This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Could Mobile Commerce Save Brick and Mortar Retail?

By Peter Suciu, Special to

NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- The brick and mortar store has faced many threats including mail order catalogs, telephone marketing and, more recently, Internet retailers. But now, the biggest threat could also be its savior.

The mobile handset is making m-commerce -- as in mobile commerce -- a reality, and unlike e-commerce, it isn't entirely about being tethered to a computer or about shopping online.

Because the phone can go to the store along with shoppers, the mobile phone as a tool for shopping actually has the potential to bridge traditional retail and digital retail in a way that couldn't have been otherwise possible.
More from CNBC
Donovan: 2011 Will Be Big Year For Mobile
Cramer's Top 21 Smartphone Stocks
CTIA Wireless 2011: Complete Coverage

"Mobile has that one piece that connects traditional retail with digital," says Michael Becker, North American Managing Director of the Mobile Marketing Association. He says that when it comes to mobile commerce, we need to step back and first think about its definition. "In the strictest sense, it is about the exchange of something of value with a mobile device."

Comparing, Deciding, Buying

Becker suggests that the exchange is not necessarily limited to a product for money. Mobile commerce could also be about allowing the consumer to make a more informed decision while shopping. While web-based commerce has already allowed for consumers to compare prices, read reviews and make informed purchases at their computer and thus before heading to the store, the mobile component allows shoppers to do all this while in a retail environment.

"This is what we call the scan and scram shopper," says Greg Gerard, Program Director for Retail Merchandise Strategies at IDC Retail Insights. "It is those who can find an item and compare by scanning and determine whether they're seeing if for less money."

Thus, they may even delay or forgo the purchase entirely, says Gerard, who notes that this shopping warrior class accounted for about 24 percent of last season holiday sales. And those numbers are only going to increase. According to recent IDC Retail Insight findings, these hyper-connected individuals will account for 28 percent or $127 billion of the $447 billion predicted that consumers will spend this holiday season.
1 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $94.68 -0.53%
FB $117.43 0.00%
GOOG $692.36 0.00%
TSLA $232.32 0.00%
YHOO $36.01 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,750.91 -140.25 -0.78%
S&P 500 2,063.37 -18.06 -0.87%
NASDAQ 4,763.2240 -54.37 -1.13%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs