Mobile commerce has been around for almost 25 years and since its launch, it has only grown. Mobile commerce is simply retailing over a mobile phone. It involves using your mobile to perform regular transactions. So what do I mean by regular transactions?
Have you ever transferred money from your mobile to another bank account? What about using your phone as a credit card (I know I have)? I believe you have definitely purchases movie tickets using your Smartphone. Well, my dear readers, these are all examples of mobile commerce.
From simple mobile cash transfers to complex purchasing abilities, mobile commerce has changed how we do business. Best of all, nothing has become complicated for the end user; you and I.
What’s interesting is that you probably think that mobile commerce is simply restricted to the examples I mentioned, right? Well, mobile commerce also involves mobile:
- Electronic or individual tracking
- Remote accessing
- Micro transactions
- Content delivery
- Bank account management
- Credit card replacement
What’s interesting is that there are many other uses, a lot more than being written here at least. But the fact remains that mobile commerce has become an important part of our lives. Moreover, with the improvement in technology, and increased accessibility, mobile commerce is growing faster than anybody predicted it would.
The History of Mobile Commerce
While I realize that the last thing you want to do is read a history lesson, I think it’s important for you to read it. I believe that one cannot truly appreciate his job and industry until he knows the history behind it. Not only does it give you insight, it gives you the motivation to move forward. Fortunately, I’m going to give you the really short version.
On 10 November 1997, the Global Mobile Commerce Forum was created. With Kevin Duffey as the Executive Chairman, the meeting was underway; a meeting that would revolutionize the world.
It was in this meeting that Kevin Duffey and Tom Alexander provided forecasts for the mobile industry. During this meeting, they projected that mobiles, especially mobile usage and transactions, were going to completely change the way people do business. So impressed with their details, forecasts and enthusiasm, within 12 months over 100 companies decided to join the forum.
Soon, companies such as Nokia, Alcatel, Vodafone, Motorola, Logica and MasterCard were testing the theories proposed in the meetings and found that they really were true.
Now the boring bit is over, let’s get to the interesting side of the history lesson – the growth of mobile commerce.
The Growth of Mobile Commerce
Did you know that in 1997, Coca Cola installed 2 vending machines in Finland that worked via mobile phone? You had to send an SMS to pay for the drink, allowing you to take it out of the vending machine.
In the same year, we were given the ability to download mobile ringtones. This was a huge leap in mobile commerce, especially for Radiolinja, the mobile company that launched the product.
Within 5 years, the industry expanded exponentially, blowing the previous forecasts away. The first half of 2000 saw the launch of mobile parking payments and train and airline ticketing.
With all the rapid changes, the Forum quickly estimated the industry’s potential and found that in the next 3 years, it would be worth close to the US $ 200 billion.
With the invention of PDAs and feature phones (Nokia 6600 anyone?), everything changed yet again. Soon, books were being published about mobile commerce, with the first from Tomi Ahonen in 2002.
By 2003, short courses were being taught on the subject at Oxford University. With the invention of WAP, mobile commerce changed again. You could finally send faxes and emails from your feature phone and/ or PDA.
With the invention of smartphones, the world, and mobile commerce, changed forever. From simple transaction confirmations and downloadable ringtones to NFC, mobile ad banners, QR codes and mobile wallets, mobile commerce has changed exponentially.
Did you know that as of 2012, over 41% of Smartphone users have used their Smartphone to make a purchase? Today, mobile commerce has taken the world by storm and mobile marketing has become a dominant field.
While many still call this field young, I would like to clarify that it is not young BUT, its potential is still practically untapped. In fact, according to most experts, we have barely touched the surface.
Even with all the advancements in smartphones, internet capabilities, availability of mobile websites, the integration of e-commerce and the development of mobile marketing techniques, we have barely tapped into this practically unlimited market.
The Future Potential of Mobile Commerce
While we can all see how mobile commerce has revolutionized the way we do business, I find it interesting how many people still do not believe in the true value of mobile commerce. If you don’t believe in the value of mobile commerce, let me show you just how big the market potential is.
- As of Q1 2013, mobile commerce in China is worth almost US $ 4.5 billion dollars, with projections of $ US27.1 billion by 2014.
- By the end of 2013, mobile commerce in the UK will be worth £ 6.61 billion, with a projected value of almost £ 20 billion by 2021.
- By the first half of 2013, almost 14 million Japanese consumers used their mobile wallet to make a transaction.
