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Are there more m-commerce transactions in areas where people commute by train?

Yesterday evening I bumped into the team from Kalio at the Mobile Commerce Forum here in Houston. Kalio are a leading provider of integrated commerce services for retailers. They also specialise in multi-channel offerings, including, of course, the mobile platform.

I’m aiming to do a piece on Kalio’s mobile offering — but I wanted to get a post up right-away relating to one of the points that the team highlighted in our brief discussion.

I was asking them for some perspective on the US m-commerce marketplace and one of their team pointed out that, on balance, more m-commerce transactions take place on the East Coast of America vs the West Coast.

I found that surprising given the focus and fascination of the tech-centric West Coast Valley area.

“It’s all about commuting,” hypothesised one of the Kalio team. They were pointing out that since more people in the East Coast tend to commute via train, there’s a greater likelihood of them conducting m-commerce transactions on board. When you’re stuck driving down highway 101 every morning and evening in jammed traffic, the chances on you ordering some shoelaces on Amazon are pretty unlikely.

You’ve more time to burn when you’re on the train or using other forms of public transport.

What do you think?

I don’t have any statistics to back this up — and I want to point out that it was just a hypothetical conversation with the Kalio team that highlighted this one — however I think there’s some mileage in it.

Anecdotally in the UK I see a *lot* of people making m-commerce transactions on the train. Hardly a day goes by when I’m on the train during rush hour and fail to see at least one person using (for example) the Ocado, Amazon or Tesco applications.

Is there merit in this viewpoint?

Here’s a video of me discussing this:

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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