A recent survey by Adobe Systems Inc. showed that 80% of the businesses have or plan to have a mobile commerce site.
An interesting introduction to m-commerce would be “Mobile commerce is a business model that allows a consumer to complete all steps of a transaction by using a mobile phone or personal digital assistant (PDA) rather than by going to a physical store or by voice. Downloading ring tones and screensavers and using different types of paid information (traffic reports, sports news, etc.) and entertainment services (SMS chats, games, etc.) are common types of mobile commerce, but mobile commerce transactions can also include purchasing physical goods such as books to be delivered offline.”
eBay is going mobile at a great pace. By the end of 2009, customers had already bought US$600 million worth of products from their mobile phones. Their primary mobile app has been downloaded 12 million times. The head of eBay’s mobile efforts, plans to help the users search for a product using this new mobile app. Another app that is in pipeline will allow users to scan gift cards and coupons from eBay apps. They are also looking forward to enhancing Red Laser, a barcode scanning app, that eBay brought earlier this year. The idea is to have an app that identifies a product by its shape and color. This is similar to Goggles by Google, that helps you search the web using pictures. MasterCard recently agreed to acquire DataCash, a European Payment Service Provider. MasterCard plans to extend the DataCash platform and launch a new generation of e-commerce, mobile-commerce and other payment products. In the process, the focus would be to ensure that the merchant faces minimal integration challenges.
Location apps are the next genre of apps, gaining importance. Once you download the app provided by a retailer, you are connected to its outlets via GPS. As you walk into a retail store, and open the app for that store, the app realizes you are in the store, thanks to GPS. Some retailers allow you to check in and reward you with points or discount coupons.
Walmart.com, Amazon, StrandBooks.com, Dell are the ones who have jumped into the m-commerce band wagon. The next to follow the m-commerce trend would be the Insurance Industry. Tech analysts have predicted this, for if not, they will lose out on the new generation investors.
Guess its time we too think of apps in this direction…what is your take on this?