Paypal’s Mobile Business Booming

PaypalFor the longest time, I thought the idea of using our cell phones to make purchases was never really going to catch on. We already have cash, debit cards, and credit cards after all. Isn’t that enough?  Besides, phones are just good for browsing, right? Technology is moving so fast that I basically missed the shift to mobile shopping in my frugality of avoiding a data plan, but that doesn’t mean others missed it.

As agencies work with their clients to improve business, mobile shopping is going to become an increasingly important practical and marketing aspect of their work. I always knew this was coming, but after reading about news from late yesterday, I think I had one of those moments where you think, “Well, I guess that time is now, not later.” This shift to mobile shopping sort of snuck up on me.

Paypal Bets on the Rise of Mobile Shoppers 

Yesterday, we were able to see how far mobile shopping has come since the technology came out a few years ago. According to The Telegraph, “Paypal had observed an increasing number of consumers not only buying items with mobile, but browsing for major purchases on their smartphones before making a decision.”

This wasn’t just a slight increase either. Paypal’s mobile payments were up almost 200% from last year. I’m no expert analyst, but to me a 200% bump is a sign that something is catching on. If this trend continues and/or increases, the importance of having a mobile presence for your clients will increase as well. Now is the time to start building this presence rather than be left behind to play catch-up.

Even Paypal’s President Weighed in

Late yesterday, PayPal’s President spoke with reporters about the company’s future and how its role in mobile and online payments will continue to develop. Leena Rao for TechCrunch wrote a great article about the conversation. She writes that Paypal President David Marcus informed us that “the lion’s share of PayPal checkout is being done via the mobile web.”

PayPal is also using its data and services to shape their brand into a shopping experience, not just a payment service. Marcus believes that accessing consumer data will help the company better target users with relevant information and offers that make sense to them and to businesses.

PayPal’s Future Looks Good

PayPal seems to be positioning itself to take the lead in mobile payments and the payment experience as a whole. With the resources that PayPal has in its corner, chances are mobile payments and services will become far more popular. A recent Mashable article tells us that “cellphone usage is increasing in basically every department, especially online activities.” Looks like PayPal is grabbing an opportunity and running with it.

As an added sign that PayPal is set to solidify itself as a premier payment service and to further speed along mobile shopping, they have big plans for their in-store payment options. Currently, according to Emily Price at Mashable, PayPal has an “in-store payment option at over 17,000 locations worldwide.” That sounds impressive, but even more impressive is the future. A new deal with Discover will see upwards of 7 million merchants with PayPal in-store services.

 Don’t Neglect Mobile

Your clients are going to need to be ready for the growing body of consumers that are browsing, shopping, and buying online. Even more important than the buying and selling is the fact that people will be increasingly interacting with your clients’ brands from a mobile perspective. This poses a different set of challenges and requires a little adjustment to the way a client presents itself on the mobile web.

The “older” methods of shopping, like brick-and-mortar and computer/tablet based shopping (*gasp* I just called internet shopping old!), will continue to be used. But it is more important than ever to pay attention to mobile and get the most out of your efforts.

How will your clients adjust to mobile shopping?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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