Each year brings new possibilities in mobile device technology. Smartphones have become more than just texting machines; they are now mini-computers, personal assistants and virtual shopping carts. More and more consumers would be lost without their smartphone, relying on it to get through the day.

Given the advances and rapid rate of new technologies, smartphones have become essential to how we live our lives. Technologies including mobile wallets, on-demand apps, a new era of digital assistants, and enhanced connectivity through near field communications (NFC) and Bluetooth are transforming the way consumers interact and rely on their phones.

The following takes a closer look at the top five mobile payment trends for 2017.

Mobile payments take the stage: At one-fourth the U.S. population, millennials will lead the charge to do away with credit cards and opt for the easy and seamless experience of mobile wallets. Using NFC technology, mobile wallets will exceed consumer expectations for convenience in 2017. With all the major players in the mobile device industry having delivered their own version of the mobile wallet (e.g. Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay), and Apple Pay alone reporting a growth of one million new users per week, this technology will continue to convert users in the coming year.

All consuming on-demand: Mobile devices will drive the on-demand economy in 2017. In the coming year, consumers will increasingly demand their purchases be delivered or fulfilled much faster than the couple of days they’ve become accustomed to through services like Amazon Prime. In many instances, consumers want their orders within just a few hours. In 2017, consumers will opt to purchase or reserve items, track the status, receive updates and facilitate pick-up all from their smartphone. These real-time capabilities available through the smartphone will bolster the on-demand economy in the New Year.

Bluetooth on the rise:Bluetooth will expand in 2017. Thanks to Apple’s movement, consumers will become more adept at using wireless everywhere they go in the coming year.  This sets the stage for using Bluetooth in conjunction with mobile payments. Having gone through the initial hurdles of the adoption process these past few years, Bluetooth is now at a mature point and ready for widespread consumer adoption in 2017.

A new kind of personal assistant:Digital assistants will spark a new kind of relationship between consumers and their smartphones in 2017. Using data from Google, the new mobile device personal assistant is capable of connecting all that information and providing consumers helpful insights based on online habits, searches and behaviors. From alerting users of special deals on the products they use, to notifying them of new products they may like and where to find them, the modern personal assistant is as convenient as it is useful. This will further intensify consumer dependency on their mobile devices in 2017 as they interact with their smartphones on a more personal level.

The sharing economy: Innovations in mobile technology will drive the sharing economy in 2017. The new sharing economy will continue to morph into our everyday lives in the coming year as consumers increasingly demand fast and easy ways to share services.  For instance, new apps are popping up every day, offering all kinds of conveniences and things we never knew we needed. The profusion of on-demand apps and other mobile technologies will continue to facilitate the sharing economy in the coming year.

Whether it’s your first time experiencing the magic of tapping to pay for groceries or leaving behind the headaches of manually splitting up a dinner bill among friends, chances are 2017 is the year that you will become a member of the mobile payment economy. And like many that have come before you and even more that will come after you, the convenience and improved experience provided by mobile payment technology will make you a believer.

Source: http://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/articles/5-mobile-payment-trends-to-watch-in-2017/

Ninety percent of shoppers will use their smartphones in-store this holiday season, and that puts them at particular risk for cybercrime, according to a new report from Skycure.

As mobile continues to become the primary method of digital commerce for many shoppers, the threats to their financial safety grow. This holiday season, shoppers and retailers need to be on the lookout for both malicious applications posing as retail apps and for potential Wi-Fi hacking.


Security matters
This holiday season will be one of the biggest and now, more than ever, mobile will be leading the charge for shoppers who want to make smarter decisions.

But that new power that comes from increased mobile presence in the retail world comes with a few caveats that both consumers and retailers need to be on the lookout for.

For one, mobile as a channel is still vulnerable to threats from hackers.

Skycure looked at two ways that hackers could target mobile shoppers this holiday season.

The first is through tampering with Wi-Fi. As users continue to use their mobile devices in-store to make purchasing decisions, many of them will be looking for Wi-Fi to connect to to save on data costs.

Hackers can take advantage of this need in two ways. They can hack into a store or mall’s Wi-Fi and gather data from the connected devices, or they can set up their own Wi-Fi networks, misleading customers into thinking they are safe networks set up by the retailer they are currently visiting.

Once a shopper connects to one of these networks, the hackers now have a way in to their devices and the opportunity to steal valuable data.

Skycure compiled a list of which malls around the country were the most dangerous in this regard, with the highest amount of risky Wi-Fi networks. The top spot, a mall in Las Vegas, had 14 different Wi-Fi networks that could put customers at risk.

Malicious apps
The other problem that mobile shoppers face is the prospect of malicious apps posing as official retail apps.

Skycure found a number of examples of apps available on mainstream app stores that posed as official apps for well-known retailers. Brands such as Amazon and Starbucks were impersonated by apps that intentionally misrepresented themselves to appear reputable.

In reality, these apps contain malicious code that can work its way into a mobile device’s vulnerable areas.

One example, an app posing as an Amazon Rewards program, sent malicious code from the victim’s phone to others through SMS once it had been ingrained.

While shoppers are the ones who stand the most to lose from these types of scams, the impetus falls on both customers and retailers to take measures to fight these crimes. If not, they risk losing customers’ precious trust in both them and the mobile channel, shutting off an entire source of revenue and brand goodwill.

Source: http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/mobile-shoppers-at-risk-from-malicious-apps-and-wi-fi-this-holiday-season-report

Fashionistas are known to always be ahead of the curve, rocking New York Fashion Week styles before they even get off the runway. And now, these buyers are starting new trends in online and digital shopping as well, positioning mobile to become the next must-have accessory.

New data shows that more United States fashion shoppers are now buying on mobile devices (52 percent) versus desktops.

In the high-fashion world, shoppers have adopted a see-now, buy-now mentality to stay on top of the hottest trends from top designers, wanting to instantly buy no matter where they are.

Instant gratification and on-demand fashion are clearly high priorities, so much in fact that 30 percent of mobile shoppers are more likely than desktop buyers to consider swift delivery as very important.

As New York Fashion Week introduced the newest trends of the season, luxury brands should also brace for the introduction of the newest generation of digital buyers.

New generation
A new generation of fashionistas is emerging: Smartphonistas. These shoppers who make purchases on smartphones account for 63 percent of fashion shoppers under 35, and will only continue to grow to represent the bulk of all fashion shoppers in the near future.

Smartphonistas are true high-fashion advocates, vying for the best of the best and are dedicated to their mobile phones to guide them through the entire shopping process.

Marketing to this growing group of prime purchasers is key to any brand’s success, but first we must understand the key traits and behavior of the generation.

Live for fashion: Smartphonistas do not just buy clothes, they are truly invested in high fashion, with 59 percent saying they love buying clothes, compared to only 46 percent of desktop buyers.

Additionally, dollar signs do not seem to faze these mobile users, as 42 percent claim they are not cost-conscious.

Use smartphones for smart buys: Smartphonistas approach online shopping in a strategic fashion, never taking risks on size or style.

Thirty-two percent of mobile shoppers are more likely than desktop buyers to order several sizes for a single piece and then return those that do not fit.

Mobile the whole way: Smartphonistas use their phones throughout the entire customer journey, from search to purchase: 68 percent use their smartphones to research new clothes before buying, more than half (51 percent) prefer buying on their phones versus other devices, and Smartphonistas are almost twice as likely to share images of their buys on social networks.

Courting Smartphonistas
With Smartphonistas making up a large and growing market of the fashion landscape, they are a critical audience for any successful luxury brand to attract.

When marketing to this generation, it is critical for high fashion retailers to develop campaigns specifically for mobile, allowing them to instantly buy no matter where they are – even if it is alongside the runway. Retailers should:

Offer quick delivery: Staying up to speed with the latest fashion trends is no easy feat.

Smartphonistas will appreciate any offering that will make their mobile order faster. Deliver fast, and they will return for more. Plus, slick packaging does not hurt either.

Help them find the right size: We know these buyers will do whatever it takes to get the perfect fit, so make their experience as easy as possible.

Make sizing straightforward, and offer free returns as a backup to keep them satisfied and styling.

Simplify social sharing: Smartphonistas are tied to their phones for more than just finding fashion.

Like the majority of their generation-peers, they spend their down time on social applications such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Use these trends to your advantage and make it easy for Smartphonistas to show off their purchases and share with their network.

IN THE FAST-PACED fashion industry, it is crucial for luxury brands to stay on top of the trends, and that means staying in style with Smartphonistas.

This new generation of digital buyers is setting the stage for a mobile-first world of high-fashion, quickly dominating over desktop purchases and other devices.

Marketers must market to mobile to meet the needs of this growing market, or risk going out of style.

Source: http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/marketing-to-the-smartphonista-a-new-generation-of-digital-buyers

Mobile Payment Systems are systems that benefit both consumers and businesses by letting consumers pay by mobile devices.

