Mobile commerce or M-commerce is the use of handheld mobile devices for completing online transactions. It refers to the buying and selling of goods and services through devices such as mobile phones, laptops and PDAs (personal digital assistants). Mobile commerce leverages the explosion of services and applications that are readily being made accessible from internet-enabled cellular devices.
M-commerce gained popularity being called as the next-generation e-commerce as it enabled the consumers to access the internet without requiring finding a place to plug-in. WAP- the technology behind emerging m-commerce is making greater strides in countries where mobile devices having web-ready micro browsers are commonly available. Mobile money is said to be yet another boon for mobile commerce.
Some stats for Mcommerce growth:
- The growth of m-commerce is anticipated to exceed $500 billion by the year 2017. This will solely be driven by Europe, Asia and America.
- The m-commerce transactions conducted via mobiles and tablets will sum up to $3.2 trillion by the year 2017.
- A global growth of 35% is expected for mobile payment transactions between 2012 and 2017.
Why M-Commerce is trending?
- The increasing uptake of handheld devices and mobile apps, which in turn, increases the demand for new and convenient applications to avail goods and services.
- The fast adoption of e-commerce backed by the quick resolution of the associated security issues.
- Technological advancements that have given advanced capabilities and substantial computing power to the wireless handheld devices.
In order to leverage the potential of the m commerce market, various device manufacturers are working with different carriers to develop WAP-enabled smart gadgets. Using Bluetooth technology, smart devices offer converged phone, e-mail and fax capabilities on a single device. This paves the way for M-commerce to be readily accepted by an everyday increasing mobile workforce.
Mobile Commerce Technologies
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacon- BLE Beacon is a wireless technology for personal area network. It transmits the static, same message to all the recipients lying in its range. It is most beneficial for location-based advertising, payment data retrieval and loyalty rewards management.
Near Field Communication (NFC)- NFC is a set of protocols allowing for radio communication between multiple devices brought into contact or close proximity to a distance of 10 cm with each other. It tags store static information available to be retrieved by a reader device. It is most beneficial for interactive advertising.
Quick Response (QR) Code- QR codes are machine readable barcodes with outstanding data storage capability and extremely high data-fault tolerance. QR codes consist of an array of black and white squares used for storing information, readable by a built-in smartphone camera. These can be placed virtually anywhere and are useful for payment data retrieval and ticketing.
The range of mobile commerce enabled devices is rapidly growing and has expanded its reach to smartphones and tables in the recent years. The increasing adoption of e-commerce with new technological innovations has provided a strong foundation for m-commerce, which is going to continue on a very strong growth trajectory for the years to come.
As the content delivery over wireless devices has become more secure, faster and scalable over the past few years, there is a wide anticipation that m-commerce will surpass e-commerce as a method of choice for digital transactions in the times to come.