Mobile shopping worth $119 billion in 2015

A new report from ABI Research predicts that by 2015, shoppers are expected to spend over $100 billion on goods and services from their mobile phones.

Mobile shopping in the U.S. increased from about $369 million in 2008 to about $1.2 billion in 2009. In 2010 that figure is estimated to reach as much as $2.4 billion, according to ABI Research’s report.

A whopping $119 billion is expected to be spent on mobile shopping in 2015.

The driver for mobile online shopping in the US has been the recent sharp spike in smart-phone adoption and the corresponding enthusiasm for mobile Internet. Also, many more retailers have been launching mobile commerce websites.

European mobile shopping revenues are expected to increase by a much higher rate than the U.S. The number of people across Europe who purchase goods and services from smart-phones and mobile devices is expected to surpass U.S. numbers by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, the Japanese market is already burgeoning and boasts a $10 billion mobile shopping market.

The predicted rise in mobile shopping isn’t exactly unexpected. Numerous reports have shown a significant uptake of digital coupons and in-store use of mobiles to check products and prices.

In addition, the use of mobile phones to pay for online gaming features (virtual goods) and other small purchases, such as pizza or train tickets, has seen a rapid uptake, particularly among younger mobile users.

Mobile Outlook for 2010

Is it too early to begin looking ahead to 2010?

Marketers understand the need to integrate mobile into their multichannel branding, customer acquisition and customer retention plans.

Several trends are emerging as mobile matures into a medium that, while not without flaws, is a more palatable option than other marketing channels in use.

I believe the emphasis should be on mobile’s complementary nature – it gives legs to other channels, including retail, online, television, print, coupons, radio, outdoor, direct mail and insert media.
Top of my trends list is the consumer’s growing comfort with consuming news and content on mobile phones, along with exchanging SMS text messages, shopping for products and services, checking email, playing games, conducting mobile banking transactions and searching for retail locations or driving directions.

Indeed, the mobile channel’s use as a location-enabling tool is quickly becoming evident to brands, ad agencies, retailers and, most importantly, consumers.

Marketers must remember that mobile cannot be treated like other mass mediums out there.
Mobile is a highly personal channel, with attendant sensitivities and double opt-in permission requirements.

So it’s not the quantity that should matter for marketers looking to incorporate mobile into their multichannel marketing plans. It’s the quality and that’s where mobile excels.

While the economy could be better, that hasn’t stopped consumers from quickly shifting to mobile many tasks that previously were conducted on computers.

The choice for marketers and ad agencies then is not to deliberate whether to have an SMS program or mobile banner ads or a mobile Web site or a mobile coupon program or a .mobi domain or an iPhone/BlackBerry/Android application.

Instead, the decision to be made is which one of these options or a combination of options is relevant for the brand in its efforts to reach consumers through multiple, relevant touch points.

Smart marketers and agencies will think like smart fishermen: fish where the fish are.
Consumers have already moved to mobile, and are on mobile to stay!

Marketers should focus this year and next on using mobile to build databases of consumers who have opted in not once but twice to receive targeted offers, alerts and information from marketers.

One more thought…a marketer without a mobile loyalty program in 2010 will risk losing customers to competitors who have such efforts in place.

KFC and The Power of Oprah!

Oprah Winfrey is regarded as the most influential woman on U.S. television, driving popular opinion in areas such as books, pop culture and even politics through her support for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. KFC’s latest promotion is proof positive!

Some claim it was her support that catapulted Obama into the Whitehouse.
The Oprah Winfrey-fueled free chicken give-away that caused pandemonium this week at Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants has been canceled due to what the fast-food chain called an “overwhelming response.”

I went of course and got a “rain check.”

Roger Eaton, president of KFC in the United States said restaurants would no longer accept the free coupons for its new grilled chicken meal after Oprah’s chat show promotion caused long lines around the nation.

“The lines of customers wanting to redeem their coupons have been out the door and around the block, so we’re unable to redeem customer coupons at this time.” Eaton said in a statement issued late Thursday.

KFC said millions of Americans had downloaded free coupons after the offer was featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and Web site on Tuesday, driving traffic to levels unseen in the brand’s 50-year history.

Eaton apologized to customers for the cancellation of the scheme and said those who already had a coupon could get a rain check form to enable them to use it at a later date.