M-Commerce: Ease, Benefits And Limitations


Smart mobile devices are now an everyday item and imagining our lives without it is almost impossible now. These devices have drastically transformed the communication world and are all set to become one of the most dominant aspect of the ways people avail services and products.

Mobile commerce is not a new term, it’s been there since years, nonetheless it has matured during the past several years, with the rise of smart phones around the world. With the increased penetration of mobile devices across the globe, m-commerce come into scene, rapidly transforming mobile devices from being utilized as a browsing device to a shopping/service-availing device.

Mobile Commerce – Towards Ease and Comfort

After all, consumers respond positively to the business that takes time to understand their requirements and offer best services accordingly. With mobile devices, consumers can enjoy a level of ease while accessing the services that was never possible before. Let say, I want to have pizza and its very hot outside, I definitely won’t feel like going out myself. But yes, if I have a pizza ordering mobile application installed in my mobile, I can order it instantly right from my place.

Why I have preferred to use mobile, rather than going out myself because it has provided me with:

Independent access anytime

Access on demand from anywhere

Convenience and ease of use

Such changes in the behavior and expectations of consumers, has resulted in mobile devices to emerge as a platform to satisfy consumer’s demands. With the explosion of such a scenario, businesses are also getting more service-oriented and providing best to the customers, while rendering the required ease and comfort. This need for mobility on consumer’s part has resulted in an increased acceptance of mobile commerce amongst both users and retailers.

Consumers Want Services That Work

Despite the fact that using mobile devices for availing services is far more convenient, we still prefer to visit an outlet and shop for things. While M-commerce is taking roots in the conscience of the public, there are still certain factors that are preventing it from becoming a reality for larger section of consumers.

The reason being, though much attention is given to how consumers are adopting mobile strategy, little attention has been paid to how it can be used effectively to deliver enhanced user experience. Surveys have revealed that there is a serious disconnect between how users want to shop and the inconsistent experiences that are being offered. Consumers want services that work, not the leading edge solutions.

What a consumer wants while making a purchase?? Undoubtedly, ease-of-use and convenience. However, is it possible to create ease-of-use on mobile devices, where users can experience the same level of convenience as they are shopping real-time or on laptop?

Suppose, I want to purchase a pair of shoes, I would definitely like to view it from different sides before purchasing. And, here comes the limitation, small screen and ease of viewing multiple images with scrolling and dragging features, which is not the case when viewed on a bigger screen. Here, arises the question on adaptability of mobile devices as a shopping device. Definitely, mobile devices can offer the ease while reading reviews or do window shopping, but when it comes to making buying decisions online, m-commerce still has a long way to go.

While shopping online, people weighs their experiences with regard to real-time shopping and come to the conclusion if the device worth shopping or not. And, when it comes to m-commerce, it still has long way to go.

Why Wide Acceptance of M-Commerce Still Faces Hurdle?

Above, we have touched on the issue that satisfaction on the part of a consumer while making a purchase online is very important. However, till and until the major issues are not being addressed, the potential barriers in successful implementation of mobile commerce would always be prevalent.

Technology constraints of mobile devices (memory, processing powers, display capabilities)

One of the challenges retailers face is the lack of desirable technologies that adequately supports m-commerce. The full potential of mobile device as a ubiquitous object can only be realized when interaction technologies are embedded. Availability of state-of-art technologies are vital for the success of m-commerce.
Security of data moved across mobile and wireless networks:

Privacy and security concerns are still at the forefront of both consumers and retailers minds. Most users don’t prefer to make transactions online because of security threats.
Business investment in hardware and infrastructure is seen as dangerous: As the new technologies are being introduced now and then, deciding on the resources that can accelerate their efforts while bringing up a mobile platform that can cater to the consumer’s needs and requirements effectively is still a challenge.

On A Wider Note

Basically, the success of mobile commerce lies in how you bring personalization to the purchase experience and satisfaction for your consumers. Providing mobile for rendering products and services is not enough, it’s also important to make sure that you are giving customers exactly what they want.

  • April 3, 2012
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