- By 2016, mobile commerce in the US was worth a quarter US$31 billion dollars.
- By 2015, global mobile commerce was worth more than US$119 billion.
Still, doubt the potential of mobile commerce? Remember, projections can always change. With the increasing adoption rate of smartphones and mobile shopping, especially in the United States, mobile commerce could skyrocket.
With an ever-increasing number of online stores gearing towards mobile sales, mobile commerce is set to expand rapidly on a global scale. In fact, it is highly likely that it will be valued at well US$119 billion by 2015. Of course, that all depends on the adoption and confidence rate of global shoppers.
Mobile Marketing and Consultancy – The Perfect Match
Contrary to popular belief, mobile marketing is not a new field. In fact, did you know that according to historical data, mobile marketing is over a decade old? While it is true that it had a rather slow and rough start but hey, doesn’t everything?
Mobile marketing is providing information to mobile users through various means, the main being with a mobile. Mobile marketing aims to provide users with the latest information that promotes a specific product or service.
Before I go on about mobile marketing, I have a question for you, my dear reader. Have you ever heard of mobile marketing? I bet you have. If you can’t remember, perhaps I will have to jog your memory. SMS messages? Mobile ad banners? Push notifications? QR codes?
The fact is that you have probably heard of one or more of these marketing techniques, even if you never knew they were marketing techniques. If you have heard of any of the above terms, you have heard about mobile marketing.
To make things simpler, any kind of marketing on a mobile device is known as mobile marketing. What’s more is that this field is rapidly expanding, more than can even be projected accurately.
Most people are unable to keep up with this expansion and as such need help. This is where people like us come in – mobile marketing consultants. As experts, we help businesses get on board with mobile marketing.
So, what exactly do we do? I’m glad you asked.
Mobile marketing consultants are the perfect partner for any business looking to enter into the world of mobile commerce. Our job is simply to help businesses either enter into the world of mobile commerce or make their current mobile marketing campaigns more efficient and effective.
Contrary to popular belief, at our core, we DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT, offer implementation services. True mobile marketing consultants primarily provide informational and analytical services and recommendations to our clients. That’s kind of what “consultants” do.
Those in the core mobile marketing consultancy service DO NOT set up and maintain their clients’ mobile marketing campaigns. However, for the sake of clarity, times have changed. An increasing number of mobile marketing consultants are now managing their clients’ entire mobile marketing campaigns.
To ensure that we continue with the basics, here is a closer look at how mobile marketing consultants work. However, please remember that almost every mobile marketing consultant has a different method of work. The information below is an overview of the core steps.
Mobile marketing consultants work primarily in 3 steps. These steps include analysis, strategy creation and a follow-up. Below is a brief overview of each of the 3 stages.
Before anything can commence, it is vital to analyze a client’s business, its contact detail lists, product (or services) and its target market. This gives us insight as to which mobile marketing technique to use. Moreover, the results of the analysis enable the creation of personalized mobile marketing strategies.
2. Strategy Creation
Once a careful analysis of a business, it is important to create a number of mobile marketing strategies. During this step, mobile marketing consultants decide which strategies, techniques, tools and software needs to be used to ensure an effective and efficient mobile marketing campaign. In some cases, consumer information may be given to a client.
3. Follow up
After providing services to a client, mobile marketing consultants need to ensure that they are effective. As such, after a particular date, mobile marketing consultants meet with their clients and adjust any strategy or technique as needed.
By now, you may think that it’s an easy job. I mean, if it is so easy, why do businesses hire mobile marketing consultants in the first place, right? The fact of the matter is that being a mobile marketing consultant really is easy. However, being the BEST is not.
Businesses hire mobile marketing consultants because they don’t want to spend days, or even weeks, thinking about how to create an amazing mobile marketing campaign.
You may not know this but your clients know A LOT about mobile marketing. They could create a mobile marketing campaign in a few weeks if they wanted to. However, they know they would only be wasting their time and money because that campaign will either fail or not give a high return on investment (ROI).
That’s why they choose to hire mobile marketing consultants. They know that exceptional consultants have a high ROI. This, dear readers, is the key to building a million-dollar business – being the exceptional mobile marketing consultant.
I have seen many mobile marketing consultants jump into the business, armed with all the right knowledge. Unfortunately, each and every one of them jumped ship before anything good could come out of it. Moreover, neither could really convince any client that they were worth hiring, or rehiring in many cases. You could follow the basic 3 steps and be like everyone else.