Mobile commerce is a very important aspect in the evolution of marketing. Consumers in countries like US, China, India, Brazil and South Korea have been found to have a great potential in mobile commerce. The mobile market in Asia is growing at a rapid pace and has seen an average annual growth of over 25%
A multimarket study by Accenture has revealed that consumers are showing a greater inclination towards mobile marketing. They surveyed 1,100 “tech forward” respondents in 11 countries namely Brazil, China, India, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, United Kingdom and USA.
The study highlighted that:
- Nearly half (45%) of the active mobile users agree that if given a chance, they would make payments for goods and services (this includes banking, buying good online, transfer money, buy/sell stocks) using their mobile phones and not worry about the security and fraud risks while 73% had concerns related to privacy and theft.
- 69% of the respondents interviewed across Asian countries said they favoured using mobile phones for most payments, out of which 76% are Chinese consumers and 75% Indian followed by Korean (56% and Japanese (47%).
- Comparing the above with other countries, 70% of consumers in Brazil find it convenient to make purchases through their mobile phones whereas in Europe and the US, only 26% of respondents favoured m-commerce transactions.
- Furthermore, 38% of respondents from Asia had used their mobile phones to scan the barcode to search for better information about products as compared to only 16% from US & Europe.
- Similarly, 36% of surveyed Asian said that they used their mobile phones to display a “Digital Ticket” for attending an event or board a flight whereas the number was only 11% in US & Europe. Also, around 31% Asians and 5% respondent from US & Europe purchased an item or got a coupon from a “small poster” containing a barcode.
- 47% surveyed people in China responded positively to have transacted through their mobile phones, followed by Korea (42%) and Japan (33%).
- A large percentage of respondents (64%) indicated that they would use offerings like gift cards and coupons directly sent to their mobiles phones. Following the same trend, Asians again had the maximum positive consumer responses i.e. China leading with 94%, Korea following at 91% and India with 76%.
- When asked about redeeming the coupons, 79% respondents would like to use them at a store whereas 77% said they would use the coupons clipped from magazines and newspapers.
So, mobile commerce has huge impact on business also. Consumers do expect companies to enable services which can lead to people using m-commerce more frequently.
Therefore, when asked about business sector that should take the lead:
- 59% respondents said that Credit card companies like Master Card & Visa should play a major role, followed by mobile network operators (54%), software companies like Google and Microsoft (52%) etc.
The above trends reflect m-commerce on a global level. Now, shifting focus specifically towards India, the m-commerce market is still not huge and is mostly restricted to financial sector only. But, irrespective of this, mobile commerce market has a huge scope in B2B. India has a population of more around 1.2 billion and the number of mobile subscribers is around 771 million.
According to a study by On Device Research, there is a vast opportunity for brands, media and financial sector companies to target consumers who actually browse internet only through their mobile phones. Therefore, companies can target these consumers to a large extent, keeping in mind other users too.
As mentioned above in the Accenture study, 75% of the tech forward respondents in India favored using mobile for payments. This in itself is a big thing as far as the Indian consumers are concerned. With the market opening up to the mobile commerce service providers, there are many companies providing these solutions. For example:
- mChek platform caters to a wide variety of solutions. Using it, a consumer can use a mobile phone to make payment from anywhere, anytime. mChek provides services like mobile recharges, bill payments, money transfer, over-the-counter payments, mobile mall and retailer ‘kiosk’ services.
- ngpay is another example of mobile commerce service provider. It provides a convenient way to buy travel/movie tickets, gifts, shop for goods etc. just through a few simple clicks on your mobile phone.
Although, it’s an eye opener for the western nations as many Asian countries are ahead of them in terms of using mobiles for payments of good & services, we see that there is a bright future for mobile commerce and can change the way people shop, pay for goods etc.