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By Phil Talbot – go to guy | mobile ordering | saavi

Growth by leaps and bounds

In February last year, Google published a study entitled “Our Mobile Planet: Global Smartphone Users.” In the 6-country study, the rising trend of purchasing through smartphones is evident:

  • 40% Japan
  • 34% United States
  • 30% United Kingdom
  • 27% Germany
  • 24% France
  • 24% Spain

Of those who shop using smartphones, at least half make purchases monthly using their smartphone. Why do more and more people use smartphones to make purchases? Because consumers find smartphones very handy for comparing prices and informing themselves about products. Using smartphones this way, consumers are even swayed to change their minds about purchasing products in-store or online.

What’s more, the Google study also showed that people who research for products and services using their smartphones not only make purchases through their smartphones but also purchase in-store or via a regular PC or laptop. Researching via smartphones actually lead to increased purchases in actual brick and mortar stores plus business websites via regular computers.

Expect those numbers to have at least doubled by now. For example, a more recent comScore study (published September 19, 2012) indicates that already 80% of US consumers use smartphones to shop.

Visionaries believe in mobile

Companies with far-seeing leadership have positioned themselves to take advantage of the growth of mobile app use even as early as ten years ago. Take for example eBay’s acquisition of PayPal in 2002, which now accounts for 40 per cent of eBay’s growing revenue. Current eBay CEO John Donahoe says they bet on mobile early even though people couldn’t see the positive returns yet. eBay was one of the first mobile ordering app providers at the Apple App Store in 2008. Today Donahoe says eBay and its mobile ordering apps will be doing “over $10 billion of commerce this year.”

This trend is nothing short of dramatic. By being at the center of consumer’s shopping decision-making, mobile has fundamentally changed the way people shop. Donahue says mobile and mobile ordering apps “blurred the line between online and offline,” leading to eBay’s business changing from mere ecommerce (“worth about $500 billion”) to simply “commerce” (a “$10 trillion” market). Mind-blowing. And it’s just the beginning.

The digital wallet

Donahue says that smartphones will primarily become the digital wallet, where people would conveniently and safely access what used to be disparate purchasing tools — credit cards, cash, debit cards, loyalty cards — in the cloud, using any internet-connectable device.

Of course, mobile ordering will be at the heart of it. The future is even bigger than we think.


Phil Talbot is founder of SAAVI – the mobile ordering specialists and the resident expert in mobile ordering systems. You can follow SAAVI on Facebook.

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