Perspective: Thinking Differently About Mobile Commerce ROI

How does a business decide what is important and what will deliver good return on a mobile commerce investment? Innovation Exchange members recently discussed this topic with Arkady Fridman, a senior analyst at Aite Group. During the discussion, the group looked at the importance of businesses to think differently when it comes to mobile commerce ROI.

When planning a mobile commerce strategy, businesses need to recognize that mobile commerce is not an initiative for which there is a simple ROI calculation. Mobile commerce is a strategy that keeps the business viable and competitive. The move towards mobile commerce is not just about understanding how you achieve ROI today. It’s about learning from current trends and collecting data so you can innovate with your customers over time and meet your ROI in the future.

To accomplish this, it is important to recognize these essential characteristics of mobile commerce:

  • Mobile is not just a channel – it is a cross-channel experience. One of the big pitfalls in thinking about mobile commerce is trying to create a stand-alone mobile strategy. For instance, launching a mobile feature to reduce operational costs may result in some success; however, that feature is going to have broader business implications. Mobile commerce directly links online and in-store activities. It crosses different locations, touches on point-of-sale, and incorporates search, social media as well as other forms of engagement.
  • There is interplay between channels. What happens in one channel influences activity in other channels in ways that are measurable through mobile commerce. Businesses can use mobility to create a powerful multi-channel experience for consumers. But when consumers have a negative experience in one channel, it impacts other channels. If there is dissatisfaction with an experience on a mobile device, the dissatisfaction isn’t with the device, it’s with the brand.
  • Mobile commerce is about more than the device. It’s about the whole experience, which may be about what happens on the device and then what happens in the store. For instance, a customer may have a great mobile experience. Then when they get to the store, if an employee is unfamiliar with the offering and can’t help the customer, it becomes a bad experience. To get the best return out of a mobile commerce strategy, all channels need to work together.


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