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Crowdsourcing a Mobile Wallet

A recent survey from SAP reveals that consumers are ready for mobile commerce. They know what they want in a mobile wallet, and they plan to start making purchases in the future.

Maybe we should just ask consumers what constitutes a mobile wallet, instead of letting banks, merchants, or telcos decide. New research from SAP (full disclosure: my employer) shows that consumers know what they want. And that, in turn, gives industry good insight into what to build.

For this survey, researchers interviewed 12,424 people in 17 countries, and found that consumers expect that a ‘mobile wallet’ would enable them to buy goods online (51%) as well as in a shop (46%), even those costing a small amount (44%), plus check the status of anything currently on order (41%). A third of respondents (35%) also expect to be able to use loyalty cards.

So, there you go. That’s what a mobile wallet should do. And here’s the best part: 82% of consumers want to buy goods and services through their mobile in the future. Wow. That’s a big number, and one that represents a lot of growth from where we are.

Our results also show that globally, one third (32%) of mobile phone users have purchased products on their device in the last year. So, half of consumers (50%) haven’t made a mobile purchase in the last 12 months, but expect to do so in the future.

Retail is a key focus of all the action, with consumers having used mobile to buy entertainment (primarily tickets to cinema, theater, DVDs, sports events, etc.—43%), music downloads (40%), books or e-books (40%), and attire (39%).

Respondents also said that all the discounts (29%), exclusive offers (25%) and coupons (22%) from merchants are encouraging them to purchase via mobile.

Having to enter a lot of personal information (46%), safety concerns (45%) and spotty internet access at the point of purchase (43%) are discouraging them.

Retailers: this is a huge opportunity. A lot of consumers are planning to use their mobiles to buy the things you’re selling. Here’s how you do it: provide incentives and an easy-to-use interface. Make sure to factor in consumers’ desire for both convenience and personal security.

Easier said than done, sure. But who doesn’t love some good industry insight into what consumers want? If you’re getting ready to launch something (and don’t want to have to apologize for it later), or have already launched something that hasn’t succeeded, this report may shed some light on what you need to do going forward.

Here are the results. Don’t miss the nice quadrant on page 14 that shows things people want to do on their mobiles (more to less demand) vs. what how difficult it is to do them today (easy to hard).

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