Thursday, January 26, 2012

2012: The Year of Mobile Commerce

Forget the dragon; 2012 is the year of mobile commerce!

You may be asking how we know this. For one, mobile applications are quickly growing to become a life force for almost every independent country in the world. This change is enhancing consumers’ capabilities to shop remotely.

In fact, application developers witnessed the rapid growth of shopping apps in 2011. Industry analysts are estimating that the U.S. market could experience more than $200 billion in mobile commerce purchases this year alone.

So, what do this means for you?

Increased mobile security. The security of online stores, and especially mobile security, will likely become more of a focal point in 2012 – both for mobile stores and payment firms that will have to address issues with exposed personal information and financial records. Unfortunately, in exchange for instant access to products, discounts and express service, consumers give up information to stores, and sometimes thieves.

Integration between applications. As smartphone users continue to make purchases from the palm of their hand, application developers are increasing the avenues of monetization already in place. For example, Facebook launched its app so users could access their profiles while on-the-go; however, as the market evolved, developers created Facebook “gifts.” This simple, digital product led to Facebook’s development of an online currency that could be used for an even wider line of digital features and products. Smartphone owners will continue to see more types of non-traditional commerce.

More mainstream sites going mobile. Two mobile applications that caught consumers’ eyes in 2011 include Amazon and eBay. When compared to similar applications, Amazon’s price-check app received one of the highest user satisfaction ratings. eBay’s PayPal also saw a record number of purchases made from its mobile application. More retail sites are developing mobile applications and launching mobile versions of their online stores.

These apps’ growth is not surprising for a world that is online and connected 24/7 by mobile technology. Smartphone owners have proven their willingness to make purchases from their phones and developers will continue creating apps that capitalize on this. These factors combine and create a mobile market that has potential to earn billions of additional dollars in 2012.

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