Mobile Payment Systems’ Advantages For Consumers:

  • Convenience: It makes the payment process easier and less complicated. Now customers can make payment anywhere at anytime with their mobile devices connected with InternetThey allow customers to seamlessly purchase products or services with having to physically hand over cash or swipe a card. Consumers are eager for quick, in-and-out shopping experiences.
  • Security: By using mobile payments, consumers no longer have to assume the security risks associated with cash or worry whether they have enough cash in their bulky physical wallets so that mobile payments reduce theft risks of having cash on hand. Moreover, mobile payment is a secure way to pay. Credit card information are not stored on smartphones directly but in the cloud. So no thief could extract your credit card details just by stealing your phone.

Mobile Payment Systems’ Advantages for retailers:

  • Cost: One valid advantage are the lower costs of using a mobile card reader or barcode scanner than having a credit card terminal from a bank, which charges merchants with a monthly fee plus transaction fees. Mobile app owners need to pay setup costs for a terminal.
  • Engagement: Offering mobile payment options to customers, both online and offline simply makes the purchase process easier for them. This can increase conversion rates and the number of returning customers. Moreover, businesses are able to speed up the checkout process and capture the business of impulse buyers who may have been less able to buy something if a traditional transaction were required.

Nowadays, more and more online shops are offering their customers to pay their order online with their mobile device using Google Wallet. It’s a win-win situation: customers can easily skip filling out annoying forms and purchase an item with only one click.

This will most likely increase conversion rates and revenue. Catching this trend of mobile era is nothing but one of the most ideal and potential choice for retailers.

Source: https://www.simicart.com/mobile-commerce/mobile-payment-systems.html/

Consumers depend on mobile devices and search for online and offline shopping, according to a new Google study.

More than two-thirds of smartphone owners use their devices to purchase products or services weekly, according to the report “Mobile Has Changed How People Get Things Done” from Google Inc. released today.

Google worked with research firm Purchased for the study to find out how consumers use devices throughout the day. The study polled 1,000 U.S. smartphone owners several times a day for a week in Q1 2016, resulting in more than 14,000 responses.

The study finds that consumers are turning to their smartphones to take care of any need they have, including shopping. 69% of consumers say they chose their smartphone to address their needs because it is the closest device to them at the time, 60% say it is the easiest device to use to address their needs, 49% say their smartphone is the device they always used to address their need and 36% say their smartphone provides the best experience to address their need. Consumers could pick more than one response.

In terms of shopping, 92% of people who search on a smartphone make an offline or online purchase related to the search within a day, the study finds. 76% of consumers who search on their smartphones with the term “nearby” in the query visit a related business within a day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase, according to the study.

In addition, the study finds 70% of consumers take an action on their smartphone, such as conduct a search, look at images online, or use social media before making an in-store purchase.  Of consumers who say they are in an “I need to buy” moment and then purchase offline:

  • 61% visit a retailer’s website or app before purchasing.
  • 45% visit a store or other location.
  • 39% use a search engine.
  • 26% visit a non-retailer website or app.
  • 15% look at photos online.

Consumers could select more than one response.

“Smartphones are a new front door to the businesses around us,” says Lisa Gevelber, vice president of marketing at Google. “We see more and more people turn to their phones prior to making an offline purchase.”

Within the week of the study 87% of smartphone owners visited a retailer’s website or app on their smartphone; 81% of smartphone owners used their phone to find business information, such as store hours and product availability; and 82% used their smartphone to research products or services, according to the study.

Of the consumers who visit a retailer website or app to meet their needs, 53% do so on a smartphone, 11% on a tablet and 39% on desktop. (Consumers could pick more than one response.) Among consumers who visit a retailer’s website or app:

  • 38% do so because they know it will get them the information they needed quickly.
  • 37% say they know it will most likely have the information they are looking for.
  • 25% say they always start there for this type of need.
  • 25% say they find the content most appropriate for this need.
  • 24% say they trust this source the most.

Consumers were asked multiple times a day for a week, so this data represents total responses.

Source: https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/09/09/how-smartphones-drive-store-purchases

Google is updating its smartphone search algorithm to penalize mobile sites that display pop-over content that covers most of the page’s content.

Google Inc. will ding websites in smartphone organic search results if the page displays a full-screen ad known as an interstitial banner, the search giant says. The change will take effect Jan. 10.

