Emerging Value Propositions for M-Commerce

By Clarke, Irvine,, III | Journal of Business Strategies, Fall 2001 | Go to article overview

Emerging Value Propositions for M-Commerce


Clarke, Irvine,, III, Journal of Business Strategies


Abstract

The proliferation of mobile Internet devices is creating an unparalleled opportunity for e-commerce to leverage the benefits of mobility. Mobile e-commerce, commonly referred to as m-commerce, is the ability to purchase goods anywhere through a wireless Internet-enabled device. Current e-commerce providers, engaged through mobile devices, will find advantage in developing unique m-commerce value propositions founded upon the specific dimensions of: ubiquity, convenience, localization, and personalization. A consumer orientation that provides value-for-time functions to create a new value curve may achieve a competitive advantage over traditional e-commerce models replicated for mobile business. Therefore, this paper investigates the value propositions, that engender a productive mobile e-commerce strategy to provide recommendations for managerial decision-making in this emerging wireless environment.

Introduction

In the new decade, the call for information technology will be information, any time, any place and on any device. Accordingly, e-commerce is poised to witness an unprecedented explosion of mobility, creating a new domain of mobile commerce. Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is the ability to purchase goods anywhere through a wireless Internet-enabled device. Mobile commerce refers to any transaction with monetary value that is conducted via a mobile network. It will allow users to purchase products over the Internet without the use of a PC. "Within five years, individual e-commerce services will be primarily delivered by wireless and the wireless terminal will become the window of choice to the transactional e-world," says Neil Montefiore, executive of Singapore mobile operator M1 (Hoffman, 2000, p.20). This proliferation of wireless capability has created an emerging opportunity for e-commerce businesses to expand beyond the traditional limitations of the fixed-line personal computer.

The magnitude of the mobile Internet revolution will pressure current e-commerce business models, create apertures for new mobile Internet companies, engender a stream of change among established e-commerce paradigms, and lead to a reconfiguration of value propositions in many industries (Evans & Wurster, 1997). However, m-commerce is still not without its limitations. The problems it must overcome include: uniform standards, ease of operation, security for transactions, minimum screen size, display type and bandwidth, billing services, and the relatively impoverished web sites. Due to current technological limitations, limited service availability, and varying mobile consumer behavior patterns, business strategies developed for m-commerce applications will find it necessary to emphasize differing characteristics than traditional e-commerce strategies (Barnett, Hodges & Wilshire, 2000; Datamonitor, 2000). Successful m-commerce providers will understand that consumers are unwilling to spend long periods "surfing' on these inherently less user-friendly wireless devices (Albright, 2000). Wireless users demand packets of hyper-personalized information, not scaled-down versions of generic information. Therefore, technology-focused wireless Internet business models will be replaced by models which best integrate the unique characteristics of wireless m-commerce. As such, the long-term success of e-commerce may be partially dependent upon the successful development of effective consumer-oriented m-commerce business strategies. "Mobile commerce is per se not included in the traditional e-commerce market models. M-commerce will be able to increase the overall market for e-commerce, because of its unique value proposition of providing easily personalized, local goods and services anytime and anywhere" (Durlacher, 2000, p. 12).

Despite tremendous interest in the melioration of m-commerce there is little, if any, research that examines how to develop a comprehensive consumer-oriented mobile e-commerce strategy. …

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