One Big Idea by Sanjay Tripathy: M-commerce is an enabler for information transaction and sharing

01 Feb,2013

By Sanjay Tripathy, Executive Vice President, Head, Marketing, Products & Direct Channels, HDFC Life

 

According to Google, one of the three big changes which will impact how people view and use technology and internet is the need for greater mobility and leveraging its advantages in our everyday life. And within mobile, the one big idea that I feel will change the game of business in the long run is Mobile Commerce. Let’s look at the statistics. Growth searches from mobile devices are actually doubling every 12 months. We have more people in the country and world accessing the internet through mobile devices than the fixed web – the mobile has become the first device to connect a majority of the populace to the web.

 

Currently, 25% of all the web searches are through mobile devices. One of the reasons behind this is the high penetration of mobile technology and rapid adoption of smart phones with 3G enabled services. Gartner says around 500 million phones were sold in Q2, of which 154 million were smartphones. This suggests that the total market for smartphones is around 600-800 million pa. All the important regulators and key players in mobile technology are working towards more efficient mobile commerce in India. Mobile commerce also provides immense opportunities to retailers in areas such as location-based services, near-field communication etc.

 

I feel m-commerce is more than just a tool for financial transactions; it is an enabler for information transaction and sharing while on the move. Convenient, and how! Smartphone users are already doing first level mobile transactions through the buying of different paid applications. As smart mobile devices proliferate the world over, it makes a good business case for businesses to create a strategic approach to m-commerce that provides a world-class customer experience.

 

For that I would like to quote my favourite case study on this accord; More than 42 million mobile payments have been processed at Starbucks locations in the US, Canada, and the UK, over the past 15 months. That’s an average of almost 3 million payments every month. However, the total figure in December alone was 26 million. This alone showcases the true potential of m-commerce. With Google driving its Google Wallet aggressively and Apple unveiling its response through ‘Passbook’, it’s bound to scale up and reach critical mass sooner than later.

 

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