What is mCommerce?
So what is mCommerce all about? Well, mCommerce is about using mobile devices for business matters. When it first started, it was mainly about simple banking operations that one could do through a mobile phone. However, with the advent of new technologies, mCommerce has become much more practical and accessible. Nowadays, with devices like smartphones and tablets, one can make all sorts of operations on the go, including shopping and stock market trading.
Why Is mCommerce Getting More Popular?
If the statistics are anything to go by, the popularity of mCommerce is definitely on the rise these days. Just look at how the numbers changed between the Black Friday of 2011 and the Black Friday of 2012. Black Fridays are great for these kinds of statistics, as they are huge events that take virtually everyone into account. According to numerous sources, only 14.3 percent of all customers used their mobile devices to visit the website of their preferred retailer in 2011, with the number skyrocketing to 24 percent in 2012. And, when it comes to the actual purchases, the numbers show the very same trend. In 2011, mobile sales accounted for only 9.8 percent of all sales during the Black Friday, but, only a year later, they accounted for more than 16 percent of that base.
Such numbers are a clear indication of how popular mCommerce is these days. Note the fact that those numbers come from the United States, which are, in general, ahead of the rest of the world in new technologies. However, it is expected that other countries will soon follow in the same vein, making mCommerce hugely important for companies that offer their goods and services to the global audience.
Preparing for mCommerce
With all that in mind, it is clear what question is on the cards at moment – how can one prepare for mCommerce? Well, one prepares for mCommerce by making his or her business available for those who who like to make transactions on their mobiles and tablets. It all starts with the online presentation. Just about every single business has a website these days – the goal is to make it compatible with the various mobile devices. It is obviously not that hard to make things work on the most popular smartphones and tablets, but, in order to make everything more straightforward for the customers, many companies have decided to come up with specially designed mobile webpages with a simpler interface and less graphics.
With the presentation out of the way, it might be a great idea to explore the various payment options that one can use in order to pay for the goods or services. With cash unavailable as an option, it might be a good idea to diversify the portfolio of the payment options the company offers. Micro-transactions can be easily solved, but things are much more difficult when it comes to regular sales, which are what counts the most. There are many specialized services that offer payment processing, but the number one issue is that there are no standards as of yet and that a fair portion of the customers might feel left out. Let's look at what is available at the moment.
The basic options of mobile payment processing, including SMS and direct mobile billing, are obvious and have been already heavily used in many areas of mCommerce. However, they are not practical for bigger transactions, so other options have become available in recent times. These include online wallets – think about services like Paypal.
It is also possible to have a credit card associated with a mobile and pay with it for various services. However, the specialized services that we have mentioned earlier on might be what the future is going to be all about. It is not only about Paypal, which has a large part of the segment already – it is also about services like Amazon Payments or Google Wallet.
Many business will also undoubtedly adopt systems that would allow people to pay at their physical stores with their mobile devices, with the future lying in technologies like QR codes or NFC (Near Field Communication). Those technologies allow users to pay by swiping their mobiles at the cashier, allowing for quick and easy payments, just like one would pay with a credit card.
So, after all that introductory stuff, we have finally arrived at the key problem that might be preventing mCommerce from becoming even more important – and that is also the point at which it is seems fair to end.
Mark Olsen is a contributor on many tech blogs and online publications.He is a teck geek and writes for T-moBile where you can find the newest smartphones like LG Optimus and much more.