An increasing focus on M-Commerce here at Mobile Industry Review

The whole M-Commerce marketplace is getting highly, highly exciting. I read yesterday that savvy mobile consumers actually reclaim 38 extra days a year by using ‘Mobile Economic Time’. That is, they do their shopping on the go, whilst they’re on the train, or sitting on the bus — time that would otherwise be used up staring into space, or reading about Big Brother.

(It was CA Technologies who brought this particularly statistic and term to my attention. I’ve got a video for you and a post coming on this.)

For a long time I’ve occasionally looked at M-Commerce. This week’s post about the new Domino’s Pizza iPad app is a good example. Occasionally I’ve tried to delve beneath the apps and into the business models, the services, the best practice — but, I found it rather wanting. There wasn’t much to look at beyond an app that simply connected to the existing dot com website.

It’s taken a few years for the M-Commerce marketplace to fully engage. For example, I was highly excited when British Airways introduced the ability to upgrade your flight there-and-then from within their iPhone app. I remember screaming at Eurostar trains earlier this year, because I was still having to print out bits of paper to use as tickets. They’ve fixed that. They launched an iPhone app this week.

It’s all happening. We’re getting there. We’re beginning to see serious mobile commerce offerings hit the market and achieve real traction.

Incidentally, I’m not counting Ocado or Tesco. In the case of Ocado, they’re task masters now. They’ve been at this for years. I’ll need to dig out a recent stat. The last one I saw, LAST year, put the company’s mobile-derived revenue at near 10%. I bet it’s much, much higher now that so many customers will be using their service religiously via iPad.

Amazon’s another that doesn’t quite count. They’ve been doing this for donkey’s years. I’ve been ordering books, computer equipment and all sorts of things from Amazon via my mobile for years. Literally — I think I placed my first order with Amazon back on a WAP browser standing on the platform at Liverpool Street Station in London.

I’m interested in all the ancillary services that, when combined correctly, deliver a seamless mobile commerce experience. What does it take? Fast servers, no doubt. A super-reliable data centre. Really good connectivity into your enterprise ordering systems? Who are they key players? New entrants or existing billion dollar behemoths? What kind of analytics do you use with M-Commerce? App or mobile web? What’s better? Can you literally plug-in a mobile commerce system into your dotcom solution or do you really need to consider bespoke? And what about the transaction? How do you handle that? Who does the transaction element? PayPal? Worldpay? Or any number of emerging mobile transaction kings? Will we ever see Apple handling payment for my Tesco shopping? Or Vodafone? I wonder.

Oh it’s getting interesting and exciting.

So I’m going to focus more on M-Commerce now and again here at MIR. I’ll certainly be looking at the United Kingdom — my home turf — but I’ve got a particular interest in the States, given the inherent dotcom credentials.

A few people saw my tweet on this and have already been in contact — thank you — I’ll contact you all shortly. Don’t hesitate to prod me. And don’t hesitate to get in touch. I need to learn more about M-Commerce, I need some good briefings, I aim to write quite a lot too. Perhaps some video interviews as well.

I definitely need to meet both parties — from the buyers (the brands) and the sellers (service providers) so if you represent one of those, or if you’re working at one, drop me a note to say hello.

As ever, I’m or @ew4n on Twitter.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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