Beyond E-Commerce, M-Commerce Gaining Real Traction

Many large retailers are beginning to notice what mobile coupons and text-related ordering and marketing can do these days.  It started with online retailers like Amazon and its “TextBuyIt” service, along with QVC’s recent Text Ordering introduction last fall.

What they’re noticing is that unlike traditional e-commerce, mobile coupons and/or text ordering and marketing doesn’t necessarily have to rely on a mobile website or even mobile internet access to operate since text messages flow through wireless voice connections.

Retailers are quickly figuring out that SMS-based services are some of the easiest mobile marketing tactics to use these days.  Some retailers, such as Moosejaw Mountaineering, were sending marketing text messages as far back as 2004.  Most retailers using texts today, though, do so to market products or offer promotions, as well as establish perhaps the closest connection possible with customers, since most consumers are almost never without their mobile phones these days.

The biggest advancement, and what I think will be the future, is the fact that you can now buy things with your mobile device with no Internet access what-so-ever.  Amazon’s TextBuyIt proved it could be successful, now other retailers need to jump on the bandwagon.

Of course, you need a traditional e-commerce account, like Amazon, that holds your billing and shipping preferences, but then it’s only a matter of inputting the UPC or barcode number of the item you wish to purchase, your email and your zip code into a text message and that’s it.

To me, this only represents the beginning of what’s to come in terms of services available via text-message communication.  For those with limited mobile internet-access, the possibilities are endless.