August 31, 2010, 3:35 PM

Going mobile in a multichannel world

A Mobile Commerce Forum speaker says mobile is more than just a sales channel.

Lead Photo

Hung LeHong, Gartner Inc.

As mobile commerce becomes mainstream, retailers face the challenge of serving up the kinds of experiences that consumers want through their smartphones.

Hung LeHong, vice president, research, at Gartner Inc., will offer a look at the growth potential of the mobile commerce market, along with tips on how to best engage consumers, in a session entitled “Mobile Consumers—today and tomorrow,” at the Mobile Commerce Forum 2010, Oct. 12-13 in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency.

LeHong will explain why merchants must think beyond just viewing mobile devices as a sales channel and instead use smartphones to better engage consumers however they shop. “This presentation will provide insight on consumer preferences in mobile commerce and the role mobile plays in a multichannel shopping experience,” he says.

While consumers are shopping more often from their mobile phones, those shoppers also are using the devices to shop more effectively, he says. That means retailers should enable mobile consumers to check product descriptions, pricing and availability in bricks-and-mortar stores as well as online. “Consumers are a lot more interested in conducting multichannel research activities from their mobile phone than purchasing,” LeHong says.

Consumers are willing to receive promotional offers from merchants on their phones, but only if the offers cater to consumers’ interests, he adds. “The majority of consumers are interested in receiving personalized offers from some of their favorite retailers,” he says. “But retailers still face the challenge of making them relevant.”

LeHong also will present estimates of the size of the mobile commerce market five years from now, and how the demographics of users likely will change.

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