Companies seek mobile commerce killer app


A recent report from the International Wireless trade show sought to find what decision-makers and customers alike want from the next generation of mobile commerce application. Mobile commerce and ecommerce in general are critical to the big picture of modern retail, as they are both on the rise among increasingly connected consumers.

The combination of a strong transaction management system that will help customers make purchases and turn them into repeat buyers and a supply chain management strategy that allows for rapid order shipping and instant fulfillment are the fundamentals of multi-channel retail.

Wants and needs found that there will not be one single breakthrough that makes mobile commerce truly miantsream. The source instead posited that a series of small improvements to the processes of mobile transactions will make customers more comfortable using mobile devices to buy as well as to comparison shop.

One suggested development that could help is a digital wallet that anticipates customers' moves, making processes easier based on past information. An important factor with such a system is making it more helpful than frightening to have an application that knows a buyer's next likely move.

Merchants, the source reported, largely favor a more standardized ecommerce environment for mobile. Until a consensus on such a solution is reached, companies could profit from making sure they have the best transaction management system available. There is wide disparity between the best and worst ecommerce experiences, and making sure it is palatable can be a positive differentiator.

Ecommerce numbers are large

The fervor over ecommerce effectiveness is due to its extreme popularity as a method of sales. The latest comScore data shows that online commerce spiked 17 percent between the first quarter of 2011 and the same period this year. The year-over-year jump is the largest since the last quarter of 2007, meaning consumers are aggressively pursuing online purchases. The total amount spent online by U.S. shoppers in the period was more than $44 billion.

Tablets see wide use

Tablet use is also on the increase, according to a recent Adobe survey. Tablets, a new technology area, represent an untested variable for online sellers. Their contribution to mobile commerce, however, could be significant in the face of rapid and growing adoption.

Importantly, users are surfing the internet on tablets at a rate that has them set to pass smartphones for total traffic by 2013. In the first two years since their introduction, tablet web use grew 10 times faster than the same rate for smartphones, according to Adobe, while the past year alone saw 300 percent growth in tablet-based web surfing.