By Chuck Martin
The biggest push for mass acceptance of mobile shopping technologies may have less to do with the technology and more to do with consumer education.
Most consumers are either unaware or basically not interested in various commerce aspects ranging from in-store tracking like Apple’s iBeacon to payment technologies like NFC (near field communication), based on a new study.
When active mobile app users were asked what they thought of iBeacon, only 10 percent of consumers said they like the possibilities it provides with the majority (69%) of iOS users not knowing what it was.
The remaining 21% don’t like the idea, finding it too offensive.
NFC payments fared no better, with a majority (56%) not being aware of what it was. Maybe worse, of those who were aware of NFC, only 6% said they use it and 38% do not, based on the survey of 3,000 active mobile phone users conducted by Retale.
From an acceptance or usage standing, Google Wallet is in a similar situation. While most Android users were aware of it, 11% use it and 70% do not.
The survey also found that mobile shoppers are not so keen about being tracked as they shop.
The majority (71%) said they do not want to be tracked, though almost a third (29%) said they would not mind.
Consumers seemed somewhat more open to receiving push notifications while in a store, with 44% saying it would be ok, although the majority (56%) said they don’t need them.
Part of the lack of usage of such technologies is knowledge that some of these capabilities even exist.
Another aspect may be that of those who do know about such technologies, they see no personal reason to use them.
Part of the challenge for those charged with deploying these technologies and platforms is to make sure the technology is bulletproof and works seamlessly every time, no small feat in itself.
The other part will be to convey to and convince mobile shoppers that their investment in moving to such new methods will be worth their time and effort.
Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally. He also addresses Social Media in Mobile.