By Chuck Martin
There are many questions on tap for today’s MediaPost OMMA mCommerce conference here in New York.
One of the big ones is the role of retail in the mobile shopping revolution.
This is especially in light of new research showing that only 40% of retailers with apps allow consumers to make a purchase within the app.
Early on, many merchants viewed apps rather than mobile websites as the way to go for mobile commerce.
Meanwhile, many shoppers ended up using their phones as highly portable PCs, falling back on their traditional on-line purchasing behaviors like looking at store websites. And that’s where we are today, at least in the U.S marketplace.
At OMMA mCommerce today, a panel of experts (Is the Mobile Shopping App Dead?) will take up that exact issue, which is somewhat complex.
Retailers know they can provide higher functionality within an app, but if their customers don’t use the app, it doesn’t matter.
On the other side, loyalty and rewards customers who gravitate to their favorite retailer’s app need to be rewarded, requiring a duel focus on both apps and mobile website.
And that’s hardly the only question facing retailers and the agencies and technology suppliers that guide and enable them.
After talking about beacons endlessly for months, retailers are now starting to deploy them, following the lead of Lord & Taylor, which announced its North American beacon rollout last week.
We’ll hear more of that in the opening keynote presentation by Ryan Craver, senior vice president and chief of staff at Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay, a topic I wrote about here last week (Lord & Taylor, Hudson’s Bay Go Big on Beacons).
Later in the day, we’ll hear from Chris Hiland, the chief strategy officer at BPN, on how a brand used beacons in a large number of stores.
There’s no shortage of questions around beacons, not the least of which is what will drive consumer usage?
Where will beacons be most effective? In a specific store, like Lord & Taylor, by a specific brand, like Hillshire, or in a mall of series of stores in one location, such as the Regent Street, London, beacon implementation?
And what about in-store scanning and mobile payments? And how is consumer mobile behavior evolving?
I’ll have plenty of questions at the conference today, as likely will many in the audience.
The roster is filled with knowledgeable and experienced executives who are living amidst various aspects of the world of mobile commerce.
By the end of the day, we still expect there will be questions, but likely with much more clarity.
And, along the way, some good answers.
Here’s the agenda.
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.