Mobile expert and MBA Vibhuti Singh discusses the next huge shift in the world of commerce.
We live in an increasingly digital world, with the differences between the offline and online world becoming more blurred.
The boundaries for commerce are mitigated. Pure-play business models (like Amazon, eBay etc.) cannot exist without brick and mortar, neither can brick and mortar without online presence. Up until now, purchases on the Internet were recognised for lower value sales. This perception is changing, with even previously reluctant luxury goods businesses providing customers with an online shopping experience.
It’s increasingly common behaviour for consumers to do initial research while commuting on their mobile phones, crosschecking prices in the physical store and purchasing items at home via their computers. The explosive growth in m-commerce can be largely attributed to reachability, ubiquity, localisation, personalisation and ubiquity.
The world has evolved into a place which is always ‘on’. The size of content grew nine times in five years to nearly two zettabytesin 2011. We are sharing our photos on Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, videos on YouTube, sounds on SoundCloud, listening to music from Spotify, conducting business on Skype, navigating using Google Maps, finding restaurants using Yelp and professional networking via LinkedIn.
Growth of on-demand services
Mobile has been a strong factor behind the growth of on-demand services and the ever connected world. As noted by CNNIC, in China Internet access via mobile is continuing to grow compared with Internet access via desktops. A similar trend has happened in South Korea. The increasing capabilities of mobile phones means they can perform similar tasks to a traditional computer but they have additional features which makes e-commerce a much better experience. The convenience of discovering, researching and purchasing on the go added with the functionality of a quality product search (such as RedLaser and barcode readers), local product search (eBay, kleinanzeigen) makes whole purchasing experience more context aware.