Bricks and Mortar Retailers Cautious About the Potential of Mobile Commerce

Thursday 18 December 2003 19:12 CET | News

Sicap has unveiled findings from the worlds first significant survey into the attitude of retailers towards mobile commerce. The survey of 514 retail professionals identified security, consumer trust, convenience and usability as the main issues that would determine their decision to adopt the technology. 52 percent of those interviewed were positive about the prospects for mobile commerce with 50 percent attracted to its revenue generating potential. Window-shopping was identified as the "killer" application that would drive mobile commerce growth. By enabling consumers to purchase store items displayed in shop windows consumers would be able to make purchases outside store opening hours as well as avoid queuing at checkouts. In contrast, retailers questioned the added value to consumers of other often quoted mobile commerce scenarios like paying at the point of sale (POS) in a store and toping-up prepaid accounts. Three factors were identified by retailers as pre-requisites for mobile commerce to be part of their business strategy. First, retailers need to fully trust the entire process of mobile payments from the technology used through to the fulfillment and billing processes. Second, added convenience to the customer is considered imperative. Simply replacing proven electronic debit and credit card transactions for mobile payments does not add to consumers shopping experience. Third, services must have faultless usability for consumers to adopt them. USSD, an alternative transport protocol present on most GSM networks, was seen as an attractive platform on which to base services because it is fast and uses interoperable technology that would enable subscribers from different networks to access the same services. Retailers suggested that a common USSD menu for mobile commerce services be agreed between retailers and mobile operators to improve usability and speed up adoption. The research was conducted by Indro Celia, professor of e-business, at the University of Applied Sciences of Central Switzerland, in conjunction with technology partner Sicap, and mobile operators, Swisscom and Sunrise. It is the result of interviews with 514 retail professionals including 30 board level executives, 215 senior managers, 137 middle managers and 110 shop floor employees.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce