There are two types of people.

The ones who said ‘It’s just a cell phone,’ when Apple launched the first iPhone and the people who lined up outside the Apple store, acknowledging the undeniable fact that there was indeed an undeniable gap for a new mobile phone that could do so much more. The hunger to fill that gap gave the world a new device that would fundamentally transform how we interact with technology, culture, and each other.  

Hunger drives innovation, and wireless e-commerce is no exception to this.

Consumer trends related to mobile use has gotten enterprises bedazzled. They’re constantly cooking up ways to use the mobile touch point as a sales, service, and marketing tool. Buying and selling on the internet has never been easier. The way customers approach the website, though – is constantly changing.

And as the economy slows, it has become very important for them to find ways to optimize resources and cut costs. It has become a business mandate for brands to have websites that are user-friendly, and attract customers who are used to small screens such as their mobile phones, tablets, and other portable or wearable gadgets.

Wireless E-commerce: What is it, really?

When we think of wireless e-commerce, the first seller that comes to mind is Coca-Cola. Back in 1997, London, Coca-Cola was perhaps the first brand to have a wireless e-commerce transaction, by receiving payments through SMS.

Okay, to be honest – wireless, autonomous shopping dates a little further back in time.

Vending machines.

Yes, vending machines!

In all honesty, they’re a beta version of sorts of shopping automation.

Wireless E-commerce is a scaled up, and domain intensive version of the vending machine

If your e-commerce business has an app in the play store or the app store – then congratulations, your retail business is wireless. Don’t break into a dance, yet. You still have a lot of work to do. For example, like all retail scenarios, your strategic plan should have a match between the customer’s desires and your CRM plans.

 With the advent of the internet, buying and selling have never been easier.

Wireless E-Commerce: the Major Benefits

To begin with, wireless e-commerce is a very innovative way to interact with customers. Access to them via their mobile devices is an “invited relationship.”

Which means you need to put more focus on enabling your mobile capabilities that cater to every whim and fancy of your customer’s lifestyle. Aggressively come up with ways to change the ways customers are approaching the website.

Begin by building a website that looks attractive enough on the small screen.

The customer experience has to be made contextual, and the experience that they receive on their wireless devices must align with the experience that they get in call centers, stores, and websites.

Remember, you’ll be gathering a lot of information from these new touchpoints.

As a retailer, you need to make certain of the fact that you are leveraging the information in the most optimal and efficient way possible. A core part of your strategic plan is to sharpen your site’s focus. Your site’s UX and content should gravitate towards being small screen friendly. Design a primary goal for your website. Your websites’ clarity on this goal, will influence the functionality of your mobile application.

Research Giant Gartner has identified four types of e-commerce business models: influencer, informer, facilitator, and seller.

The needs and requirements of each business model must be accounted for, while developing the wireless solution for the business.

Wireless E-commerce For Companies That Sell

If you are an organization that sells goods or services on the internet, here’s the core strategy you need to follow to make sure that you make wireless E-commerce work. Your first priority is to develop mobile-based product locations, evaluations, price-checking, and other shopping-related activities.

Take the extra time and care in developing the payment methods, because they need to be secure and your customer’s identities must be kept confidential.

Because of the portability factor involved, your brand will have a far wider reach than plain old e-commerce. You can reach customers almost anywhere. The idea of unreachable market places has become a distant fairy tale of sorts. You should expect this reach to increase with time and sales, and your brand must be equipped with the right resources and supply to catch up with the demand.

Wireless E-commerce For Companies That Facilitate

Contrary to popular belief, the e-commerce pool is not just comprised of sellers. There are organizations that act as facilitators. Companies that have a service focus –  such as airlines, banks, and other financial institutions — and that have a large amount of information that is useful to customers are facilitators.

These industries are adding on their capabilities with each year and diving into wireless applications is going to optimize the value they deliver to customers.    

Location tracking is a game changer here. Traditional e-commerce sites are limited in their location tracking capabilities due to their non-portability nature. M-commerce apps, though, can track and identify user locations with the help of GPS technology, Wi-Fi, and so on.

Getting a bit creative on it, you use location services by offering special discounts to customers in special locations.

Wireless E-commerce For Companies That Influence

The influencer is an organization that seeks to raise consumer awareness of the company or product. The end transaction in an Influencer Company need not necessarily be Web-based, nor does it have to be with the company itself.

For example,  Consumer goods companies, have sites that influence consumers to go to a reseller to pick up their products, avoiding channel conflicts. These sites, are the influencers and form a major part of the e-commerce ecosystem. Unfortunately, on account of the lack of a  clear-cut customer use value proposition, influencers have been sort of a laggard in the wireless scenario.

The transaction ease that wireless e-commerce offers are of utmost importance to the Influencers. As long as people can access the internet on their smartphones, they can make multiple levels of transactions with ease, while they’re on the go.  

Wireless E-commerce For Companies That Inform

The informer model of e-commerce fits perfectly for all media channels. Media companies that focus on distributing information to their customers – known as subscribers, viewers, and readers. A few famous magazines and entertainment channels have identified that their customers want to be up to date and on the go and that linking to a customer’s mobile touch point will add great value.

These organizations should keep in mind that, as customers get more comfortable with mobile browsing, they may come to their sites from mobile devices for information, and thus they need to make sure that their sites are more visually appealing. Breaking the geographical barriers have become very easy, and customers can access the information from any nook and cranny of the world, as long as they have a mobile device and access to the internet.

For these companies, the apps are known for their speed. They provide personalized content, and they are capable of holding back the customers without leaving.

The Bottomline

In order to execute a successful wireless e-commerce platform, you need to build an application that has the optimal agility, flexibility and comes with a  platform range for all mobile applications. While this may seem pretty simple, it ain’t.

Customers are king. The feedback and suggestions of your customers must be considered for filling the missing bricks.

Above everything else, remember that you cannot customize the situations in business, but you can customize your attitude to fit those situations. Never be discouraged by the thought that your business is not going to hit the bang.

A positive attitude changes everything.

  Balakarthiga.M

  Marketing Consultant