Loyalty is the key to the throne

The mobile phone may not be the king of payments just yet, but it is very much the heir to the throne, with three-quarters of consumers planning to use their mobile for Christmas shopping. Research commissioned by the US-based company, Retale, has shown once again the ever increasing role the mobile phone is playing in shopping experiences. The report polled 1000 adult men and women in the US in late October. Some 73 per cent of participants that owned a mobile phone, indicated that they would use their mobile phone to assist in their shopping experience both out-of-store and in-store. Of those 73 per cent, the most common mobile activities were: finding deals (97 per cent) and researching products (96 per cent). Here's full table breaking down Mobile Activity of those who would only use their mobile in-store or out-of-store and those who would use it in both scenarios:

MOBILE ACTIVITY IN-STORE OUT-OF-STORE BOTH TOTAL
Find deals 8% 20% 69% 97%
Compare prices 11% 18% 67% 96%
Research online 8% 27% 61% 96%
Access coupons 14% 16% 62% 92%
Find store locations 12% 26% 51% 89%
Buy directly from device 9% 30% 46% 85%

Leaving aside the already converted who use their Smartphone both in stores and online, it’s interesting to look at the numbers in the first two columns. It seems that in-stores, users seem drawn to comparing prices before potentially heading off to another store, but don’t naturally associate the Smartphone with an in-store payment method. Compare the nine per cent who would buy from the device in-store to the 30 per cent who would do so online.

And when it comes to accessing coupons, potentially as part of a loyalty and rewards programme, there is virtually no difference between the numbers in the first two columns. This adds further weight to our belief that it is the opportunities surrounding loyalty systems and catered reward programs directly integrated into payment methods that will help see adoption grow. The convenience of mobile payments alone might not be quite enough, but add in automated loyalty features, and it's only a matter of time until the mobile is crowned king of the payments world.

By Matthew Taylor 6th November 2014

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