The global business environment was much affected after the advent of e-commerce. However, after exploring the world of e-commerce, brands and retailers are continuously looking for some new and innovative applications, technology and infrastructures to attract more customers to bring more profits. The increasing trend of mobile computing coupled with wireless technology provided the innovative environment that businesses were looking for through the platform of mobile commerce or mcommerce – the new area of interest for businesses today.
This new concept facilitated the electronic market by crating completely new opportunities for businesses through the help of mobile devices, especially the smartphones and tablets. The potentials of mobile commerce evoked the curiosity of the marketers and various studies were conducted to point out its advantages as well as the issues and challenges faced by businesses. However, almost all the studies showed that mobile commerce technology has more strategic advantages than the challenges it can create for a business. In fact, according to Juniper Research’s recent report that tracks mobile market data, by 2017 mobile commerce transactions’ value will reach $3.2 trillion from its present figure of $1.5 trillion in 2013.
For retailers who are afraid to fall into the trap of showrooming, the data from a digital coupon website called RetailMeNot.com will be an eye-opener. The site found that 8 in 10 respondents come from mobile devices for doing online researches. Around 54% of the consumers surveyed said that they used their mobile devices to purchase something before the survey was conducted, which happened in April 2013.
Though mobile commerce technology is still in its infancy, a number of companies are moving from the traditional brick and mortar stores to more dynamic thumb click sales to generate more business. Considering the potentials of mcommerce, many businesses are integrating other developments into mobile commerce technology to create a dynamic shopping experience for buyers. One of such developments that gained a lot of momentum these days is the mobile image recognition technology.
This mobile commerce technology allows you to search the store/ site where you can buy that that dress you saw someone wearing at the party last evening! All you need to do is take a picture of the object you would like to know about and your smartphone will take you to an online store where you can buy one for yourself. Though the technology is still developing, mobile image recognition is gaining traction, especially with the growing popularity of augmented reality.
In fact, retailers in many parts of the world including USA and UK are already taking advantages of mobile visual search for targeted mobile commerce applications and the trend is expected to become commonplace within the next three years as it provides consumers with the ease of finding anything they see on the street, meaning more business for the retailers. However, there are some challenges developers need to solve before making mobile visual search mainstream. One of them is to make the image recognition technology able to recognize 3D objects accurately as well as to do it while considering the privacy of the people.
As mentioned earlier, mobile commerce goes beyond online shopping after the emergence of augmented reality technology. AR is one trend that brick and mortar stores can capitalize on to gain customer attention as well as to increase brand engagement and loyalty. This mobile commerce technology allows buyers to browse in store and elsewhere.
In fact, by blurring the gap between bricks and clicks with the help of mobile commerce technology many brands have seen a considerable growth in their mobile shopping that outpaced the industry average.