Google’s actions target websites that cover the page the search result directs to with a pop-up or other content that a user must dismiss before accessing the searched-for content. The penalty affects only smartphone search results.

The algorithm change is meant to improve a smartphone user’s experience when she transitions from Google to the web page, Google says. Although the content beneath the interstitial is sometimes still visible and Google can index the content, the search giant deems such displays a poor experience because the consumer cannot interact immediately with the site, Google wrote in its official webmasters blog that announced the change.

This change is significant for retailers. Google dominates mobile search—89% of organic search visits on mobile devices were made via Google in the United States in the first quarter of 2016, according to performance marketing agency Merkle Group Inc. On average, retailers in the Top 1000 receive 10.44% of their traffic from natural search, according to Top500Guide.com.

Plus, e-retailers often use interstitials to promote seasonal sales, gather email subscribers, offer a customer survey or promote users to download an app. Retailers should review their use of pop-over content on pages indexed within mobile search results, and make sure such content complies with Google’s new guidelines, says Brian Klais, founder and president of mobile marketing and mobile search engine optimization firm Pure Oxygen Labs.

“This update will force retailers to rethink best practices in email marketing as well as consumer experience surveys,” Klais says. “Retailers should not assume their high rankings will automatically translate into a hall pass on this new point. Conduct an audit to be sure.”

Pop-ups that encourage a shopper to sign up for an email subscription list—often while offering a pot sweetener such as a percentage off of a purchase—are an effective way for e-retailers to gain subscribers. E-retailers that use them grew their email lists by an average of 47.87% year over year, according email marketing firm Listrak, which surveyed more than 400 of its e-retailer customers last fall.

Google says not all pop-ups will be penalized. It makes exceptions for interstitials that have to appear because of a legal obligation, such as age verification; those that display a login because the content is not publically available, such as a news site behind a paywall; and pop-over displays that take up a “reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible.” Google cites small app-install banners that mobile browsers Safari and Chrome provide as examples of interstitials that consume “reasonable” screen space.

Retailers such as Touch of Modern Inc., No. 259 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, Gap Inc. (No. 20) and Groupon Inc. (No. 26) currently use interstitial tactics. Touch of Modern immediately shows an interstitial banner asking consumers to log in to its members-only site, which is a Google-OKed popup. The retailer is unsure if it will make any changes as it is too early to see how this change will impact them, if at all, a spokeswoman says. Groupon and Gap did not respond to a request for comment.

Interstitials are just one factor among hundreds of signals Google uses for its smartphone search results ranking. If a web page contains an “illegal” pop-up but it is still is a strong match for the search query, the web page may still rank highly, Google says.

Google has made several smartphone-specific algorithm changes within the past few years, including one in September 2015 that similarly penalized retailers for having pop-ups that asked consumers to download a company’s app. This algorithm update will fold that rule into this one, Google says.

“Mobile users have been frustrated by this for years now thanks to companies like Yelp and Trip Advisor and others who have abused interstitials to force mobile users to install the app to proceed,” Klais says.

In fact, when Google implemented the app interstitial penalty in September, Yelp Inc. was outraged. Yet, the customer review site did not change its tactics and continues to show a full-page interstitial prompting consumers to download its app after clicking on a link from mobile search results.

“Google saw its users fleeing mobile search via an exit door that led to apps,” Luther Lowe, vice president of policy at Yelp, told Vertical Web Media last year when Google made the announcement. “To make sure they can continue to extend their search monopoly onto mobile, Google is essentially telling app developers, ‘We’re losing too many of our users to your apps, so your new users will have to go through a doggy door.’”

While businesses may not want to change their marketing tactics, they shouldn’t be surprised by this change, Klais says.

Google wants to maintain their leading position in mobile search, and we all know mobile searchers expect Google to serve relevant results,” Klais says. “Google is saying it may stop ranking your content highly if you are making it difficult for Google searchers to consume indexed pages.”

Tyler White, senior analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, also is not surprised by the change, as Google prohibited the use of interstitials in its Accelerated Mobile Pages project. AMP is an open-source framework that allows businesses, including retailers, to build lightweight mobile pages that load as fast as possible on smartphones.

Google also announced it will remove the mobile-friendly label it added beneath smartphone search results that met this criteria. Being mobile friendly still matters and those standards for the ranking remain, but 85% of pages in organic search results meet Google’s standard and it no longer felt the need to label them.

Source: https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/08/25/google-will-penalize-mobile-commerce-retailers-full-screen

Smartphone and tablets dominate retail search queries for location-specific keywords, such as “where to buy” and “24 hours.”

