Research Papers

M-Commerce Research Paper

1. Introduction
During the recent years mobile commerce is gaining more and popularity and acceptance all over the world. People demand more mobility for the services they use upon everyday basis and that necessity is the driving force for the development of mobile commerce along with rapid development of computers and mobile communication devices. In this paper I will describe the background for the development of the mobile commerce, research into its potential benefits, as well as investigate further developments of this type of commerce.

2. Background
Mobile services, along with mobile commerce, are growing very fast. From the very beginning m-commerce was not very successful, but now the situation with it is showing signs of healthy recovery. Development of m-commerce is tightly connected with the technological innovations, for example, the faster transmission of data, more technically advanced devices with better computing capacity, more storage spaces for data and better interfaces.

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In general terms, m-commerce is said to be the by-product of the convergence of information technologies with telecommunication technologies. M-commerce can be also regarded as the extension of e-commerce. In order to differentiate those two notions, it is essential to understand the definitions. E-commerce, or specifically the word “electronic”, refers to “anytime access to business processes”, in the same time the word “mobile”, in m-commerce, signifies “anytime and anywhere access” (Tiwari, Buse, and Herstatt, 2006, p. 39).

M-commerce services and applications include mobile banking (mobile accounting, mobile brokerage and mobile financial information), mobile entertainment (mobile gaming, ring tones and music downloads, digital images and video downloads, location-based entertainment services), mobile information services (information about current affairs- economic, financial, sport news, weather, etc., travel information, tracking services, mobile office, mobile search engines), mobile marketing (mobile couponing, mobile newsletter, direct marketing, mobile events organization), mobile shopping, mobile ticketing (public transportation, air and rail traffic, cultural and sports events, mobile parking), and finally telematics services (remote diagnosis and vehicle maintenance, navigation services, vehicle tracking and protection from thefts, and emergency services) (Tiwari et al., 2006, p. 42).

Many services that m-commerce offers can be also useful in stationary Internet, for instance, purchasing tickets to a baseball match. M-commerce reveals new business opportunities by making possible such location-based, innovative services that the stationary Internet is not able to offer. For example, the location of the nearest Automatic Teller Machine right here and right now, can only be provided after determination of the present geographic location of the user.

In m-commerce, the main characteristic and criterion of mobility is access method. Not all mobile devices can offer mobile access to telecommunication networks. For example, a laptop, though it is a mobile device, in general involves immobile network access. And even when a laptop is connected to the wireless network, it is impossible to use it when on move, due to its weight and size. From the other standpoint, telematics devices that are mounted in vehicles can provide mobile access to telecommunication networks. The computer-mediated networks can be partially wired or completely wired, as long as they are capable of receiving and handling requests that are sent by mobile devices. Some transactions can be processed in a stationary sector. For instance, when the person orders clothes using a mobile phone, it is the m-commerce transaction, even though transaction is processed by immobile computers, the ordered clothes are delivered by snail mail and paid against an invoice. What is essential, is that at least the beginning of the process or its end is carried out with the utilization of mobile access via an electronic device. Finished transaction does not need to be of monetary character, if the transaction is performed as the marketing measure.

3. Potential Benefits of M-Commerce
M-commerce can be described by definite unique characteristics that equip it with particular benefits, compared to conventional forms of commercial transactions, and e-commerce as well.

First of all, it is ubiquity, which signifies that the user can utilize services and carry out transactions regardless his or her present geographic location (the feature when it is available “anywhere”). This convenient feature can be useful in many cases, for instance to cross-check prices when being in the supermarket or when on the move. Then comes immediacy, which is closely related to ubiquity, and is regarded as the possibility of real-time availability of services (again “anytime” feature). This feature is especially attractive for services that have critical in time and require a fast reaction, for instance, information from stock market for a broker. In addition, the consumer can purchase goods and services whenever he or she needs them. The transaction immediacy assits in capturing consumers at the moment of their intention and, in such a manner, sales are not lost in the interval between the intention point and the moment of factual purchase (Tiwari and Buse, 2007).

Localization is another benefit of m-commerce. Positioning technologies, such as the Global Positioning System (GPS), allow companies that are in m-business, to offer goods and services to the consumer specifically taking into consideration his current location. Location-based services can be proposed in order to meet needs and wishes of consumers regarding localized services and content.

Instant connectivity is next benefit on the menu. Staring with the introduction of the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), mobile devices can be always “online”, for example, in touch with the network (the feature of “alwayson”). This feature is very convenient to the user, as he does not need to use dial-up that is very time consuming, or boot processes.

M-commerce is immediate, personal and local, and therefore it affords new opportunities for push-marketing, such as product and content offers. Services like “opt-in advertising” can be proposed, so that the consumer could choose those services, products and companies that he wants to get information about. The Short Message Service (SMS) can be involved to send short text messages to users, providing them information, regarding relevant local offerings that best suit their wants and needs. This feature makes sure that the adequate and proper information is provided to the consumer at the right place, at the right time, or in other words, when and where he ever needs it. The consumer in his turn is not anxious that he can miss some potentially essential information or get it not timely (Tiwari et al., 2006, p. 40-41).

M-commerce can also utilize simple authentication procedure, as mobile telecommunication devices function with an electronic chip that is called Subscriber Identity Module (SIM). The SIM is registered with the network operator and the owner, therefore, can be easily identified. The clear identification of the consumer, combined with an individual Personal Identification Number (PIN), makes any additional time-consuming, complicated and potentially ineffective authentication process needless(Tiwari et al., 2006, p. 40-41).

4. Further Required Research
Several elements of the m-commerce need some additional research, including the way how consumers interact with their phones, in order to make purchasing decisions and gather necessary information. There is an opinion that consumers already are comfortable enough downloading simple things from their mobile phones (for instance, ringtones, games, music, basic financial information), but it is obvious that little information is available about the number of attempts users undertake to fulfill the purchase before they give up and what are those reasons for such behavior (Troutman and Timpson, 2008).

Research also should involve investigation of consumer trends in the smartphone use to communicate compared with the utilization of PC/MAC functions (for instance, texts, e-mail, IM). In the long run, additional studies should research trends in marketing to separate consumers that involve data mining techniques through either mass media or Internet web sites. Understanding of these factors will assist in the creation of more effective and convenient programs that push content and create conversions at the point of contact with ultimate consumers (Rohit, 2008).

5. Conclusion
In the conclusion I would like to summarize that m-commerce is the extension of e-commerce and it offers services to consumers in more convenient and timely way. M-commerce services and application include mobile banking, mobile entertainment, mobile information services, mobile marketing, mobile shopping, mobile ticketing, and telematics services.

Among benefits of m-commerce are its ubiquity, immediacy, localization, instant connectivity, pro-active functionality and simple authentication procedure.

Even though m-commerce his already developed enough, there is still enough space for improvements.

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