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