Mobile Social Media Commerce - dummies

By Marsha Collier

Social media commerce means more than Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets, are quickly becoming the norm for many of your customers.

As of June 2012, 55 percent of mobile subscribers owned a smartphone and two out of three Americans who acquired a new mobile phone in the last three months chose a smartphone. Feature phones still sell but will certainly be going the way of the cassette player in a few years.

Did you know that 80 percent of those who own a smartphone won’t leave the house without it? They realize that they can save time and accomplish tasks on the run. Maybe they’re researching restaurants and making reservations for dinner tomorrow. Or perhaps they’re checking e-mail while picking up a pizza.

Tablets are flying off the shelves too, with nearly 100 million devices sold worldwide in 2011. This market is estimated to top $20 billion in 2012. Although tablets and smartphones will not replace PCs, they have basic computing power, a cheaper price point, and are uncomplicated to use. Best of all? They’re portable.

eBay Inc. President and CEO John Donahoe has said that

We now expect eBay and PayPal mobile to each transact $10 billion in volume in 2012 — that’s more than double 2011, a staggering surge in mobile shopping and payments on devices that did not exist just a few years ago. Retail is at an inflection point, and we are helping to reshape how people around the world shop and pay.

From these stats, it’s clear that folks are shopping with mobile devices. But what about advertising reach? Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence recently released “Mobile’s Role in the Consumer’s Media Day,” an in-depth research report that reveals how receptiveness to advertising and media consumption varies by device, time of day, and location. According to the report,

  • A strong degree of ad interaction exists among tablet users, with nearly half (47 percent) saying that they engage with ads on that device more than once a week.

  • One in four (25 percent) smartphone users also said that they interact with ads at that same frequency.

  • When mobile device users engage with an ad, they are extremely likely to take action (80 percent of smartphone users and 89 percent of tablet users).

These numbers should help convince you that you need not only social media for commerce but also a plan for mobile users as well. It’s time to adapt, adopt, and enhance your mobile connections to your customer.