The phrase mobile commerce was originally coined in 1997 by Kevin Duffey at the launch of the Global Mobile Commerce Forum, to mean “the delivery of electronic commerce capabilities directly into the consumer’s hand, anywhere, via wireless technology.
M-commerce (mobile commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as cellular telephone and personal digital assistants (PDAs)
Advantages of mobile commerce
Mobile commerce offers a range of advantages to businesses both large and small. The number of people owning and regularly using mobile devices continues to grow, providing a large – and growing – marketplace for a variety of goods and services.
1. Wide reach
mobile commerce allows consumers to buy, and be marketed to, wherever they can get an internet connection. This offers considerable advantages over ecommerce, which must rely on a traditional internet connection such as over Ethernet. Improvements to infrastructure are increasing the speed and reliability of mobile internet access, making mobile commerce a sure-fire growth industry in the short and medium term future
2. The personal touch
selling over mobile devices can yield a very personal encounter for the consumer, especially if the services and products you offer are individually tailored. Mobile devices are often kept very close and so by providing the right kind of service retailers can capture the attention of consumers more easily. this form of commerce can bring the consumer and the company together and bring about greater profits for the company and allow the customer to have a closer relationship with the company
3. Reduced need for skilled consumers
Mobile commerce reduces the need for the consumer to have certain skills (e.g. be able to use search engines or online checkout processes)
4. Easy to use
There is no need of skilled consumer. Buyers can have look thousands of items on their cell phones and there is no need of online checkout process.
5. Time Efficient
Doing M-Commerce transactions do not require the users to plug anything like personal computer or wait for the laptop to load.
Mobile commerce is a growing sector and analysts expect significant growth in the next few years. At the current time there are some disadvantages from a retailer’s point of view. As with any new investment, consideration must be given as to whether the disadvantages outweigh the potential gains.
1. Smaller screens
The smaller and less vivid screens of mobile devices give less of an opportunity for retailers to sell products with eye-catching images and graphic design. In fact, the amount of marketing collateral that can be delivered is reduced
2. Investment in growing market
Business investment in mobile commerce can be risky due to the rapid-fire pace of the market and its ability to shift quickly
3. Speed of delivery
Mobile devices are less powerful than personal computers which means mobile websites must be optimised for the technology. This means a potentially reduced appeal, in addition to the man-hour costs of removing inappropriate content such as flash videos and plug-ins
Although mobile security is improving regularly, there is still reluctance among some consumers to conduct transactions over a mobile device. Likewise, wireless networks – particularly those with widespread access such as mobile phone networks – will generally provide greater opportunities for hackers than the standard ‘internet’
5. Difficult user interface
there is often a learning curve when it comes to handheld devices. Mobile websites and commerce gateways must be built with usability in mind, to reduce the number of customers who abandon the purchase due to frustration, and this can add significantly to the cost.
6. Smart phone limitation
Mobile has no big screen like desktop or laptops, so sometimes users tired to navigate more and more to choose just one item from thousands. It affects shopping rates.
Mobile commerce needs high speed connectivity of 3G. Otherwise it is become hectic for user to go through entire product purchase process.