M Commerce: the new bloom in Business and Market

By | Sep 27, 2015 | 1811 views Facebook Twitter Gmail Google+ Pinterest

Mobile Commerce is a subset of e-commerce involving use of Smartphones, tablets, phablets and other mobile devices along with wireless broadband technology. M-commerce is a new phenomenon which is fast catching up in India and all over the world. It essentially entails ensuring your online presence suitable for smaller screens of the Smartphones and other mobile devices. A primary feature of m-commerce is responsive web design, which means that a web site is designed in such a user friendly way that it can be easily viewed on mobiles as well as laptops/desktops.

According to a study by KPMG – IAMAI in July 2015, “There are 159 million Mobile Internet users in India and the number of Mobile Internet users in India is expected to grow to 314 million by the end of 2017 with a CAGR of around 28 per cent for the period 2013-2017. This impressive growth would drive India to become one of the leading Internet markets in the world with more than 50 per cent of Internet user base being mobile-only Internet users.”

Mobile has become the primary mode of accessing the internet and has become an important facet of realization of Digital India movement in India. Smartphones have proliferated at an increasing pace in urban as well as rural parts of India. The proliferation of mobile phones in India has bridged the digital divide. Now even the tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India are well connected to India and other parts of the world. It is easier and cheaper to buy a Smartphone rather than purchase a PC/ laptop. Mobiles are portable and offer so many services that users need look no further for their requirements. You can order grocery and even do banking with a mobile device. This is simply staggering.

What are the various facets of Mobile Commerce?

Online shopping:

E-commerce was the predecessor of online shopping via mobile devices. As the usage of Smartphones has increased at a fast pace, the e-tailers have also cashed on this trend. The online merchants have launched mobile -ready sites which offer easy navigation to the customers who are on the go. M- Commerce has emerged as a key to impulse shoppers largely due to evolution of mobile technologies with easy navigation tools, larger screens with higher resolutions and zoom feature from various angles which gives a detailed view of the product image. The e-stores have also created their Mobile apps which are customized to the needs and changing demographic s of customers. Through Mobile Commerce even small businesses are able to sell and promote their product and business in a cost effective manner. Even those who run a traditional brick-and-mortar- retail store can benefit from Smartphones and have a mobile-friendly presence say, by giving ads on the popular mobile sites. Recently, many big names in the industry have decided to go with just mobile apps, compelling people to think deeply to go with mobile apps and mobile sites.

Mobile Payments

The advent of Mobile payment has been a backbone of mobile commerce. Apart from using direct systems of cash transfer such as credit and debit cards, money transfer is now made possible via mobile handsets. These services are now provided by many companies through mobile wallets. With this service customers can use their mobile phone to transfer money, pay utility bills, book cabs, order food or make payments for goods and services in online platforms. These are secure methods of payments that are aided with extensive encryption. Even banking services are conducted through mobile sites and apps.

Mobile Apps

Mobile Apps have become popular for various industry sectors. Today, people download apps for online stores, for communication, for booking tickets, ordering food, booking appointments with the doctors, listening to their favourite music or to watch the latest movie! You name it and you have an app for it.

Social Media

The use of social media was popular even when Smartphones weren’t omnipresent but now with such a high penetration of cell phones & other mobile devices, social media has gained further traction. All the social media sites like Facebook& Twitter offer apps and in fact, social media apps are the very popular.

According to an online survey done by StoreHippo for 500 people, Shopping Apps, Social Media Apps, and Business Apps are the top categories with 76.47%, 70.59% and 67.65% respectively of total users voting for their popularity.

Conclusion

Mobile commerce has come of age and given the large and ever-growing number of mobile Internet users, none can ignore its pervading influence.  In fact, mobile unfriendly sites drive the customers away and damage customers’ perception of the brand.  It is important for businesses to leverage the benefits of mobile sites and apps in order to succeed.

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