Mobile Commerce, Thanks Japan!

What is the future of mobile? Where is mobile going? What are it’s fledgling markets? This article, Teens and Their Mobile Phones, had these questions rampaging through my skull. Those are some pretty heavy questions expected of a simple infographic. I wouldn’t be taking such an interest in it if I didn’t believe that todays youth are going to be driving the direction of mobile. So, we need to be looking at what they are using phones for, how they want to use them and what they are trying to use them for.

Then this article caught my eye, What A Girl Want’s: More Mobile Shopping. Aha, so people want to shop from their phone? Now it’s starting to make sense. Referencing that teen infographic shows that only a mere 11% are buying things from their phone. Sounds like an upcoming market to me.

After a little research it turns out that most mobile shopping apps and services are mainly just for price comparison. That makes total sense, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in a store wondering what online prices are like. So maybe online stores just haven’t gotten around to making mobile versions? That also makes sense, doesn’t sound like an easy or inexpensive task especially when such a small user base are mobile shopping.

Then I remembered that a bunch of my Japanese friends back in college always touted how they could buy things from stores and vending machines with their phone. Intriguing. Time for more research.

Why mobile Japan leads the world

Cellphone shopping makes wallets redundant in Japan

Boom. Just what I’ve been looking for. Mobile commerce, being able to ditch your wallet and hook your credit cards into your phone. They pretty much already are through your service provider. You wouldn’t have to worry about not having cash for a vending machine, the magnetic strip on your credit card going bad or even losing a credit card. It’d be simple, quick and easy. No need to fumble through your overstuffed wallet or digging through your bottomless purse. Just use your phone, you already use it for everything else.

Considering the painfully slow adoption rate of new technologies here in the States, especially when it comes to credit cards, mobile commerce is a long way off. Ever used ExpressPay? Neither have I, and that was the new thing five years ago.

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