Shopping by mobile phone is becoming increasingly popular, especially with women who have honed their cell phone typing skills and love the convenience of using their handsets to buy clothing, accessories and other goods anywhere, anytime.
Sears Impressions Co. in the city of Saitama runs the Jewelry Kingdom shop, selling mostly brand-name rings and necklaces via mobile phones. The retailer has found the sales channel lucrative, raking in monthly sales of more than 10 million yen.
It opened the shop on the mobile phone Web site Pocket Bidders, which is managed by DeNA Co. of Tokyo, a major Internet shopping mall, and enjoys some of the highest sales of the 2,000 retailers on the site.
When the online cell phone mall set up in 2001, monthly sales averaged several hundred thousand, yen but the figure skyrocketed after the jewelry shop opened on the site in June last year.
"The goods we sell and the demand from mobile phone customers are well matched, triggering explosive sales," said Sayaka Suzuki, a Sears official. "We are aiming for monthly sales of 50 million yen by the end of next year."
"Compared with online shopping using personal computers, purchasers using mobile phones are overwhelmingly young women," said Kenichiro Murayama, manager of the e-commerce division of DeNA.
He noted that many high school girls and women in their early 20s got their first experience of the Internet via mobile phones.
"Sites for mobile phone shopping, which an be created more easily than – for personal computers, will grow further,” he predicted.
Supporting this growth is the spread of third-generation mobile phones that offer high-speed data transmission, as well as flat fees for unlimited Internet use.
“Monthly sales through mobile phones in October this year was four times higher than the year before. Sales especially began to grow rapidly in the second half of 2004,” said an Amazon Japan official.
People who place orders via personal computers are mostly in their late 20s to late 40s, but 60 percent of purchasers using mobile phones are in their teens and 20s, he said.