The mobile phone industry in the UK is thus far missing an opportunity to capitalise on pent-up consumer demand to purchase goods and services via their mobile phone. This is the key finding of the Qpass M-commerce Consumer Survey.
More than four out of five consumers (82.5 per cent) polled said that they would be prepared to purchase items via their mobile phones but only 12.6 per cent had ever done so satisfactorily.
Qpass, the proven and preferred provider of mobile commerce software, surveyed 183 mobile phone users at Waterloo station on 20 September 2004. The survey was undertaken on the eve of Mobile Commerce World in London, UK to examine the potential opportunity for m-commerce in the UK.
“Mobile operators in the UK have not had the supporting infrastructure necessary to capture the tremendous untapped potential of m-commerce. This survey illuminates the ground swell of demand for m-commerce goods and services, and the strong desire of mobile phone users to apply their handsets as a payment mechanism,” said Ken Parkinson, sales and business development director, Europe, Qpass.
“Mobile phone penetration is almost 100 per cent in the UK, whereas internet penetration is only about 50 per cent, yet far fewer consumers are willing to purchase goods via their mobile phones than via the internet,” said Parkinson.
Mobile phone users identified with the convenience and potential of a mobile phone as a payment mechanism: 78.1 per cent said that they would use a mobile phone to pay for parking, 56.3 per cent for a newspaper or magazine and 53.0 per cent for tickets for public transport.
Additionally, 22.4 per cent of mobile users would be prepared to spend more than £2 per month on a mobile subscription for premium services whilst almost half (45.4 per cent) said they would be prepared to pay £1 to £2.
More than three times as many phone users have made purchases via the internet versus with their mobile phones, with 61.7 per cent admitting to being internet shoppers versus 20.2 per cent for m-commerce. Ring tones (62.2 per cent) and information services (43.2 per cent) were the most popular mobile purchases.
For those mobile phone users who had made a mobile transaction, the user purchasing experience was mixed. Almost two in five reported some form of error in the transaction process: 18.9 per cent said that they failed to receive the product, 16.2 per cent received multiple SMS text messages for a single purchase and 2.7 per cent didn’t understand the item when it appeared on their mobile phone bill.
The Qpass M-Commerce Consumer Survey recognises the tremendous potential for m-commerce in the UK market. The survey reinforces the key to success: the ability of mobile operators to efficiently launch and manage new mobile offers in the market and deliver them via seamless integration with their existing back office systems. Qpass Services Management software provides this solution by giving operators control over their mobile commerce business and allowing them to offer any type of premium service across any type or generation of network using multiple payment methods. Qpass today provides mobile commerce software to US operators with more than 70 million subscribers. Mobile operator sales using Qpass Services Management software are on track to exceed $200 million in 2004 and are growing at an average rate of more than 60 per cent per quarter.