There are two views existing among the researchers regarding mobile technology. The first perspective considers mobile technology as an alternative to conventional web resources such as a web site, a network connection and work station i.e. desk top computer (Murphy et al. 2014). There are other scholars who have different perspective and view mobile technology has capability to provide novel services that are fundamentally different from the conventional web site deployment and interactive features ( Lu et al. 2014). The present article also supports the latter viewpoint that mobile services are fundamentally different from conventional networks because of the unique opportunities presented by this technology.
Though technological functions are same for both mobile and fixed networks i.e. both transfer data signals, the only difference is the former is transferring data via wireless mode other is through cables. But the data when reaching the customer in a different context and form distinguishes the possibilities of mobile technology. Mobile phone is a personal gadget, but a desk top is a common computing tool. Mobile phone travels along with the customer and receiving context based messages creates unique effect on the consumer. This effect cannot be created by fixed network infrastructure.
Categories of mobile technology
In order to fully understand the unique possibilities of mobile technology in commerce, an understanding of the different categories of mobile technology is required. De Reuver et al. (2008) and Pauleen et al. (2015) have presented mobile technology into three different applications. (1) Mobile or wireless network accessibility: this is based on cellular network and allows short range access to larger networks. Because of the variances in network conditions the applications vary depending on the protocols to be used (2) second category is using the technology as a Mobile Internet. Middleware and applications are the components of this application which permits the mobile devices to surf the net. (3) The third application is the possibility of connecting multiple mobile devises to the larger network when the user is in the move. Any number of devices is possible to be connected with the network for example, Smartphone, internet watch, video players, tablets, lap tops, etc. The concept of internet of things is possible because of this technological function.
While the technology remaining same as fixed network, the possibilities of service using mobile technology and application is tremendous because of the feature of mobility. It is the softer side of technology that distinguishes the mobile technology. Mobile devices are now extended parts of an individual. This soft point actually opens up innumerable possibilities for creating innovative services through mobile technology (Barrett et al. 2015).
To conclude this matter, the first two categories resemble traditional internet functionality, but the third one is opening up new possibilities in unimaginable ways. But, Tarasewich et al. (2002) has identified the limitation of mobile technology such as small size of the screens, input capabilities are constrained, voice interfaces, etc. However, the consumers are ready to put up with the limitations and prefer to use the mobile device for commercial purposes such as placing orders, booking tickets, etc.
Commerce through mobile Technology
Mobile commerce is a subset of Information technology enabled business which focuses on transactions having monetary implications and customer service. The transactions are conducted over mobile networks with protected validation process. The buying and selling products and services through mobile gadgets is the fundamental activity that happens in the mobile commerce (Wang et al. 2015). There are many benefits associated with this kind of commerce and the scope for innovation in mobile trading is yet be realised. Innovation and enterprise are the key for further progress in mobile commerce. As the technology to protect privacy and security is upgraded, the mobile business is bound to increase (Wooldridge 2010).
Pauleen et al. (2015) have already identified the business practices and sectors that are using mobile technology. Transportation, goods delivery and allied services can be unified to one activity called fulfilment process. This is possible by transmission of information through mobile applications on a regular basis. Market research and business intelligence can generate and consolidate information from multiple sources and provide customises, personalised and localised services to the customers. Third variety of service include transmitting mobile content such as creative designs, visuals, auditions, etc can be transmitted for various purposes instantly. The customer service also can be fulfilled using mobile technology in any mode of business B2B, B2C or C2C.
Nurturing commercial relationships is possible through the mobile technology. Though the technology is similar to fixed network, the mobile facility offers many opportunities that ordinary network cannot provide. The commerce through mobile is bound to increase in the future because customers prefer to use mobiles for carrying out business.
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