The majority of online retail searches are made by consumers on their mobile devices, according to a new study from web measurement firm Hitwise, a division of Connexity Inc.

56% of online retail searches are made on a smartphone or tablet, according to the study, which looked at hundreds of thousands online search queries across 3.5 million smartphones and tablets between April 10-May 7 and made by consumers based in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. Hitwise considers smartphones and tablets as mobile devices.

When looking at specific keywords retail consumers search, location-based retail searches are the mostly made on mobile devices, according to the study. 82% of searches that include the words “24 hours” are made on mobile devices. Other mobile-dominated location keywords include “where to buy …” (84% mobile), “near me” (79% mobile) and “hours” (82% mobile).

Many retail mobile search queries occur while consumers are in a physical store, according to the study. 77% of retail searches that mention the words “coupon,” “return policy” and “price match” are made on a mobile device.

“Especially for traditional brick-and-mortar establishments, the smartphone has become an indispensable shopping tool providing consumers—sometimes within feet of a register—with information or offers that could seal or jeopardize a transaction,” says John Fetto, senior analyst, research and marketing, at Hitwise.

73% of searches with the words “sale” and 68% of “discount” searches are made on a mobile device, according to the study. However, 59% of searches that include “promo code” are made on a desktop.

In addition, 82% of retail searches with the word “reviews” are made on a smartphone or tablet, and 82% of searches for “engagement rings” are made on a mobile device.

While more than half of retail searches are made on mobile devices, mobile devices’ share of overall search is lower than many other industries, such as food and beverage, in which 72% of searches are made on a mobile device. Other verticals with higher mobile search queries include health (68% of searches are mobile,) sports (68%), news and media (64%), lifestyle (62%) and automotive (62%).

Source: https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/07/26/56-online-retail-searches-take-place-mobile-devices

MUMBAI: Stock trading through mobile phones is fast picking up across the country as the increasing popularity of smartphones has made it simpler for investors to execute trades through the device. Turnover through mobile trading as a percentage of turnover clocked by retail investors, who mostly use smartphones to trade, has almost doubled in the last two years, according to an ET study.

Almost 30% of trading by retail investors in the cash segment is taking place through mobile phones. In futures and options, about 35% of the retail activity is happening through such apps.

“Many a days, a quarter of the trades is happening through mobile platform,” said Chaitanya Shahare, head-products, IIFL Markets.

Brokers say the highest growth in mobile phone trading is from smaller towns, mainly where there are no branches.

Out of the 7,00,000 downloads of IIFL’s trading apps in the last one year, majority has been done from the tier-2 and tier-3 towns.

Market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) allowed brokers to launch mobile trading in August 2010. The average daily turnover through mobile trading on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in the cash segment has jumped to Rs 600 crore in the last two years. That is about 3.2% of the total turnover. In June 2014, it was less than 1% or Rs 116 crore. Brokerages attribute the trend to the growing usage of smartphones.

Geojit BNP Paribas Securities has seen an 85% growth in mobile trading turnover in the last two years. “Today 28% of our cash transaction and 35% of the F&O trading are done through mobile application,” said A Balakrishnan, technology head, Geojit BNP Paribas. “The numbers are increasing rapidly as more and more users adopt smartphones,” he said.

Trading through smartphones is more convenient for investors unlike the conventional route of getting trades executed through brokers or relationship managers. Brokers say retail investors enjoy the anonymity and speed of trading through their own smartphones.

The outlook for mobile-based trading appears to be rosy with brokers expecting such trades to contribute around 50% of their total trading within a year or two. “Currently, we get close to 20% of our daily turnover by volume from mobile and we expect this to increase to 40% by 2017 and later grow to 60%” said Vinay Agrawal, CEO, Angel Broking.

Kamlesh Rao, CEO, Kotak Securities, agrees that the mobile trading should see robust growth over the next one year. “Mobile trading is one of the fastest growing business segments. I expect web-based trading to remain flat for the industry over the next one year, but mobile trading should see a growth of 30-40%.”

Brokerage fees on trades done through mobile trading is cheaper than those executed by the brokers. For instance, Angel Broking offers a discount of 20% for trades done through their mobile app and online platform. “With massive mobile penetration across India, mobile trading is going to change the broking industry forever in a positive way, introducing more people to stocks at a fingertip and disseminating more information than ever,” said Shahare.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/computing/Smartphones-emerging-as-the-future-of-retail-trading/articleshow/53279097.cms