The world over, large brands have already come up with their own apps for smartphones. Over the course of the next two years, 1/3rd of these will incorporate payment features within them, says a recently released Gartner Report.
Building in features that will allow patrons to pay for their merchandise will allow for much higher consumer interaction & enhanced sales as these people will not have to interact with multiple devices to execute their purchase. Currently mobile apps act more as an advertising media meant to enhance brand interaction & garner interest in general public. Beyond that, owing to lack of this crucial feature, they are nothing but eye-candy meant to elicit interest & hopefully desire to purchase.
Who is expected to make the jump? Offering sale via mobiles will be prominently adopted by brands in the fashion, food and drink, grocery and entertainment sectors. One of the primary reasons for such preference is the fact that these are micro-retail stores who sell to individuals at the very elementary one-to-one level. Besides, the location aware smartphones are already offering customers the directions to nearest store. Hence the ability to pay should hugely cut down the time spent in paying at the counter.
How are they gearing up? If a brand has to expand its app into a comprehensive mobile e-commerce hub, it will have to work simultaneously with web, text messages & app interface. This is because current payment methods routinely employ all the aforementioned platforms to authenticate the buyer & his payment instrument. But, currently many e-commerce companies like eBay, Snapdeal, already have full-fledged mobile apps that allow instant discovery & purchase option. Hence such developments could be readily adopted by brands looking for an already established system which customers are using regularly.
Mobiles are already proving to be torch bearers for social interaction & e-commerce. Hence, it is but natural that even global brands would want them to do much more than offering product information, checking loyalty points, and collecting coupons and offers. The question is with so many apps already on the market, how will these companies, ensure users discover, download, install & actively use their creations. Any ideas?