Alibaba’s Tmall Global now features goods from 14,500 overseas brands, 80% of them selling in China for the first time.
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Gandhi suggests e-retailers begin looking into what m-commerce is and the value it might bring to their businesses. “E-retailers can start by creating a mobile presence,” he says, “whether it is a site that enables transactions or only marketing and branding efforts.”
It’s important for e-retailers to understand the value of having a mobile web presence, RarePlay’s Knowlton chimes in. “Shoppers are using them to identify and locate areas and products of interest,” he says.
Generally, e-retailers should take a cautious, risk-averse approach to m-commerce, but they should be experimenting, Mendelsohn says. “Web-only retailers can look to partner with companies like Digby-a mobile shopping mall that already has made the investment in the interface-that can easily and quickly give them access to the mobile channel,” she says.
Adds consultant Sharma: “It is inevitable that mobile devices will become an accepted way to conduct transactions.”
E-retailers that choose to be m-commerce pioneers should bear in mind a few fundamentals before making the leap. “U.S. Mobile Commerce 2007: Low Reception” cites the following:
- Age plays a large role in adoption: Generation Y’ers are the most likely of any generation to own a mobile phone or smartphone, use their phones to send and receive text messages, buy or download content, and use the mobile Internet.
- Consumers require a strong m-commerce value proposition: They say time savings is key.
- Security and privacy remain big concerns: As with the Internet, m-commerce adoption is struggling because of security and privacy fears. 57% of mobile device owners worry about data security; only 20% have no security concerns.