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Will mobile drive more e-commerce revenue than PCs? Readers respond

Will mobile drive more e-commerce revenue than PCs? Our readers respond to April’s Gloves Off question.

Chia Chen, SVP and mobile practice lead at Digitas, says mobile allows consumers to simultaneously straddle the digital and physical worlds.

PCs will lose their current dominance on commerce. The first big step was taken on 2011 Thanksgiving Day, where the percentage of consumers using their mobile devices rose by over 160% versus the previous year (11.05% versus 4.25%), according to IBM Coremetrics. We’ve gone from Black Friday to Cyber Monday to Mobile Thursday. Mobile gives people the ability to live in both the digital and physical worlds at the same time. In the post-PC world, most commerce will be digital and much of that will be done via mobile devices.

Jack Dodd, principal of Jack Dodd Advertising Associates, says the question is moot because PCs as we know them will no longer exist. Eventually all PCs will be mobile. We’ll be carrying one device that will wirelessly connect with all the places we frequent for digital interaction everywhere. There won’t be any standalone device per se because we’ll just be carrying an interface that will utilize ubiquitous devices and software everywhere.

Stan Valinski, CEO of mmsg.tv, says he agrees with Dodd’s assessment, but noted that the luddites will likely resist. There will be rebels and anarchists galore who will fight against any “newfangled” devices/advancements. The other factor will be those who prefer a larger screen, keyboard, etc., or are just used to the time they spend in their favorite chair when online.

John Johnson, divisional VP of Sears Holdings Corp., says there’s power in numbers when it comes to mobile’s growing ascendancy.

Although the AOV (average order value) will likely continue to be higher for PC-generated revenue, the sheer volume of smart phones will overwhelm PC-related e-commerce.

Nicole Plescher, digital director of 919 Marketing Company, says PCs will still have their place. Saying traditional computers will develop new capabilities to keep them in the lead is a bit awkward. They do not have to, merely because their built-in experience is superior to a tablet or smartphone when it comes to extensive viewing comfort (purely from an LCD real estate and interface/input standpoint). Buying one item on a mobile phone or engaging in a simple e-commerce transaction may be wholly dominated as tablet browser technologies evolve and smartphones follow suit. However, for the larger, researched purchases or complex orders, the comfort of using a full-size computer will always dominate.

Diarmuid Mallon, senior product marketing manager of m-commerce at Sybase

365, says PCs simply cannot compete with the “always-on, always-connected and always-with-you nature” of mobile. Apple [recently] announced the iPad is outselling

PCs in North America, and on the global level, mobile devices (phones and tablets) outnumber any other electronic device, including radios, let alone PCs. But it is more than just a post-PC world; we are also entering the post-fixed-line Internet era. In the

U.S., one in four people only access the Internet from their mobile device. This number will only increase. Additionally, we are about to enter the post-plastic era where card and cash payments are replaced by mobile payments. The nexus of all this change is not the PC, but the mobile device, and this change will impact how consumers shop and how retailers and marketers approach e-commerce.

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