Written by: Sara Dahlgren
Mobile commerce, which tends to be referred to m-commerce, is explained to be transactions made from mobile devices on applications and websites (Zhang, Chen & Lee, 2013). Purchases made on mobile devices create benefits to customers since m-commerce let us shop anywhere at anytime (Hsi-Peng & Su, 2009). The growth in m-commerce is explained to be the rising number of mobile users and competition among businesses. However, the growth in m-commerce is low in relation to the number of mobile users (Khalifa, Cheng & Shen, 2012). Mobile users tend to avoid purchase services on their mobile devices (Cao, Lu, Gupta & Yang, 2015). In average they spend one minute in shopping applications while they spend 4,5 minutes in non-shopping applications (Böhmer, Hect, Schöning & Bauer, 2011). Therefore, Cao et al. (2015) state that the development of m-commerce is not coherent with how customers want m-commerce to be like. Furthermore, practitioners need a better understanding of the adoption of m-commerce in order to develop m-commerce in the way customers want it to be. In fact, the user adoption of mobile services and products is the key to encourage customers to use m-commerce (Khalifa et al., 2012).
The purpose of this blog post is to describe customers’ reasons to use or not use m-commerce. This will be achieved by scholars’ and knowledgeable peoples’ findings. The following research question will be used in order for me to fulfil the purpose; what encourage and discourage customers to use m-commerce?
COMPLEXITY CONCERNING M-COMMERCE
Mobile shopping makes mobile users concerned, which prevent them from engaging in m-commerce (De Wit, 2015; Chung, 2014;). In a research by Chung (2014), trust is explained to be a dependent factor whether consumers will use or not use m-commerce. Trust is therefore necessary for mobile users in order for them to share personal information. Furthermore, trust is also highlighted to help mobile users to overcome the uncertainty that customers perceive (Chung, 2014). Another concern among mobile users is the integrity of information, which is an individual's identifiable personal information. However, mobile users perceive the information privacy as an issue in m-commerce. Additionally, m-commerce is explained to intrude on customers’ privacy since they are identifiable. Furthermore, the weak laws and the weak security on mobile devices are also perceived as concerns to the user (Zhang et al., 2013). The issues concerning safety and security are that users fear their devices to be attacked by viruses, which may give others access to a user’s personal data. Furthermore, mobile users feel exposed at public areas. It makes them worried that someone else accesses information while it is keyed (De Wit, 2015).
A reason to the low use of m-commerce by mobile users is according to Cao et al. (2015) due to the technological features. An example of this is the fear of pressing the wrong button in a transaction process since the screen on the device is small (Hsi- Peng & Su, 2009). Furthermore, the screen size is a highlighted reason why customers not make purchases on their mobile devices, because they want to properly see the product argue. Connectivity is also viewed to be an issue due to unstable connections. It creates fear among mobile users that they will be cut off during a transaction (De Wit, 2015). Lastly, payments are a technological feature that makes customers concerned to use m-commerce. Hsi-Peng and Su (2009) explain that customers want the payments to be secure and trustworthy. All these examples show how complex the technological factors are and why the adoption of m-commerce has occurred as slow as it has (Mishra, 2014; Ying & Rastrick, 2014).
SIMPLICITY CONCERNING M-COMMERCE
Mobile users do also experience benefits with m-commerce, which encourage them to use m-commerce (Groß, 2015; Zhang et al., 2013). Ubiquity is explained to share the same core characteristic as m-commerce itself, which is transformation of time and space (Liang, Ling, Yeh & Lin, 2013). This benefit is therefore vital for customers’ usage of m-commerce (Groß, 2015). M-commerce makes it possible for customers to shop via your mobile device anytime at any place, which decreases barriers such as time and location (Zhang et al., 2013). Personalisation is another advantage in m-commerce, which provides products or service that match a customer’s desire (Groß, 2015). Personalised products and/or services make consumers feel special (Cao et al., 2015). Additionally, Chung and Holdsworth (2012) explain that personalisation is one of the main reasons to the growth of m-commerce. Even convenience creates an advantage for m-commerce, which provides the mobile users with the ease of use (Groß, 2015). It furthermore contributes with flexibility, connectivity, and accessibility for consumers (Min et al., 2012), which is a reason to the adoption of m-commerce among mobile users (Chung, 2014). However, the usage of m-commerce can become to increase if customers can spend less time and effort on their mobile devices to achieve utility. That is due to the fact that customers choose the simplest way of getting a service (Min et al., 2012).
DISCUSSION ABOUT ENCOURAGED AND DISCOURAGED CUSTOMERS
Scholars and other knowledgeable people have depicted customers’ experiences of m-commerce. To take all their findings into account provide us with a picture of what encourage and discourage customers’ use of m-commerce. Customers are facing different barriers by the use of m-commerce. The barriers in concern of sharing personal information intrude on confidential information, which customers understandably are careful with. Customers are therefore not encouraged to use m-commerce due to the lack of trust, integrity, weak security and safety against viruses, and the feeling of being exposed. Therefore, customers feel that m-commerce is taking one step too far into customers’ private space, which makes them feel exposed at public places.
There are also technological features that discourage mobile users and their usage of m-commerce. The screens are too small, which makes it inconvenient to proceed with a transaction and difficult to get a view of the product on the mobile device. These barriers are to me not as crucial as the ones concerning the personal information. However, customers who experience their screens to be too small probably wait to make a purchase until they go to the physical store, get access to a computer, or change their mind about making the purchase. Another technical barrier that I believe shall be viewed as more vital is payments. Even this barrier intrudes on customers’ confidential information, which makes them concerned. Barriers that are related to the individual on a personal level, such as payments, probably make customers think more than once before using m-commerce.
Furthermore, mobile users are also encouraged to shop on their mobile device. Ubiquity, meaning transformation of time and space, is what today’s customers seek; a possibility to be efficient. M-commerce can therefore become to save customers’ time due to the fact that purchases can be made from your mobile device, which we bring with us wherever we go. Not only that customers save time due to ubiquity, but they also save time with help of another benefit such as personalisation. That is since products and services are matched to each customer, which therefore help them to save time. Other benefits that encourage customers to use m-commerce are ease of use since it provides the customer with connectivity, flexibility, and accessibility. With that in mind, m-commerce actually offers the simplest way for customers to make purchases, which are convenient and user friendly except from the small screens. The small screen on mobile devices is a barrier that cannot be overlooked since detailed and sharp views of products or services make m-commerce less attractive. Therefore, m-commerce needs to provide customers with great experiences in order to encourage customers.
The barriers make customers discouraged while the benefits make customers encouraged to use m-commerce. The barriers and benefits can according to me be described as the two concepts, needs and wants. With that I mean that if a customer experience any issue with personal information, then a purchase via the mobile device will not be made. In order for customers to use m-commerce, they need to feel safe and unexposed to not be concerned about their personal information. That is very confidential to them, which explains their needs concerning m-commerce. These needs are requirements for customers to even use m-commerce in the first place. However, if a customer not experience any barriers then the benefits related to m-commerce take over, which I describe as wants. Customers want to choose the simplest way, which m-commerce is providing with ease of use and connectivity. That means that the benefits are not relevant for customers until the needs are met. De Wit (2015) explains that businesses that address issues related to m-commerce have much to win while businesses that ignore such issues will be lost. In fact, customers will start to experience the benefits provided by m-commerce if the barriers get solved. Convenience and time efficiency encourage customers to make purchases anywhere at anytime together with personalized services and products. However, the barriers make customers discouraged, which explains the low use of m-commerce. That is mainly since it intrudes on customers’ personal information, which makes them feel exposed and unsafe.
CUSTOMERS’ REASONS TO USE OR NOT USE M-COMMERCE
The result for this blog post is that mobile users are provided with both concerns and benefits concerning m-commerce. The reasons for customers to not use m-commerce is the lack of trust, the feeling if being uncertain, intrude on customers’ privacy, weak laws, weak security, and the feeling of being exposed at public places. All these reasons make customers concerned that others will access personal information such as payment details. Also, technological features make it unpractical for customers to purchase on their mobile device. The small screen on mobile devices and unstable connections are examples on that, which create mistakes in purchase processes and inability to view products or services. Moreover, reasons for customers to use m-commerce are transformation of time and space, personalisation, convenience, and ease of use. All these reasons make customers view m-commerce as beneficial for them. The use of m-commerce is a simple option for customers to purchase at. However, the benefits are not pertinent if concerns exist among customers. Their needs to keep confidential information safe come before their wants such as ease of use.
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