Page Impressions Ltd Blogcetera: Has the Mobile Internet finally emerged as a primary retail channel in 2013

Monday, December 09, 2013

Has the Mobile Internet finally emerged as a primary retail channel in 2013

Back in 2000, I worked with a former colleague from business school to raise investment for what we now refer to as a location based mobile application. The application was known as ZagMe enabled customers to send offers to users of the service in their location such as a shopping mall  (BBC Zagme News report). Unfortunately the technology platform was based on WAP which proved unreliable and costly to use. Today companies such as Foursquare have taken the concept to a mobile broadband customer base happy to use and act on location based offers. However, 2013 has seen the break through of the mobile device including tablets etc. as a primary channel for online purchasing. Retailers have rushed to adapt to the new format and even bring out their own optimised devices such as Tesco and Aldi launching bespoke low cost tablets. According to mobile experience management platform Artisan (www.useartisan.com ), 77% of consumers intend to make purchases through a mobile and/or tablet app this holiday season.

This statistic suggests that using mobile devices to purchase through sites such as Amazon, John Lewis etc. is more likely to be the norm rather than the exception.  In a recent survey, OFCOM forecast the number of mobile broadband subscribers to be in the region of 5.1 million.  With sales of Tablet computers of every type likely to be the most sought after gift this Christmas, that number is sure to grow dramatically and with it the opportunity for retailers to grow their online sales channel as well as location based sales by offering incentives to bring users into High Street stores.

Sadly all this furious activity in mobile sales comes to late for Zagme which succumbed to the dotcom bust when trying to raise a second round of finance.  Todays location based apps have a much brighter future!

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