By Danielle Duclos, Chief Marketing Officer, Bluefin Payment Systems
We’re talkin’ turkey soon. Yup, in a little over a month, Americans will be enjoying Thanksgiving. But for many, the holiday itself takes a back seat to Black Friday shopping. I tried Black Friday one year. I stood outside my local Target starting at 12 am to get a flat-screen TV, feeling smug because I was 20th in line. And of course – 20th really means 200th when you are competing for electronics, so I left Target with a cart full of toilet paper that was on sale. How exciting.
But now, with Cyber Monday – you don’t need to wait in line. In fact, you can get even better deals shopping online than on Black Friday. That’s change #1 in how we are holiday shopping – going to the Internet and avoiding crowds.
Change #2 – a subject near and dear to my heart as Bluefin readies to introduce our enhanced mobile product, QuickSwipe – is mobile shopping. And on October 17th, comScore released a report that found “Among the top 100 digital media properties, nearly one out of three monthly visitors (31 percent) only accesses that content brand via mobile platform.”
I feel like this shouldn’t be surprising since all you see anymore (read: Atlanta airport) are people on their mobile phones. So they’re not just chatting on Facebook and checking the weather – they’re actually shopping. The report goes on to say that the mobile commerce landscape is accelerating at a rate of 30% year-over-year and probably one of the biggest surprises is that in April 2013, more than half of all digital consumers in the U.S. accessed the Internet via both computers and mobile devices for the first time.
Being in the world of payments, it has been really interesting for me to watch this trend. Our customers use our PayConex virtual terminal and in some cases, swipe devices, but more and more want mobile payment processing. And for our integrated software partners – they need mobile applications of their software because as stated above, you have ½ of digital consumers (which is pretty much anyone that has a computer) that are using both a computer and a mobile device. So if I am using a platform management system at work, I definitely want to access that via a mobile app as well.
If you think about certain industries – services (cleaning, landscaping), the fact more people working for the same company are geographically disperse (insurance agents in the field), fitness trainers, vendors, crafters – the growth is staggering, and the need for mobile payments is high. Since we work with many companies and individuals in these industries, we decided to provide an easy way to get payment processing into a company’s mobile application with our QuickSwipe SDK.
Finally – what I might be most excited about is blending mobile with in-person shopping. Yes, I am looking forward to that day where I can use my phone to check out and NOT wait in line, especially at the grocery store, where I always seem to get stuck behind the 1 person in Atlanta that still thinks it’s a fantastic idea to pay with a check.
And vendors, partners – hope your mobile app is ready for this holiday season! If not, you know who to call!