M-commerce (mobile commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services via smartphones or tablets. The ordering, purchasing, payment, and tracking of orders can be done through smartphones, personal digital assistants, or any handheld devices. M-commerce includes mobile shopping, mobile banking, and mobile payments, among others. M-commerce makes for a positive customer experience owing to easy access to buying and selling. Ease of transaction, promotion, discounts and offers and flexibility to shop anytime and anywhere are some of the advantages that m-commerce provides users with.
M-commerce is a revolution in itself as it has successfully brought the world of e-commerce on a small screen. The incorporation of instant messaging apps, GPS, chatbots, push notifications, and one-step calling in mobile devices has enhanced e-commerce even more. The global penetration of smartphones and other handheld devices, along with the internet boom, has increased demand for m-commerce. In addition to the ease and convenience of shopping that is offered by m-commerce, users also have access to a lot more information as compared to traditional retail shopping. The former enables customers to scroll through a list of brands and their customized offerings and provides customers insights as to why they should opt for a particular product over another. They are also able to connect to and see the reviews of the other users who have purchased the same product earlier. Individuals can then make decisions as to whether or not they are interested in buying/selling the product. Mobile commerce also notifies customers when the price of a certain commodity fluctuates and offers recommendations based on users’ search preferences. Therefore, owing to its multiple beneficial factors, the m-commerce market is expected to witness a global upsurge during the forecast period.
M-commerce has significantly propelled retail activity in the last decade. Smartphones and other handheld devices have helped in maintaining a relationship with the customer and retailers. This has enhanced B2C relationships and maximized profits for brands. This has also called for increased investments in the mobile platform of e-commerce by foreign markets, as billions of people are using mobile phones across the globe to make online transactions. It is safe to say that 8 out of 10 people in the world are online shoppers, and a majority of them use a smartphone. Key vendors in some low-income countries, as well as untapped regions of the world, have started to digitalize their stores and launch mobile apps. Emerging start-ups also tend to keep up with this ongoing trend. The m-commerce market can be placed in the maturity stage due to the widespread adoption of mobile phones and the significantly large number of people using smart devices for online shopping.
The prime factor driving the global mobile commerce market is the soaring penetration of smartphones and other wireless devices in the world. Recently, with the advent of 5G, the number of internet users has considerably increased and has also added many new subscribers and online shoppers to the existing list. A reduction in overhead costs and elimination of the need for physical presence has increased the number of transactions. Continuous innovations in technology, offering more and more advanced features also contribute significantly to market growth. Low internet speed in a specific area or in an entire nation can greatly hamper its mobile commerce market growth.
Regions with the slowest economic growth, such as Burundi and the Central African Republic, among many others, are likely to be the easiest prey to low-speed internet bandwidth. This would keep investors and key players from investing in these regions, and therefore, market growth will eventually witness a slowdown in these regions. However, such regions are now taking effective measures to enhance their IT and telecom infrastructure and secure a position in the international market. Another significant hindrance to m-commerce market growth is online cyber scams and fraudulent activities. Sales and purchases from anonymous buyers and sellers or websites at low prices can often lead to wrong product purchases or defective items. Government laws and investments through public-private partnerships, to implement an error-free and reliable m-commerce market worldwide, are anticipated to propel market growth in the near future. Optimization of mobile devices and raising awareness about the benefits of online applications is expected to bolster market growth during the forecast period.
M-commerce is widely accessible and, with the aid of technology, has an extensive reach. Mobile users, raw material buyers and suppliers, and Original Equipment Manufacturers, among others, all use mobiles to facilitate easier ordering and tracking of their purchases. It is also easy for a business to connect to its customers and keep track of its supply chain and logistics. The whole transaction can be cleared with a few clicks. Therefore the mobile commerce or m-commerce market is anticipated to witness a significant uplift in the number of end-users in the coming years. In addition to this, m-commerce is slowly increasing its penetration in all key industry verticals such as automotive, health and beauty, consumer electronics, clothing and apparel, home décor, sports, and others. Agreements between the governments of various countries on international trade and setting up business units in other regions are anticipated to propel market growth further. Technological advancements, AI, machine learning, and blockchain technologies are expected to assist in market development.
North America is forecast to dominate the global M-commerce market during the considered time frame as it hosts some world-renowned B2B and B2C e-commerce providers and also due to the fact that it is an early adopter of technology. With the ongoing research and development activities to develop the economic infrastructure further, the regions of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are anticipated to contribute the largest amount of shares for overall market growth in the coming years. Key players of the region are also frequently involved in the deals and partnerships with global companies for the launch of new products and the subsequent expansion of businesses. The inclination of international buyers towards American brands is expected to increase transactions and generate profits for the American market. Ease of transaction and query clarification from customer support through smartphones is expected to aid the whole process.
Europe comprises a significant percentage of online shoppers and a wide customer base. Regions such as The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, and France are expected to be the fastest-growing regions in the M-commerce market. An increase in demand for automotive and automotive parts from overseas markets is expected to positively impact the supply chain infrastructure of the EU m-commerce market. A significant number of these transactions are expected to be carried out via mobile phones and other personal assistance devices, as data can be tracked down in real-time. The development of easy payment systems is also expected to fuel domestic as well as international transactions and aid market growth.
Asia-Pacific is a well-known market for IT and semiconductors. The region already has the largest number of mobile phone users in the world (China and India) and some of the fastest network providers (Japan and South Korea). Therefore it is safe to pre-assume that the region will showcase the fastest growth rate in m-commerce in the upcoming years. Furthermore, the presence of Alibaba and other such giants is expected to contribute significantly to market growth. Digital wallets are anticipated to uplift market growth in purchases made through apps significantly.
Latin America has some of the fastest-growing regional markets and industry hubs, including Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. Increasing penetration of mobile phones and awareness of online transactions in these regions will significantly spur market growth. The high rate of purchase of raw materials, construction equipment, and automotive parts by Latin America is expected to force it to switch from traditional methods of placing an order toward m-commerce.
The Middle East and Africa are also witnessing significant changes in terms of infrastructure and utilities. The number of online shoppers has increased since Dubai was established as an e-commerce hub of the Middle East. Trade relations with other Middle Eastern regions are expected to increase m-commerce market growth during the forecast period.
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In April 2019, Ericsson, a digital technologies leader, strengthened its partnership with ABB, to develop an industrial ecosystem for wireless automation. The partnership aimed at enhancing connected services, Industrial IoT, and Artificial Intelligence technologies.