Notes From The Mobile Commerce Summit 2012: ‘The War For Your Customer’

Posted by Kate Jurras on Mon, Nov 12, 2012

Throughout November we'll be sharing recaps, follow-ups and reflections on FutureM from our amazing event partners. This post is by Amy Rosenthal, and it was originally posted on the High Start Group's blog.

You know you’ve hit on an issue near and dear to business when there’s standing room only for your keynote address. On that scale, the 2012 Mobile Commerce Summit was a huge success. The Summit, part of the FutureM conference, featured several panels focused on different issues: from winning over the customer, to how mobile is changing big data, to what the winning strategies are in the new landscape. Walt Doyle (General Manager, PayPal Media Network) gave a keynote to a packed house on how he sees PayPal evolve to help close the purchasing loop, provide consumers a more seamless customer experience and deliver to marketers a new generation of tools that enable to pinpoint and calculate the exact ROI of marketing activity.

The first panel, moderated by Janet Muto (Managing Partner, High Start Group) included some exciting new information about the customer opportunities of mobile commerce. Joshua Robin (Director of Innovation, MBTA) revealed a survey commissioned by the MBTA found that 76% of T users own smartphones, and that convenience was a major factor in developing the new MBTA smartphone application that will be released shortly. Mike Grimes (SVP Mobile Commerce, Catalina) explained how much interchange fees pain businesses who pass the cost onto consumers, and how eliminating these fees can help drive the consumer experience. And Andy Miller (Director of Mobile Products, Constant Contact), concluded the panel by highlighting how much trust consumers have in Apple, foretelling Passbook as the future mobile commerce “winner.”

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Walt Doyle’s keynote focused on how mobile makes the shopping experience personal. He tracked the growth of PayPal to the developments in personalizing mobile commerce. Mobile commerce is helping “close the loop to purchase”, and by tailoring the purchasing loop to individuals consumers and businesses are both benefiting.

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Focusing on big data, the second panel, moderated by Greg Garson (Practice Lead, High Start Group) examined what issues surround the influx of data from mobile commerce. Molly Plozay (Vice President, FirstData), John Caron (Vice President, Marketing, Catalina), Ben Saren (Vice President, Marketing, Litle & Co.), and Gene Wisniewski (SVP Sales, Linkable Networks) outlined how this data is actually leveling the playing field between small and large businesses. Historically, only large businesses had access to this data, but with mobile commerce providing SKU level data to corner stores, the data is suddenly available for everyone. However, as Molly Plozay pointed out, “data without intelligence is useless” and small businesses must quickly ramp up their efforts on the “right” way to use this data.

The third panel, moderated by Nitzan Shaer (Managing Partner, High Start Group) featured the strategies businesses need to employ in order to win in a world with mobile commerce. With Seth Priebatsch (Chief Ninja, SCVNGR/LevelUp), Aron Schwarzkopf (CEO, Leaf), and Gary Lombardo (Solutions Marketing Lead, Demandware) on the panel there was bound to be some controversial predictions. Aron Schwarzkopf explained, “the value in mobile is providing data where no data previously existed, such as transactional data and social information.” Seth Priebatsch went one step further stating that online, and mobile commerce, would replace a great deal in the brick and mortar world, “Amazon’s servers are cheaper than Best Buy’s lights.” He maintained this would open up new areas in brick and mortar, and we would see an expansion of one-stop shopping stores with grocery stores beginning to carry electronics.
To sign up for 7 minute highlight videos from each panel, email We’ll be posting a blog post shortly with what the speakers’ key takeaways from the Summit are. In the meantime, here are some of the top thoughts that attendees tweeted during the #MComSummit:

Check out the lsat post in this series, from Corey McPherson Nash.