Technology is steadily changing the way we socialize, conduct business, search for information or entertain ourselves. The confluence of the cell phone with the Web has opened different avenues in this regard, one of which is mobile commerce.
Changing the shopping experience like never before
Mobile commerce is the process of conducting business which may be buying of goods and services or marketing by way of a mobile device like a smart phone or personal digital assistant (PDAs). New age applications like the iPad as well as Blackberry and Google Android phones are leading the way with the iPhone in implementing this convenient and profitable feature.
No wonder considering that millions of dollars of transactions are routinely carried out on shopping portals like eBay by way of mobile ecommerce enabled applications. With the increasing use of smart phones, online businesses are scrambling to ensure their websites are mobile friendly.
The future of ecommerce
Busy schedules have meant that people nowadays have less time to go shopping. Mobile ecommerce has made it possible to shop from anywhere at anytime with just a click. The trend has become increasingly popular with more and more people preferring to access the Web from mobile devices rather than desktop PCs.
Mobile shopping is often associated with downloading songs, pictures and video clips or buying tickets for entertainment shows. However today’s smart tech savvy shoppers also use mobile commerce to price different products with friends before actually buying it. People who want the best bargain or those who are wary of being over-charged also use the option to check prices before going shopping.
How are payments done?
Payment for goods or services is generally done by way of the following methods
• SMS based transaction wherein the payment is charged to the phone bill • Direct mobile billing which involves authentication prior to the mobile user’s account being charged for the purchases, • Mobile web payments (WAP) which takes place via credit card or online payment processors like PayPal • Contactless Near Field Communications which requires an embedded smart card based on RFID technology that is swiped at the location where the purchase has been made.
The marketing revolution is here
The marketing trend too has caught on like never before with the advent of mobile commerce. Online retailers are nowadays quite familiar with customer queries like
• What discount is being offered? • Where is the gift coupon?
And with features like geo location tracking being increasingly used in mobile devices, marketing and shopping as we know it is set to be revolutionized further. Imagine receiving an opt-in text message about a special offer from your favorite brand store when you are in the vicinity; or browsing for the nearest Chinese food take-away. The possibilities are truly infinite.