Mobile E-Commerce Vendors Guilty Of Over-Hype, Study Says

Despite its enormous long-term potential, vendors are
over-hyping mobile e-commerce to consumers who don’t yet want it, a new
study concludes.

"It’s debatable whether ordinary consumers are actually demanding
mobile e-commerce services right now," said Duncan Brown, senior
consultant for Ovum, a research and
consulting firm that conducted the study. "It’s more a case of
suppliers sensing an opportunity to make money and pushing the idea at
them. In fact there isn’t much, if any, money to be made in the short
term."

Mobile e-commerce players must provide genuinely unique and compelling
services, rather than trying to excite the market, the report says. 

The findings are from Ovum’s report called, Mobile E-commerce: Market
Strategies.

The first market acceptance for mobile e-commerce will be
business-to-business application, the report says. 

"Business users, rather than the mass market, will be the first
serious adopters," Brown said. "But even they won’t pay a
premium for existing services, which are easier and cheaper to access
using the phone or a PC."

The report adds that the current climate has the frenzy, uncertainty
and ill-preparedness of a gold rush.

"Potential mobile e-commerce players have to realize that, at this
point in time, good substitutes for their services already exist – only
the delivery method has changed," Brown said. "There would have
to be significant value-add to change (people’s) habits."

Such value-adds could include discounts or an up-to-date menu on
screen.  Mobile e-commerce applications must play to the strengths of
mobile devices, which are  convenience, he says.

Brown also faulted the mobile e-commerce industry for promising more
than it currently can deliver.

"The barrage of operator marketing and media coverage hyping
technologies such as WAP
has left many believing that shopping via a mobile phone will be a reality
within the year," he said. ""The industry hasn’t even
agreed on a framework for trusted and secure payments yet, let alone
standardized its technology."

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