With nearly half of consumers using shopping apps (40%), the mobile channel is resetting the parameters of marketing and commerce, according to a report from Yankee Group, which warns that mobile devices and apps are beginning to dissolve the boundaries between advert and payment, and online and in-store. This article is copyright 2013 The Best Customer Guide.

The report, entitled 'Mobile Marketing and Commerce: Optimizing Ads, Transactions and Rewards for a Mobile World', examined the current state of mobile commerce, payments, marketing, advertising, loyalty and engagement, and concluded that mobile loyalty programmes are falling short of their goal.

The report suggests that, in the next three to five years, companies will learn that as mobility takes hold, mobile loyalty programmes will become the very foundation of competition.

Among the report's other key findings:

  • Big-name companies will leverage mobile advertising
    There is a battle taking shape in the mobile marketing space led by big-name mobile ecosystem players Facebook and Google. One has the social data to build targeted campaigns, but the other combines reach with strength in multi-channel marketing, location and analytics. Although Facebook is a must-have mobile destination for brands, Google is still set to retain its mobile ad crown.
  • MCX will rapidly evolve
    As long as the Mobile Customer Exchange (MCX) can remain on course, it should be able to harness the potential to evolve into a mobile payments powerhouse within the next few years. Industry players must continue to monitor its progress, and those that are too quick to write it off entirely are setting themselves up for failure.

"Mobile devices enable instant communications that can influence shopping behaviour," said Research Director Sheryl Kingstone, co-author of the report. "Because of this shift in consumer touch points, two things are becoming clear: Companies must ensure mobile is integrated across the customer life cycle while also leveraging big data to make communications more intelligent. In terms of the latter, the real-time nature of mobile will allow organisations to contact their customers at a precise moment. And big data analytics platforms will allow them to mine the explosion of information brought on by newer mobile channels; Coaxing relevant insights from the mountain of data will pave the way for intelligent communications."