Mobile commerce bit of a non-starter

Forrester talks sense - we say 'we told you so'

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A report by Forrester Research (The Reg's favourite research company) has said what we've been going on about for ages: that's purchasing goods over mobile phones, PDAs and interactive TVs is a white elephant.

The choice phrase in the report by Carsten Schmidt is: "Just because a retail sale is possible on a device doesn't make it probable - device opportunities lie beyond transactions."

Quite right, Carsten. Instead, he suggests that companies put more effort into using such devices as advertising outlets, persuading people to buy goods through traditional methods.

More than half of WAP sites and iDTV shops fail to meet expectations, he continues. And then throwing in the industry-standard "by 2005", says that, by 2005, only 3 per cent of online retail will be done over mobiles. Only timely, simple, location-based purchases such as flowers or cinema tickets are worthwhile over phones.

As for interactive TV, Carsten has this to say: "Limited input, poor resolution and an entertainment bias lead iDTV viewers toward 'lazy interactivity', not considered shopping trips."

And PDAs? "Even in 2005 [there it is again], wireless PDAs will be outnumbered more than 150 to one by Net-enabled mobile phones and will capture less than one-tenth of one per cent of online retail sales." PCs will be used for 80 per cent of online sales.

So mobiles are useless? No. "Retailers must look beyond transactions. For example, mobile phones reach consumers anywhere. They can cultivate loyalty through personalised alerts, create opportunities for location-based services that advance consumers toward purchases, and build brand awareness through opt-in ads."

As usual, we're right there with Forrester and we officially extend the offer of a free pint(s) to Carsten when he's next in London. ®

Related Link

Forrester Europe

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