Can M-commerce fit any type of business model?

by Jayson Herewini

There are more mobile phones in homes than there are TVs, toothbrushes and computers.

With over 4.6 billion smartphones in the world and 56 percent of smartphone users spending their time browsing either on mobile websites or in mobile apps this is not surprising. In New Zealand, for instance, almost every household today has a smartphone, an iPad or similar device. 

Farmer smiling

Through personal observation I have noticed that  just about everyone I know uses their mobile device to play games, view videos online or check their emails. I find that other functions like talking on the phone, sending emails, texts and browsing websites are also done while waiting in line at the movies, video store or whilst at home.  Some are beginning to use their devices to pay bills, buy goods online  or look up a local restaurant.

M-commerce, still misunderstood

Interestingly, however, the reality is that 99% of my clients are not fully aware of how mobile commerce fits into their business model. With so many people using an iPhone, Android or Blackberry, it's important to stay at the leading edge of technology.

I speak to a lot of SMEs and Small office/home office entrepreneurs and everyone seems to agree that some of the biggest hurdles when it comes to mobile commerce are cost, lack of information or not knowing how to align their business model for mobile commerce.

Of course, there are companies where mobile commerce fits their business model like a glove - industries like restaurant chains use mobile apps to help their customers find their location, make reservations and place orders. Banks also use mobile commerce for their customers to check account balances, search transaction history and transfer money between accounts. Even some airlines are now allowing boarding passes to be sent electronically. With a bit of creative thinking mobile commerce can even be open to tourist attractions where customers can use an official mobile app, to navigate their way through amusement parks.

How can you apply M-commerce to your business model?

What about the companies out there that sell and ship physical products? How can they benefit and claim a slice of this mobile commerce pie? I am talking about the mum and dad running a hardware store, for example. Could they allow their contractors to order and pay for supplies from their mobile phones? 

Or how about pharmacies?  - they may want to provide free information for customers like, which medicine they would recommend for hay fever to people with type 2 diabetes. This would open the door to earn revenues through advertising and discount coupons.

And what about the companies that sell or repair white goods? By making it easy for the customers to call them, these businesses could be offered a discount voucher. Or how about using mobile apps to provide their own service technicians much needed data on the go? This way, they would be empowered to make quick and reliable system diagnostics, saving customers and businesses not only money but also time and unnecessary travel costs as repairmen would not need to go back to the workshop and back to the site again. 

M-commerce predictions and behaviour

I believe that with a proper business assessment, mobile commerce, websites and apps can be made to work in and for any industry. This is only the start of a very exciting new way to trade. In the next few years we will see a widespread usage of m-commerce practices, fuelled by millions of SMEs that will soon realise that having a mobile website is as important as having a phone number and repeat customers.

Currently, there are businesses out there who are using m-commerce and using it well to grow their business. But, on the other end of the spectrum, there are other businesses who have purchased a mobile website from a mobile website development company, paid big dollars for their website and were left to their own devices. The consequences of these type of transactions are not good for our industry nor for the economy as a whole.  Our first responsibility is to our clients, their business and helping them grow. Then, we need to show our customers how the apps that we supply them with can help them automate, capture, respond to, gather knowledge of and follow up with every prospect that comes into contact with their mobile websites and apps. 

Such type of service is a much better solution than adopting the build-it-and-they-will-come type of mobile website and app for customers because we understand that most small business owners are too busy to look after the marketing, advertising and lead generation strategies of their mobile website.  

is a respected loving father, leader and  owner of a NZ based mobile marketing and communications company which specializes in developing high traffic mobile websites for businesses. Mobile traffic 2.0 makes it easy for businesses to have affordable and dynamic web apps and mobile websites. The team at Mobile traffic 2.0 take pride in helping small smart business owners, consultants, service professionals authors, specialists and coaches capture, respond to, gather knowledge of and follow up with every prospect who comes into contact with their mobile websites and apps. Visit www.mobiletraffic2.com for a 14 day free trial.

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