Why Mobile Commerce is the Future
A New World
The truth is, the Internet has evolved since its origin. In fact, it has evolved so fast that it is difficult to keep up with. The evolution of technology has been rapid and has pushed us into a new information age. Not only that, it has introduced us to new ways to browse for, shop, and purchase items online. We were once mesmerized by our ability to send songs and photos to friends via Bluetooth on our expensive, new, color-screen cell phones and we were all taken aback by the introduction of Facebook in 2004. Indeed, the day we were able to connect to a Wi-Fi network with our cell phones was the day the world changed.
We once believed that we reached the pinnacle of innovation only to find within a decade that Internet access on cell phones is now a social norm and a social demand. And with that demand came the supply: Mobile Commerce came in to fill the gap in a growing market. Just as PayPal grew from the spark that was e-mail exchange, we have seen applications take over the smartphone world and become millionaire-making platforms. And it didn't stop with apps that charge for 'micro transactions'.
Have you made a purchase on your smartphone within the last 15 days?
E-commerce is the source for the birth of m-commerce. Once people were able to make purchases online, it was only a matter of time before technology caught up and extended its reach to the smartphone. Yet, it is because consumer choice has become such an overriding factor in the way that people spend their disposal income that advertisements have become so much more consumer-specific and consumer-targeted. If you were to scroll through Facebook right now, the same site that fascinated you a decade ago, you are bound to see a 'sponsored' post that is suspiciously close to what you might be interested in. This is because your entire online life is monitored so that you can be targeted with customer-specific ads. You might not be surprised by that, but it still is a scary thought.
Mobile commerce has become a solution to the ever-growing ways for people to combat ads on desktop computers. Indeed, you'll find it a lot more challenging to use an ad-block software on your smartphone than it is on your PC or Mac. From the simplistic devices that they originated as, with a few time-killing games and a limited memory for messages, cell phones have now become weapons of mass commerce.
An example of the type of growth that has come with the m-commerce business is through a company called ‘Magic’ in the United States. It has taken a hugely consumer-orientated approach using mobile commerce as its core competency. This particular firm enables customers, after they have provided their credit card and personal details on a safe website, to send a simple text message requesting whatever they feel like. ‘Magic’ then handles the specifics of how, where and when on the customer’s behalf and provides a simple price quote. They, thus, transform the concept of a service centre into a very individualized and consumer-specific service provider. An initial text message from the user, and a few simple follow-up questions by the company, result in a personalized service that is profitable on both sides of the transaction.
It is this ability to reach out to individual users that is the strength of m-commerce. People and companies all around the world have used the fact that everyone carries a smartphone to their advantage, and the result is a world where business has become digital. Spending money from your smartphone has become effortless, whether it be when using an app, purchasing a book on or Amazon KindleiTunes, or downloading music. Not only is it simple and easy, but it is also that there are clear advantages for businesses that decide to pursue customers through m-commerce:
- Development. Companies today go head-hunting at events like Hackathons and app-building competitions to recruit their future employers. The best of the best are working in the industry and there is a huge desire to take advantage of application stores.
- Consumers. More and more people are going to purchase smartphones, and there is unlikely going to be a replacement for them in the near future. The audience for potential businesses is tremendous, and international.
- Anywhere, anytime... Consumers are now able to shop 24/7. This means that any late-night impulses can be indulged in when playing on a smartphone. Moreover, they can be carried out from stores across the world.
- The Internet. Internet connections are becoming more and more widely available for people, both at home and as they're on the move.
While it is impossible to predict what will come next, it is clear that smartphones are playing a significant role in modern times, especially in terms of advertisement and consumer targeting. Technology has come a long way, but it's important to remember the purpose behind popular apps and free-to-use social media sites: They are all there to make profits from your smartphone use.