Shopping by Mobile Java App: "Are people ready to shop via their mobile? I can certainly see a niche developing for impulse purchase of things like books, CDs and gadgets. You read a review in a magazine, brochure or via RSS on your phone and want to order it before you forget. You don't need to see a picture or find out much more about it, as a book is a book is a book. So you open up Reporo and order with a few clicks."
Whilst I'm sure there are other folks out there who can comment on the whys and wherefores of running a service like this from their personal experience (go on - you know you want to), a few things immediately struck me about Reporo:
1. They ask for credit card details *way* to early. One minute I'm telling them what sort of handset I have, the next they're demanding my VISA number; err, no thanks. There's no way I'd hand that over to a company I've never heard of, before I've ever received a service from that company or know I want to buy from them.
2. The purchase process looks way too involved: open the app, choose what you're after (books etc.), choose retailer, choose search, enter search term, choose item, drill down to buy it, choose card, choose delivery address, confirm, see receipt. Wow that's 11 steps; anyone would think that they've taken a web site purchase process and just shoehorned it onto mobile! Here's my ideal: open app, enter what I'm after, choose match (drilling down by item type if there are too many entries), click "buy", that's it. 5 steps, and that's 3 too many for my liking.
3. Looks like they're missing a trick and not doing best-price finding. So if I want to buy a DVD from one of their retailers, do I have to search each one separately and work out who's cheaper myself?
4. The special offers stuff is a nice idea.
And, minor gripe here: am I the only person working in the industry who gets annoyed at service demos which are so *obviously* mockups? Please - if you're going to give me an online demo of a mobile service, do so by grabbing the screen from a live, working version... otherwise my gut instinct is to see it, recognise it as a mockup, and immediately feel all sceptical. And no-one wants that.