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M-Commerce: Changing the retail landscape

Phoebe Magdirila | May 27, 2013
In a hyper connected and mobile age, retailers are waking up to the fact that they need to offer 'anytime anywhere' mobile shopping experiences for their customers, giving rise to what is now known today as mobile commerce or m-commerce.

Facing Implementation Challenges

Proviti's survey results also shows that mobile commerce security, policy and integration among their top five priorities. But with this average on a global scale, it sure shows how the SEA region, especially the Philippines have yet to grow into the technology.

Service provider for enabling m-commerce technologies Interactive Intelligence, likewise affirms that the local businesses own the desire to provide applications for mobile, but Tim Passios, the company's director of product marketing, highlights that there is an even bigger need for the companies to learn the main purpose of creating the mobile app for commerce. In a nutshell, he explains that any mobile application should be "more than just reproductions of their current websites that have been 'small-sized' to fit on mobile devices." It must also meet the demands of their customers, and are easy to use.

"Keep simplicity at the forefront," advices Passios. "But at the same time, don't over simplify and as a result, sacrifice the features and functionality that your customers are asking for."

Doing so won't be an easy task though. These requirements, when combined altogether, make the creation a "rather detailed and expensive process," he furthers.

Since "most companies don't have the experience or talent within their organization to create the applications," outsourcing the application development can cost "extremely high ranging anywhere from $5,000 for a single, simple application to well over $250,000 for a more full-featured app."

Netsuite's Pabellon adds that implementing m-commerce is "a core business competence" in itself and will require a new generation of systems. He states that businesses who intend to run such applications on on-premise legacy systems may have issues dealing with frustrated customers.

Businesses' systems must enable them "to manage their core interactions with customers seamlessly regardless of touch point," he says. Created mobile apps should have responsive design capabilities wherein "a single site can be optimized for all current devices, and any device that is created in the future."

Creating an App Enveloped with Security
Apart from cost and implementation complexity issues, various kinds of risks will be a major concern—something businesses have to face if they want to be on the competitive ladder.

The need for companies to develop mobile apps for commerce results in "significant pressure on IT departments and business leaders as they are asked to deliver more mobile technology-enabled services," says Proviti Managing Director and Leader of Global IT consulting Unit, Kurt Underwood. "This pressure forces them to take on considerably more risk than they're prepared for—especially in terms of policy, integration, data management, security and data privacy related to mobile commerce and social media proliferation and innovation."


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