Mobile commerce is a growth market opportunity for businesses, despite the current low uptake in Europe, analyst house Forrester claims.
According to Forrester’s European Technographics Retail, Customer Experience and Travel Online Survey of 14,155 online adults in Europe, just two percent had used their mobile phone to buy a product, and only five percent were interested in doing so. The survey questioned respondents the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Furthermore, only 16 percent of online buyers had used their mobile phone for a shopping-related activity, such as researching products, finding a local store, or checking the status of an order.
Interest in mobile commerce was fairly low in all countries. Only three percent of respondents each in the UK, Italy and Sweden already use their mobile phones for shopping. However, 10 percent of respondents in Italy, eight percent in Sweden and five percent in the UK said they were interested mobile commerce.
Just one percent of respondents each in Germany and France have adopted mobile commerce, with only four percent and three percent, respectively, showing interest in doing so.
However, Forrester said that other results of the survey indicated that mobile commerce is in its early stages and has the potential to grow.
The survey found that ‘mobile-savvy’ users were mostly likely to use their phones for commerce-related activities. For example, 23 percent of iPhone users across Europe research products on their phone at least monthly.
“Similarly, among mobile daily internet users, one-third have already researched products or services using the mobile internet, 20 percent have located a nearby store and 18 percent have compared prices on a mobile device while in a shop. Even if this group is still niche, this gives a good indication of the potential of mobile commerce,” Forrester said in its report.
Forrester suggests that businesses should start to plan a mobile strategy, if they do not have one already.
Thomas Husson, Forrester analyst and report author, said: “eBusiness and channel strategy professionals should start planning a mobile strategy aimed at improving the customer experience on mobile devices, anticipating the integration of mobile in their multichannel strategies, as well as using mobile as an engagement tool to reach customers everywhere.”
Examples of companies that have pursued mobile strategies include Marks & Spencerr, which launched a mobile version of its website; online food retailer Ocado, which was the first UK retailer to launch and iPhone App; and clothes retailer Oasis, which launched an SMS gift voucher tool that allows customers to buy gift vouchers to send to mobile phones.