Each time I surf a news site on my iPad, am I advertising my political leanings? Do my mobile transactions reveal my love for gizmos? Did a certain product company actually take my Facebook feedback into account while designing their next model?
While this might sound creepy, I assure you it’s actually quite above board. Welcome to a new type of commerce, in which the mobile powers the entire demand life cycle, from generation to servicing to fulfillment.
Consumer product companies are discovering that mobile transaction data is a great source of individual consumer insight and a pretty good indicator of demand. And they can gather this information quite easily thanks to a number of tools that manage the
research process from end to end, right from survey design and administration to data collection and analysis.
Similarly, other tools and cloud-based services collect SMS and GPS data from mobile handsets, which service providers can use to make contextual offers. Just like Google Wallet, which not only enables mobile users to store virtual copies of their credit
cards on their phone and tap their way through purchases but also receive “point of life” coupon offers, which are relevant to the purchase they’re making at that very moment. Amazon.com – which is almost a metaphor for new commerce – offers iPhone/iPad users
a nifty app to search products, compare prices, even scan their barcodes (!) before ordering them. No doubt, they make full use of this information to push even more targeted offers at their clientele.
The mobile is also a key channel of fulfillment of new commerce, which can exist independently or mesh seamlessly with physical outlets. This applies not only to retailing but also to services, such as banking, wherein a customer can initiate a fund transfer
over mobile banking, and the recipient can use the code that she receives on her mobile to make a card-free withdrawal from an ATM.
Clearly, the mobile is the driving force of new commerce, and the surfboard of choice for businesses hoping to ride its wave.