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Impacts of Mobile Technology on E-Commerce

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Mobile phone technologies are continuously changing the ways of doing business. That is, improvements in mobile technologies build on various advancements that were initiated by e-commerce. Such technologies include mobile bar code scanners, Bluetooth, WI-FI, and GPRS.   

Mobile Internet

Mobile internet enabled phones allow consumers to access a large amount of information that was previously difficult to access. For instance, the presence of faster wireless networking allows businesses to use more e-commerce applications. Alqahtani and Goodwin (2012) cite that successful e-commerce sites such as Amazon have thrived because of the increase in internet access via the mobile phones. This is because over 40% of the world’s population uses mobile phones to search for information than they use computers to access the internet. Mobile internet enabled phones provides businesses with opportunities to develop creative marketing strategies. Alqahtani and Goodwin (2012) further cite that several businesses have created a mobile phone application that allows consumers to access their quality products with ease. For example, Kraft Foods developed an iPhone application that allowed consumers to search for recipes and ingredients used to prepare various meals served at the restaurant.         

Mobile Bar Code Scanners

Mobile bar code scanners refer to codes which are in the form of numbers or parallel lines usually printed on commodities to help in stock control. Bar codes can be displayed on products, shelves, and businesses cards. Holmiquist (2012) cites that applications of bar codes in business is continuously growing to an extent that real world data can easily be available through the internet. As such, with mobile bar code scanners, businesses can control their stock levels more efficiently. At the same time, consumers can compare the qualities of products displayed in the shelves. Holmiquist (2012) further cites that cameras integrated into mobile phones and software enables consumers to decode the bar code and search for information about certain products. For instance, customers can scan the bar code each time they add a product to the basket while shopping. Thereafter, the software would provide a running total of purchases and create a new bar code that is scanned at the point of sale terminal.   

Bluetooth

Bluetooth is a type of mobile technology that allows exchange of information between electronic devices within a short range. Bluetooth technology can be used to interconnect eight devices (Dishongh and McGrath, 2010). The technology can be used by businesses to deliver large amounts of data to a mobile phone without connecting it to the internet. In addition, businesses can use Bluetooth to share information. For example, in hospitals, Bluetooth technology can be used to transmit patients’ records electronically thereby reducing errors that might arise when the information is recorded manually.  

Internet Connection via Local Wi-Fi

Internet connected via local Wi-Fi allows mobile phone users to surf the internet without being charge. Frith and Mueller (2010) cite that Wi-Fi offers a fast and stable connection that is faster than 3G. Therefore, Wi-Fi technology enables retailers to offer a variety of services to clients. For example, the technology is used by coffee shops and leading global retailers such as Starbucks and Wal-Mart for retail purposes. In addition, Wi-Fi provides an opportunity for businesses to share data with suppliers in a more secure way. 

Impacts of Mobile Technology on the Users

There are several impacts of mobile technology. Such impacts can be divided into two: impacts on consumers and impacts on businesses.

Impacts of Mobile Technology on Consumers

Mobile technology has increased access to a variety of goods thereby enabling consumers to make good choices. For example, mobile services such as extended packaging increase consumers’ awareness on commodities that are aligned with values such as health and wellbeing. Alqahtani and Goodwin (2012) argue that consumers use phones not only to create and store shopping lists, but also to compare product qualities. This motivates businesses to produce goods that enhance consumers’ welfare. In addition, mobile phones allow consumers to compare prices charged for different commodities thus encouraging producers to set fair prices. At the same time, technologies such as self scanning and mobile payments help consumers to get the goods that they need more quickly. For instance, with mobile tools such as Google maps, consumers easily locate where to find certain types of goods based on their taste and preference. Alqahtani and Goodwin (2012) further cites that mobile phones allow consumers to get information about special offers, coupons, and promotions thereby enabling clients to plan for future shopping trips. Similarly, technologies such as in-store navigation enable consumers to find products more easily while shopping.    

