CES & the Road to Mobile Commerce

by Chuck Martin on January 11, 2014

Mobile Keynote SpeakerBy Chuck Martin

As I get ready to head out to the International CES show, I’ve been going through all the mobile commerce potentials being shown at the event.

Interestingly, the official name of the show is no longer the Consumer Electronics Show but rather International CES. So I guess just as the IBM name no longer stands for anything other than the initials, CES has joined that category. But anyway.

The overwhelmingly massive exhibit area at the Las Vegas Convention Center as well as various hotels impossible to get to around Las Vegas will display many things mobile.

I’ll be looking for those innovations that in any way are likely to influence or impact the mobile path to purchase.

On are of particular interest is anything location focused, since location-tracking technologies are becoming more sophisticated, taking customer tracking to a whole new level.

For example, Euclid has technology deployed that essentially tracks monthly shopping behavior based on foot traffic patterns from some 20 million shopping sessions.  The company has traffic counting sensors that measure mobile phones in more than 700 shopping centers, malls and street locations around the U.S.

Euclid found that during December, shopping traffic increased 4%, average shopping time was 22 minutes and 10% of shoppers leave a store within five minutes after entering it.

At CES, Apple’s iBeacon technology will be used for a scavenger hunt ranging from exhibitor locations in the convention center to some in a nearby hotel.

While technologies like Euclid’s are essentially used to monitor and track behavior, the scavenger hunt approach, much like that of Shopkick, is used to cause behavior. The latter uses incentives to drive consumers to specific locations, such where a store or product is located.

We’ll also be on the lookout for innovations in other parts of the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle. We expect to check out what mobile payments company Loop, which we wrote about here recently (Mobile Payments & Replicating the Credit Card Experience), is up to, since all the founders plan to be there.

And we’ll be seeing what’s new out of the Nuance mobile division we’ve been tracking (The Future of Voice in Mobile Commerce), to see how voice may play a role in the future of m-commerce.

There also will be plenty of new mobile hardware to check out, with heavyweights like Samsung showing off its new wares, and lots of insights, with innovating agencies like SapientNitro on the floor. There also will be many mobile startups showing what they’re up to.

No one knows where the next commerce innovation will come from, but no doubt some of it will be in Las Vegas over the next few days.

I’ll let you know what I find.

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