Mobile Technology and Its Impact on e‐Commerce
E-commerce plays a major role in the world. However, applications and technologies are shifting towards mobile computing and the wireless web. While this is the case, the advancements have also brought into play a host of challenges, especially concerning wireless electronic commerce. Because of varying preferences of customers, development of these applications is a continuous process to satisfy the market. Mobile electronic-commerce, which uses portable devices to transact business, has become a major part of people’s lives. Common portable devices include laptops, mobile telephones, and vehicle-mounted interfaces among others (Lamersdorf 243).
The only requirement for mobile electronic commerce is to have access to mobile wireless, which is Web or WAP enabled (Lamersdorf 255). It is worth noting that phones and other hand-held gadgets have limitations, including low memory, small screens and few input devices. They do not have traditional computer keyboards and have limited text lines and character entries. To the contrary, laptops support many devices, have huge data storage capacity, have traditional keyboards and have large screens.
The main concern for manufacturers is deciding the most effective way individuals to use apps to access information through the gadgets. For this reason, there is need for manufacturers to go back to application software and operating systems for a range of platforms. Portable devices can support apps including Palm’s PalmOS, Microsoft’s Pocket PC OS, WAP, SMS, Web and I-node (Nickerson & Warkentin 446). While some of these apps meet the needs of most users, they have limited functionality. Thus, manufacturers and app developers have the task of improving functionality of these devices to enhance their capabilities (McConnell, Merz, and Maesano 370).
Mobile e-commerce therefore denotes business to consumer moneymaking activities, conducted sing mobile devices. With wireless technology, there is hope for mobile sub-net in the e-commerce world. Today, most people in the world own mobile phones, which largely rely on wireless technology. Other devices allow voice communication while others concentrate on non-voice functionalities like watching videos, Geo-location data, reading emails and accessing internet (McConnell, Merz & Maesano 378). This has led to change in purchaser payment market. With these devices, e-commerce is simpler and convenient around the globe. Because of developments in mobile e-commerce, there is massive manufacture of handsets, improved technology and affordable data prices. These have encouraged more usage of mobile data than in previous years.
Mobile e-commerce has also led to the rise of consumer benefits and protection to consumer issues. They include mobile payment and banking, premium services, mobile shopping and mobile marketing, just but a few. With premium services, users buy digital content and electronic information via text messages, where the costs add up to the mobile phone expenditure (Tsalgatidou 252). Examples of SMS free-based services are horoscopes, SMS voting system, flight status alerts and dating chat sites among others. Because of development of wireless networks, there is enhanced data transfer and better display capabilities by portable devices. They also have good processing power, which promote internet-enabled services (Tsalgatidou 276). Today, there are content portals, which offer a range of free services like downloading games, videos and ringtones. It is therefore clear that mobile content has massively evolved to meet the changing needs of the market. With mobile payment and banking, financial institutions offer text banking to online clients. Through this platform, a customer can view account balance and recent transactions on phone. On the other hand, mobile payment software allow customers to text their payments, where companies offer traditional trust services via the internet by expanding the functionality of the device. Oftentimes, they improve privacy through encryption and public key management (Nickerson and Warkentin 440).
Besides the advantages above, wireless apps and technologies have a range of demerits in mobile e-commerce worldwide. The absence of mobile device standardization all over the world is a major concern. Mobile devices differ from country to country and even within a particular country. The inequality in acquiring and access wireless web technology also affects mobile e-commerce in the world. It is clear that some countries have low demand for mobile device capacity. For example, Japan and Europe have higher demand for mobile devices than the U.S (Tsalgatidou 268). Very few Americans use wireless devices compared to people living in Europe and Asia. Americans also have lesser usage rates than Asians and Europeans. Experts observe that there will be lower demand for 3G internet to hit critical levels, hindering development of e-commerce within affected countries.
In conclusion, technology development has played a major role in mobile e-commerce development. Today, millions of people all over the world depend on this technology to transact businesses. With rapid advancement in wireless devices, there is need to ensure that the devices function properly. There is also need for development of wireless communication with high bandwidth to meet the demands of mobile e-commerce and wireless apps.
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Lamersdorf, M. Trends in Distributed Systems for Electronic Commerce. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, NewYork, 1998: 220-298. Print.
McConnell, M. Merz, L. & Maesano, M. An Open Architecture for Electronic Commerce. OMG/ECDTF/OSM Response, 1997: 315-387 Print.
Nickerson, R. and Warkentin, M. Wireless/Mobile E-commerce: Technologies, Applications and Issues. Seventh Americans Conference on Information Systems, 2001: 420-477 Print.
Tsalgatidou, A. Business models and transactions in mobile electronic commerce: requirements and properties. Computer Networks, 2001: 221-289. Print.