University of Waterloo
Engineering 5 (E5), 6th Floor
Phone: 519-888-4567 ext.32600
Design team members: Arthur Lam & Arthur law
Supervisor: Professor Chris Fader
M-commerce is defined as “any transaction involving the purchase of goods or services that is completed with a wireless device, such as cellular phone, personal computer or personal digital assistant.” Wireless commerce is currently enabled in a small number of countries in Europe and in Japan. For example, in Finland mobile phones are capable of using the infrared ports to authenticate payments for things such as soft drinks from snack machines. The cost will then be adhered to the user’s mobile phone bill at the end of the month. We envision a mobile world where the consumer’s mobile device is an extension of the merchant’s network. The device is able to provide value-added information about the merchant’s goods to the consumer. She can then easily select the available goods and services of interested to her. When the consumer decides to check out, a secure transaction will occur and the consumer walks out with her purchases without needing the hassle of lineups.
The use of mobile devices for commerce is a new development in bridging technology with business. The ability to conduct mobile e-commerce, or "m-commerce" provides companies the opportunity to sell goods anywhere through a wireless Internet-enabled device. Few companies are currently offering m-commerce in today's market. As people get more comfortable with technology, the use of mobile devices for commerce will improve. Forrester research indicates that retailers will see 10% of their sales happen over mobile phones. The Europe based study shows that the service industry and online retailers will be looking for more growth in this area.
The aim of the project is to investigate the issues surrounding mobile Business-to-Consumer commerce (B2C) and develop a clear solution for mobile applications on four fronts: strategy, technology, user interface design, and economics. These four deliverables will complete our investigation of m-commerce and we will attempt to draw useful lessons about m-commerce from our activities.
Our project statement is:
“To create an m-commerce application designed to complement the shopping experience at large book store, such as Chapters. An overall strategic business analysis, economic analysis, and a user designed focus ensure the product’s viability in today’s marketplace.”
Our project are divided into four main segments: strategy, technology, user-centered design, and economic analysis. In our first deliverable, the competitive landscape of m-commerce software was fully explored. We examined the current market placement of m-commerce firms, the competitive advantages of m-commerce, the m-commerce software offerings typically available, current market conditions of these products, analysis of the market condition, comparison of the progress of current mobile B2B and mobile B2C sites, and identification of key value propositions for our m-commerce software. Our initial study showed that for an m-commerce application to succeed, the firm in question must target a specific audience, ensure its transactions with its customers are simple, specific and time-sensitive, and guarantee full mobility of its customer.