m-commerceM-commerce is a rapidly growing phenomenon greatly driven by small and medium sized businesses, which are unencumbered with all the legacy systems and procedures in place. A growing number of analysts are predicting that throughout 2014, there will be a broadening trend of embracing this tech in many forms.

According to recent studies, 20% of Smartphone owners have used their devices as a virtual wallet and 28% expect to do so more in the future. A quarter of tablet owners have used their tablets as a virtual wallet in stores and 39% plan to do so more in the future.

Recent research by BIA/Kelsey determined that approximately 40 percent of Small & Medium Businesses are using mobile point of sale (mPOS) technology. These mobile devices are used in store to help consumers to make purchases outside of a traditional checkout counter. It is predicted that this number will only rise if Small & Medium Business will spend more money on mobility over the next half decade.

The m-commerce technology is evolving and innovations are being developed to improve convenience, efficiency, and cost effectiveness. This will help in areas including inventory, paperless inventory, online banking, and m-payments that gives these entrepreneurs new and innovative ways to use digital means for transacting business. Overall, this is an appealing playing field for the Small & Medium Business (SMB) community.

Leading online ecommerce sites such as eBay and Amazon.com are adding m-commerce to their services to leverage this fast growing segment.  Both Android and Apple iOS are already market leaders in delivering content and services over mobile phones using them with the iTunes and Google Play type apps. Google, Groupon, Craigslist, eBay are some of the most visited websites by smartphone users.

According to the 4th Annual Mobile Mystery Shopping Report from The E-tailing Group Inc., 6 retailers among 50 large well-known merchants offer consumers exceptional mobile commerce website shopping experiences on smartphones. The six retailers were the only ones to score above 80, which The E-tailing Group defines as the minimum score for a rating of exceptional. The retailers are: Toys “R” Us Inc. (83.50), American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (82.50), Crate & Barrel (82.25), Nordstrom Inc. (80.25), Sephora USA Inc. (80.25) and Foot Locker Inc. (80.25).

Emerging start-ups are trying to bring mobile payments to the masses, Square has gained some traction,  Google has been trying to do the same with its Google Wallet, Apple’s Passbook service is moving into the payments direction too. PayPal is also venturing into mobile payments, too. The credit card companies, fearful of losing business, have a started an effort called Isis which in limited trials.

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Various products and services are now available on Mobile devices driving ever increasing use of mobiles devices for commercial purposes. Some of the trending mobile phone services include:

  • Mobile Money Transfer
  • Mobile ATM
  • Mobile ticketing
  • Mobile Vouchers, coupons and loyalty cards
  • Mobile Banking
  • Mobile Brokerage
  • Mobile Auctions
  • Mobile browsing
  • Mobile Payment & Purchases
  • Mobile marketing and advertising