Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Message Not Sent: Public Eager to Adopt Mobile Buying; Businesses Not So Much

For a three-word sentence, “Message not sent,” does a pretty good job at frustrating text messagers from completing and sending their digital thoughts. And when it comes to m-commerce, ‘M’ for mobile, businesses it seems, haven’t gotten the message either.

A new survey compiled by Empirix reveals a mixed message: 91 percent of American shoppers believed mobile buying for anything from airline tickets, to department store purchases, to all items in between by text message, email or smart phone app, will generally benefit their shopping experience, while nearly two-thirds of respondents expected an improvement in customer service via their mobile outlet.

But like a garbled message trapped in the Internet ether, fewer than half of businesses surveyed in several countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, said they’d be investing money toward establishing m-commerce networks. The US, which often plays second fiddle (or third, or fourth) to tech-savvy Europe, was a relative “winner,” with 41 percent of businesses saying they would. Better still; more than half of US businesses said they at least had a mobile strategy in place. By contrast only 14 percent of UK businesses were game for upgrading from ‘E’ to m-commerce.

Dealing with the digital disconnect

That’s where PR companies come into play. Playing the watchdog role for our clients means it’s our job to inform them when it’s time to enhance their business and marketing models, offering concrete mobile marketing suggestions and strategy. In short, just having a web page is so last decade. As seen on airlines, mobile onboard buying campaigns have really taken off. (Pardon the pun)

If airlines can be persuaded to the see the benefits of turning a jumbo jet’s cabin into a touch and click sky mall, then why not other businesses?

To be sure, an m-commerce-embracing public and a plugged in communications industry are only the first steps toward success. But they’re not bad starts. In Empirix’s press release on the study, Tim Moynihan, VP of Marketing cautioned companies against quantity of mobile initiative versus quality of effort.

“As more businesses deliver m-commerce applications to an increasing number of consumers, the risk of poor service increases dramatically,” he said. “Investing in an end-to-end service assurance program at the start of this journey will separate the winners from the losers.”

An “end to end service assurance program,” huh.

Sounds like the perfect job for us.

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