Making Sense of Mobile Commerce

We've been spending time working with Artists that are selling music and merchandise on their mobile fan club sites, and are learning a lot through the process. We've made some changes to the merchandise / commerce features of your mobile site we thought you should know about.
New Merch Page Design
We have made the links to Amazon and iTunes permanent. So, even if you add your own merchandise / music to your merch page, fans can choose to buy from you or from these other stores.
When the fan clicks on one of these links, we send them to the store, but also do a search query automatically so the fan is directed to your products. If you're not part of Amazon or iTunes, they'll end up on the home pages of those sites.
We fould some other interesting attributes of these sites as regards mobile, which we share below.
Selling Directly by the Artist - Physical Goods
This service has been with us from the beginning and has been the most straightforward. You put physical merch up for sale on your mobile site and the fans can buy it directly from you on their phones. They pay with Paypal and you get a notification of the shipping information and just send it out. You get 100% of the price - the fan pays that plus shipping plus small transaction charges from Adva Mobile and Paypal. We send you the money right away.
Selling Directly by the Artist - Digital Goods
We've just started having success with digital goods sales with Artists that use Bandcamp. When you set up with Bandcamp, you get a URL for digital goods downloads. There's a feature on the Adva Mobile merchandise portal that lets you send a confirmation email to the fan after the sale is made. When you set up this email, you include the link for the fan to download the digital song.
This works really well but isn't perfect. The fan can't download to their phone. They have to download to their desktop and then sync their phone. Also, the fan can forward the email to their friends, so some others can get it without paying.
We're working on a digital download service for music, ringtones, wallpapers, etc. directly from you to the fan. We haven't set up the system for the fan to download digital content and have the charges show up on their phone bill, because the wireless carrier takes more than 50% of the money from you. But we're interested in hearing from you if you want this.
Since you need to have iTunes installed on your computer to make purchases from, and download from, the iTunes store, only iPhones support this in the mobile world. (Not a problem in the desktop world, as you can download the iTunes Application to any desktop PC.) I don't think you can download a song from iTunes to a Blackberry, Android, Palm, Windows or Symbian (Nokia) phone. Since we know the phone type of the fan when they are on your mobile site, we only show the iTunes logo on your merch page if the fan has an iPhone.
On my iPhone, when I click on the iTunes logo on an Artist merch page, it opens up my iTunes Application automatically and goes to the page of the Artist from the search string.
Since Amazon sells both physical and digital goods, the Amazon link will always be on your merch page. Fans who click on this will be brought to the Amazon mobile site and a search string will bring them to your products, if you have products for sale on Amazon. Otherwise, they will go to the Amazon home page.
Amazon, however, will not allow a digital download to your phone! I think this is because digital songs from Amazon are in MP3 format and not every phone will play that format. They do have a cool feature though - they tell you they can't download it to your phone, but you can add it to your Wish List and then purchase it from your PC.
These early days of mobile commerce, as you can see, are complicated and not totally simple for you or the fan. We're working hard to develop a simple "Direct To Fan" purchase experience for all your items - digital, physical merch, and tickets. Meanwhile, innovative Artists are experimenting with mobile commerce through their mobile fan club and having success (sales!), and I encourage you to do the same.

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