliquely led to more information, while Amazon relied on brand play). As a result, only HMV/SimplyTap were able to capture and measure sales directly off the page.