Tag Archives: online shopping

The Mobile Commerce Generation Gap

It seems that the younger you are, the more comfortable you are with using your mobile phone for purchases and banking.

Last week we wrote about mobile phone banking and asked for your thoughts. Some folks were all for it. Some were for it but with some reservations. And some were dead set agin’ it, by gar!

We didn’t ask for demographics but, in light of a new survey, it would be interesting to know the ages of the MindField Online members who were for or against. Cnet.com recently reported on a survey done by MasterCard that found that the younger you are, the more comfortable you are with mobile commerce. Here are some stats:

  • 65% of 18-to-34’s said they’d feel more naked without their phones than their wallets, compared 34% of the over-35 crowd.
  • 51% of men vs. 40% of women feel comfortable making a payment using a mobile phone.
  • Most telling: 63% of 18-34’s would feel comfortable using their mobile phones to make purchases, vs. only 37% of those over 35.

So, we’ll ask the question another way: Do you see a difference in attitudes about mobile commerce between you and your parents? You and your kids? You and your spouse? Let us know!

Say Cheese?

Just spitballin’ here folks. What if you could complete a survey using your web-cam? There might be a couple of reasons for doing this. Maybe the surveyor wants to see the reaction on your face when they ask a question, or when you see a picture on your screen. Or it might be one of those things where you “say the first word that comes to mind” instead of filling in a box for Yes or No. Heck, it might be a way for the surveyor to get a more “true” reaction than making you think about – or overthink – your response.

So, what do you think? We REALLY want to know!

By the way, if you hate getting your picture taken, your humble blogger has offered to go first. You’re bound to look better than THIS guy!

"Yes. Or...No. Wait, it's Yes!"

Banking on the Go?

We have been talking lately about using mobile devices for various retail purposes: shopping, comparing, coupons, etc. But do you use your mobile device for banking?

Well, it’s catching on!

According to a recent article on MobileMarketer.com:

…adoption of mobile banking among U.S. adults has more than doubled in the past two years to reach 16 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010… mobile banking will grow by an average of 20 percent per year over the next five years to reach 50 million U.S. adults by 2015.

So, how are we using mobile banking? So far, it seems mostly for informational purposes:

  • 70% use mobile banking to check their account balances
  • 33% use it to view their statements

BUT… using mobile banking for the purpose of actual, you know, BANKING is starting to catch on as well, with 30% using it to transfer money between accounts, and 27% using it to pay bills.

So, how about you? Do you use your phone for banking? What do you like about it? Do you think it’s “safe?” Let us know!

Online Coupons for Real World Savings

Hey, times are tough. We’re all looking to pinch pennies, and more of us are going online to do it.

According to a recent article on InternetRetailer.com:

74% of consumers search multiple online coupon sources each week, and 25% spend up to an hour shopping for the best online discount deals.

From a dollar off of laundry detergent to a half-price romantic getaway, services like Bing, Groupon, Living Social, RetailMeNot (and on and on and on) are ready to help you save. And we’re definitely hooked. Here are some statistics, according to Bing:

  • 47% use more local deals and coupons than they did a year ago
  • 63% search up to 10 different coupons sites each week
  • 11% look at more than 10 coupon sites
  • 81% of moms search multiple sources each week

According to the survey, about half of us spend more than 15 minutes a week scoping out the deals, and about 25% of us spend between 30 and 60 minutes.

So, how about you? Are you clipping coupons online? Are you doing it more than you used to? Are you saving? Let us know!

Get All Your Shopping 411 with QR Codes!

Look familiar? You may not have paid them much attention, or known what they were, but these funny-looking symbols are the latest thing designed to improve your shopping experience.

They’re called QR scan codes (for Quick Response), and they are the 21st century answer to the traditional bar code. But while the bar code is designed for the seller – to improve efficiency in pricing and inventory – the QR is all for YOU, baby!

All you need is a smartphone with a camera, and an app that costs little to nothing to download. When you’re out shopping and you see the QR code on the label or on the display, turn on the app, point your camera and…that’s it. You are taken to a website that tells you all about the product.

There was a fun little article in the New York Times this week about shoppers in the Home Depot and Lowe’s using QR codes to learn how to select and care for trees for their yards. Which is funny because that is exactly how I used mine!

Another time I was heading downtown for a day of activities. I had one of those local weekly entertainment magazines, but wasn’t thrilled about carrying it around all day. Then I saw the QR code at the top of the “What’s Happening” section. I zapped it, and now I had the entire listing stored in my phone.

So check out the article, and look around the next time you are out. I bet you start noticing these things everywhere! Have you already tried QR codes? Tell us about it!

Marketing Goes Mobile

Do you engage in m-marketing? No, I didn’t stutter. It stands for mobile marketing, and you likely are engaging in it more often than you think – and enjoying fewer of its benefits than you could be. Intrigued? Read on…

According to an article at AllThingsDigital.com:

 With the age of the PC declared officially over–smartphones outsold PCs for the first time in 4Q 2010–American retailers are all asking the same question: When will the m-commerce tipping point arrive? The answer is, it’s happening now. But to emerge as true mobile commerce winners, smart marketers will still need to overcome numerous barriers to mass consumer adoption.

Those barriers include a basic ignorance of what m-marketing is all about. It’s more than just purchasing online, it’s the whole shopping experience: searching, reading ads, comparing, downloading coupons, and so on. There are vendors at every step of the way trying to make the process easier for you (and make a buck, naturally.)

Technology is also a question mark. Many people think you need a full-blown touch screen iPhone to do this stuff, and that’s not the case. Second is cost: people assume that they can’t afford the data plan that this requires. Today, the wireless companies are at war with each other, and those costs are coming down.

So, what do you think?  How much of this process do you take part in? Are you finding that it improves your shopping experience? Are you burning up minutes in your data plan? Let us know – but no brand names, please!

Smartphones for Smart Shoppers

There’s a reason why search companies, advertisers, payment processors and local merchants are so interested in smartphones. It’s because they’re turning out to be powerful and popular tools for people looking to search locally, act quickly and improve their shopping experience.

That’s the setup for a recent article at GigaOm.com. A recent survey of over 5,000 smartphone users* turned up some interesting statistics on these three points, Searching Locally, Acting Quickly, and Improving the Shopping Experience:

  • 95% of smartphone users have searched for local retailer info
  • 88% act on that info within one day
  • 77% visited search engines to get their info
  • 79% use their phone while in the store
  • 75% use their phones in the store to make their purchases

Think about that last one… you’re in the store browsing the selection of, let’s say, vacuum cleaners. You are visiting some online consumer site that compares all the models in front of you. Then, you skip the checkout line altogether and make your purchase online!

Confused by all of this “digital online window shopping?”  You aren’t alone. Everybody from Google to Wal-Mart to Sally’s Cat Toy Emporium is trying to get a handle on this new way of shopping! All we can say is Stay Tuned!

* Including many MindField Online panelists…so, while we would love to hear your thoughts on online shopping, please don’t talk specifically about the survey!