In many ways, this holiday season has unfolded just as predicted. Last winter, Paco Underhill saw the power of Web-enabled phones put to use in brick and mortar stores. Surveys conducted at about the same time verified his suspicion. Foresee Results analyzed the use of cell phones by retail customers during the previous shopping season (2008) and found that nearly 1/3 said that they used their mobile phone as part of their shopping experiences. The bulk of these people called someone to discuss the purchase, and 24% performed a price comparison by web.
Recently The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal published articles about this impact, noting the use of bar-code scanning applications, which can perform price comparisons across multiple online stores, and Amazon's application, which enables customers to find an item on Amazon.com by taking a picture of it.
Soon we will have some hard evidence about the impact smartphones had on shopping in 2009. One thing we know for sure: with the number of smartphones purchased and given in 2009, the impact will be even greater in 2010. We at Mobile Meteor are confident that shopping with the assistance of a mobile phone will grow as steadily as online shopping itself has over the past 10 years. Brick & mortar businesses can no longer remain separated from online businesses. It is crucial that brick & mortar businesses adjust quickly to the changing environment and engage smartphone users. Otherwise, they will lose them as customers.
Morgan Stanley recently released a comprehensive analysis of the emerging mobile Internet. The subtitle to The Mobile Internet Report is "Ramping Faster than Desktop Internet, the Mobile Internet Will Be Bigger than Most Think."
We are in the early stages of this development, and as the online world continues to converge with physical by way of the mobile Internet, restaurants, bars, arts organizations, gyms and other businesses need to evolve to stay competitive. A key way to do this is by making sure that your site functions on a smartphone. Mobile Meteor can help with our Mobile Splash Page. Click here to learn more.