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Mobile Commerce offers Smes a Wealth of Untapped Business Opportunities

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Mobile commerce offers SMEs a wealth of untapped business opportunities

Sep 16, 2008, 12.00am IST

As SMEs move into the next phase of growth, the worry remains how to achieve differentiation and USPs which create a distinct mind space against the competition and build a culture of innovation. In the fiercely competitive world, innovation is the only way forward for cutting though the clutter.

M-commerce (Mobile commerce) offers a tremendous opportunity for SMEs to achieve this innovation and ifferentiation. A revolution of sort is taking place in the world of telecom and commerce this year, as mobiles make their first attempt to replace the credit card and wallet. With over 300 million mobile subscribers in the market place, the Indian telecom market is undergoing a metamorphosis.

Increasing the average revenue per user (ARPU) is now on the top of the agenda, along with adding more subscribers. There are over eight million new subscribers being added into the wireless world each month. Hence with over 300 million customers, this offers a good opportunity for SMEs to embrace m-commerce. It becomes more pertinent when we realise that by the year 2010 the country is expected to have 500 million mobile subscribers.

What is Mobile Commerce?

Mobile commerce may be understood as commerce on the move. It is defined as the ability to charge an amount of currency to a mobile phone. It is the ability to conduct commerce, using a mobile device, while on the move. With 'm-commerce' the user can complete any type of transaction, including buying and selling of products, availing services, transferring ownership or rights, transacting and transferring money by accessing wireless internet service on the mobile handset itself.

Over the last few years, the mobile and wireless market has been one of the fastest growing markets in the world and it is still growing at a rapid pace. In the current commerce industry, m-commerce has entered travel, entertainment, information and retail sectors. There are clearly two sets of opportunities for SMEs - one, making their existing products and services available for m-commerce and the second, joining the value chain and becoming an m-commerce value chain partner.

These opportunities clearly exist in establishing industry standards for m-commerce transactions, biometrics, application developers and others which are still evolving.

While the following products and services are currently available on the m-commerce platform, many more are being conceptualised as you read:

Mobile ticketing

Information services

Content purchase and delivery

Mobile banking

Mobile purchases

Mobile brokerage

Auctions.

Retail and M-commerce

Mobile purchase allows customers to shop online anytime, in any location, using a mobile device. Customers can browse, order and pay using their mobile phone or any other mobile device, thereby completing a purchase on a mobile phone alone.

Brokerage, Auctions and M-commerce

Stock market services offered via mobile devices are gaining popularity across the world and are known as mobile brokerage. These services in their mobile avatar allow the subscribers to react to stock market developments in a timely manner irrespective of their physical location.

M-commerce, the next big thing

TNN Apr 14, 2012, 02.46AM IST

LUCKNOW: With the growth of smartphones, tablets and mobile devices, mobile commerce or mcommerce has started to gain prominence amongst the digital marketplace. According to an eBay study, Mobile Assisted Commerce (MAC) is set to come to the mainstream in India in 2012. With reductions in smartphone prices and increased 3G penetration, m-commerce is set to increase.

The recent Airtel advertisement showing a girl buying bags after her mother sends money 'through mobile' or the one showing a friend helping another with Rs 65 through his mobile (for a drink of course!) are just the examples of companies trying to tap the m-commerce market in the country.

The idea is at a very nascent stage and things are moving slow, but in the right direction. eBay Inc clocked in revenues of 5 billion dollars globally from m-commerce in 2011 and expects to hit the 8 billion dollars mark in 2012. eBay India has seen tremendous demand of m-commerce in India. Indians being bargain hunters uses MAC for price comparison and then do the actual purchase.

"I always compare price from my mobile device before purchasing books. If I get a better bargain, I order it online," says Soujanya, a PR consultant by profession. She says there have been many instances when she visits a bookstore and after price comparison using her mobile device, she ended up ordering online.

A study by digital news website, Mashable, says that 47% of smartphone owners and 56% of tablet owners plan to purchase more products on their respective devices in the future. The market is virgin and with the betterment of e-commerce in general and mobile payment gateways in particular, change in perspective is expected.

mCommerce in India: The Opportunity

Shane Happach

Chief Commercial Officer, WorldPay

Posted: 12/11/2012 10:34

India's fast developing economy, coupled with a rise in the number of affluent middle class consumers, has led to a considerable appetite for eCommerce amongst the country's consumers. While fixed internet penetration remains lower than other developing markets, widespread smartphone ownership means that mobile commerce is accelerating faster than in Western markets. Here I explain how merchants can take advantage of the growing mCommerce opportunity...

According to World Bank statistics, India's vast population currently stands at 1.25 billion, second only to China in size. With the population's average age standing at just 26, This Is Money reports that India's middle class is expected to swell to 250 million by 2015, rising from a modest 50 million in 2005. The biggest single factor attributed to this rise in the middle class stems from domestic migration; more and more workers from India's rural areas are moving

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