As the adoption of smartphones increases, consumers are becoming comfortable using their smartphones and tablets to buy goods, transfer money and perform many different kinds of financial transactions.
A new study by comScore reports 80% of U.S. smartphone owners accessed mobile commerce sites and apps in July (85.9 million total).
According to Google’s Our Mobile Planet: United States, penetration is currently 44% of the U.S. population, and 66% access the Internet daily.
Retailers can engage these always-connected consumers by adopting a mobile strategy that includes having an optimized mobile storefront and a mobile payment system.
Optimized Mobile Storefronts
Because mobile devices have changed consumer behavior, especially the way consumers shop, having an optimized mobile storefront becomes critical for engaging consumers across the many different paths to purchase. We explained the benefits of mobile storefronts in How To Boost In-Store Traffic & Sales By Optimizing Your Mobile Storefront For Local SEO.
In addition to optimizing for local search, it is also necessary to be prepared for mobile payments. Pew Internet recently reported the following:
- Over one-third of smartphone owners have performed online banking duties such as paying bills or checking their balance
- 46% of app users have purchased an app for a mobile device.2 One in every ten Americans has used a cell phone to make a charitable contribution by text message
- One in every ten Americans has used a cell phone to make a charitable contribution by text message
- 38% of smartphone owners have used their devices to buy online music, e-books, movies, clothing, accessories, tickets and daily deal items
Mobile Payment Solutions
Because of the above trends and the potential for lucrative profits, financial services and technology firms have been working on infrastructure and tools for safe, reliable mobile purchasing. For instance, mobile payments service provider Square recently revealed it is processing $8 billion in payments on an annual basis.
There are a variety of forms in mobile payment and transaction solutions. Some allow merchants to accept on-the-go credit card payments from customers using a special card reader that plugs into a smartphone or tablet.
Others facilitate direct person-to-person financial transfers using mobile devices, either by physically touching phones or by exchanging electronic credentials like phone numbers or email addresses.
Google Wallet, introduced last year, is based on near-field communication (NFC) technology and allows users to store payment information in the cloud while paying for goods at participating retailers by tapping their phone at the point of purchase.