Why you should know the difference between a mobile commerce technology and a mobile commerce strategy

Mobile commerce comes in a number of different forms.

When your company talks about its mobile commerce strategy, what is it really saying? The truth is, simply talking about mobile commerce as a strategy geared towards facilitating future sales may be a misguided approach. 

This was brought up in a recent Gigaom article that suggested "the future of mobile commerce is commerce." What exactly does that mean? Cormac Foster, the article's author, says too many organizations are concerning themselves with implementing a technology designed to process mobile payments, and that they are tying their mobile commerce strategy to whatever technology they buy. Foster's thesis ultimately is that mobile commerce is an abstract concept because it entails so many different ideas and technologies, so finding the "right" technology to manage mobile sales is really an exercise in futility.

"'Mobile commerce' is a bit of a rabbit hole," Foster writes. "As a concept it makes sense to look at all the ways in which users will transact on their mobile devices. But mobile commerce encompasses a number of entirely different spaces."

He listed several, including:

  • Commerce website accessed via mobile device
  • Mobile-optimized/responsive website purchase via device
  • Mobile device payment at retail POS
  • Mobile app-only purchases (e.g. Uber, Square)
  • In-app social media purchases (ex. Facebook, Twitter)
  • Mobile-specific rewards, couponing to drive physical store traffic/transactions

Merchants must understand the difference between the various mobile commerce solutions and find the platform that best fits their needs. As millennials increasingly prefer to incorporate their mobile phones into payment processes, merchants have to find a way to capitalize on it, but need to do so properly. Merchant service providers can help understand the nuances between various mobile commerce solutions and ensure the right strategy is implemented. 

by Ty Hardison

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