We've Gone Nuts For Shopping On Our Mobiles

There was once a time when people were nervous about shopping via their mobile phones, but it seems those days are well and truly over. PayPal Australia alone is processing more than 1,000 mobile transactions an hour.

Picture by AutisticMajor

That's unsurprising given the high penetration of Internet-enabled mobile phones in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 9.7 million Australians have access to the Internet via their mobile phones.

PayPal is projecting that local sales via mobile sites will top $140 million this year, with growth of 430 per cent year on year. Perhaps predictably, it has formed partnerships with three major local group deal sites (Cudo, Groupon and Spreets); every time I turn around there seems to be a new group deal option out there, but having the ability to pay for offers on the go certainly makes sense.

Where mobile commerce could use some improvement is in actually taking advantage of mobile devices. For instance, if you're purchasing tickets for a concert or event on your phone, it makes far more sense to deliver the ticket directly to the phone than to force you to print it, have it mailed or pick it up. We've seen that model with some cinemas and smaller promoters, and Ticketek is promising to introduce it soon.

That said, the biggest advantage of a mobile phone when shopping isn't in being able to order goods on it directly. It's still in the simple ability to compare the price of something you're about to buy in a real-world store with competitors.

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Comments

    "It’s still in the simple ability to compare the price of something you’re about to buy in a real-world store with competitors." -- Didn't you see A Current Affair the other night? As soon as retailers see ppl on their mobile phones.. they are gonna start kicking people out of stores... lol... well that was the jist of making ppl pay for fiting fees in retail outlets atleast.

      I can't imagine that being a particularly common practice given that
      1) Nothing afaik is illegal about using your phone to compare prices (though there is the good old "my store, my rules")
      2) It'd be much more trouble than it's worth to try and police such a policy
      3) Customers are less likely to come back if you chase them away so rudely

      I don't watch ACA or any show like that, but all I can say is if a store kicks me out for comparing prices on my phone, I'll just buy it from another store that's cheaper, since hopefully if the store that I'm in is actually cheaper than online, they wouldn't feel the need to kick me out when I'm likely to buy it from them anyway.

      I think we're looking too much at the negatives of such a policy!
      If it was actually introduced, and properly policed, would it not encourage stores to compete harder for the consumers dollar? This could actually work in the shoppers favour...

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