Most experts agree: Mobile shopping and payment technologies will be ubiquitous within a few years. While demand is rising among consumers, especially with the recent release of Google's "Wallet" service, retailers may be a bit further behind the trend.
This week, Empirix and the Customer Experience Foundation released a survey that found a large portion of companies in the U.S., U.K., Germany and France do not have a comprehensive mobile strategy in place. For example, only 42 percent of organizations in the U.K. claimed they have adopted a mobile shopping policy. That figure is slightly higher in the U.S., where 54 percent of respondents claim to have an m-commerce strategy.
Among general consumers, however, 90 percent of respondents stated they believe m-commerce services will save them time when shopping, and 68 percent agreed that mobile services will have a positive impact on service quality.
"The mobile shopping revolution has arrived, but the gap that exists between consumer expectations and business plans will significantly impact customer satisfaction," said Morris Pentel, chairman of the Customer Experience Foundation. "This new channel offers a tremendous opportunity to generate significant revenue while improving customer experience."
To be successful, Pentel added, organizations will need to understand the risks involved in failing to meet consumer demand for integrated payment solutions. Companies must ensure an ideal customer experience, while also promoting high-quality, secure networks.
Finally, companies must be able to respond to customer concerns regarding data usage, privacy and security through a variety of channels.
"As we see consumer demand and expectations increase for mobile capabilities, the pressure is really on businesses to start providing mobile shopping services sooner rather than later," said Tim Moynihan, vice president of marketing at Empirix.
However, adoption in the mobile payment landscape has been somewhat slower than m-commerce as a whole. While consumer demand is there, there are a number of enterprise- and technology-related obstacles. Joint ventures such as Isis and new products like Google Wallet are helping to expedite market adoption, but the industry appears mired in the planning stages.
Nonetheless, a recent survey of finance and technology executives by KPMG found nearly half expect mobile payments to be mainstream by 2013.