Driven by the rapid growth of market demand for mobile devices over the past few years, Gartner Inc has forecast that by 2015 one-third of consumer brands will integrate mobile payment services into branded mobile apps.
Gartner forecast that in the next three years, the trend of integrating mobile payment services into branded mobile apps will accelerate, allowing brands to sell and market directly to mobile users and seek to enhance customer experience, the market researcher said in an e-mailed statement released on Wednesday.
The global market researcher forecast that the trend will be more pronounced for brands with retail outlets, such as those in the fashion, food and drink, grocery and entertainment sectors.
Gartner research director Sandy Shen (沈哲怡) said many consumer brands have already launched branded apps that focus on marketing activities, such as offering product information, checking loyalty points and collecting coupons and offers.
A few early adopters have also integrated payment functions into their apps, she added.
“Brands need to help consumers make purchasing decisions in an efficient and personalized way,” Shen said in an e-mailed statement.
She said branded apps should focus on being good shopping apps first and foremost, with payment being only the final step before completing a sale.
To achieve an integrated presence, brands should use a combination of mobile apps, text messages and Web sites to engage customers and increase sales, she added.
Gartner said consumers might prefer to use an aggregator app — a single app from which they can access multiple brands — adding that such apps can be generic marketplace apps or specialist apps dealing with location information, promotional offers and travel.
“Branded companies’ apps will have to compete with these aggregator apps in terms of richness of offering and user experience. Only those that deliver compelling value and user experience will last,” Gartner said.