Impacts of Mobile Technology on Businesses

In most cases, contemporary consumers use mobile phone to market their products thereby consumers increase their sales volume. Alqahtani and Goodwin (2012) assert that most consumers obtain goods from businesses that best meet their needs for information and services. This has prompted suppliers to provide more information about the qualities of their products. Alqahtani and Goodwin (2012) further argue that due to the rapid development of e-commerce businesses are focusing on producing low costs goods. This implies that, such businesses must develop more efficient and cost effective methods of production in order to increase their profit margins. At the same time, mobile technology allows businesses to provide personalized services to consumers thereby increasing customers’ loyalty. Unlike other media for advertising such as television, mobile devices enable consumers to request for specific types of information (Frith and Mueller, 2010). Mobile phone technology has further intensified competition in the global markets; a move that has encouraged collaboration between business owners such as retailers, mobile technology providers, and software developers.

The other are where mobile technology has impacted businesses is in market research. That is, the presence of various forms of mobile technology such as bar code scanners often promote gathering data about consumer’s behaviors because they are easier to use in market research. Therefore, by setting up electronic trackers such as cookies, m-commerce merchants can monitor the behaviors of the customers (Frith and Mueller, 2010). Such process allows the merchants to launch specific market campaigns that meet the needs of the target customers. Furthermore, m-commerce has significantly reduced the costs of doing business. For example, the use of the bar code scanners to scan on a product often allows businesses to automatically re-order goods rather than ordering the goods through third parties. Mobile technology can also be used to target specific customers thereby leading to reductions in advertisement costs.

Negative Impacts of Mobile Technology on the Society

M-commerce has three major negative consequences on the society: loss of jobs, rise in fraud cases, and increase in environmental pollution.

Loss of Jobs

The invention and the use of mobile technology enable one person to perform several tasks at ago; such situation leads to loss of jobs and increased unemployment rate. For example, the use of barcode scanners would automatically reduce the number of employees required for stock taking. In the long-run, business and organizations might be forced to either retrench or employ fewer workers because of efficiencies and multiple role play promoted by m-commerce and/or mobile technology.

Rise in Fraud Cases

The use of m-commerce and mobile technology in business and others areas in life encourages fraud. Tiwari and Singh (2012) assert that since most m-commerce merchants require their clients to provide personal information such as Credit Card numbers, such technologies increase fraud cases thereby impacting business humanity negatively. At the same time, exposing one’s personal identification details leads to loss of privacy.  

Increase in Environmental Pollution

Overall, m-commerce and/or mobile technology encourages increased consumption which is often associated with increase in environmental pollution. From Tiwari and Singh’s (2012) view, despite that m-commerce improves energy efficiency in the economy, each potential positive impact has an adverse negative implication on the environment. For example, m-commerce can reduce wastes such as printed catalogues and transportation requirements. However, the rise in demand for mobile phones leads to depletion of the earths’ resources. Similarly, online ordering favor faster transportation modes, which in turns increases fuel consumption. M-commerce also encourages frequent delivery of goods through the on-line purchase. Ironically, it is estimated that the carbon dioxide emissions and energy use for the online purchase is 35% less than travelling to the mall (Tiwar and Singh, 2012). Such increases in pollution not only spread of diseases but also lead to global warming.

Task Two (Question 1 and 2)

Question 1: Position of Enterprise Architecture should entail

First, enterprise architecture should be easy to use and understand: Grainger successfully managed to implement the new information system because the Information Technology department staff had sufficient skills and knowledge on the architecture. Similarly, Sony pictures hired General Electric because its employees had little experience in the field.

Secondly, enterprise architecture should be cost effective: Good information infrastructure simplifies the organizations’ production processes thus leading to efficiency. For example, Sony acquired new information system because the old system was less efficient.      

Enterprise architecture should Meet specific Business Requirements

Enterprise architecture should focus on connection, collaboration, communication, and customers. Grainger’s chief information argues that an enterprise’s architect should comprehend how the company works and what it wants to achieve.  That is, good architecture must be designed to meet the businesses’ strategic objectives. At the same time, good architecture enables response to the external environment.  

Question 2: Why the Architecture Work better in some Companies than others

In most cases architecture work better when a company carries a detailed analysis before implementing a new information technology system. For example, there are cases where employees within a company are unable to share information because the infrastructure was incompatible. This implies that, such a company did not carry out adequate tests before it acquired the infrastructure. On the other hand, proper analysis enables enterprises to design architecture that meet all stakeholders’ needs.  

Question 3: Values Derived from Architecture

First and foremost, architecture offers cost reduction and efficiency. For instances, Sony implemented a new system to reduce expenses and produce more cost effective products.

Secondly, architecture offers improved communication. That is, good infrastructures allow for sharing of information among various departments within an organization. As such, Grainger’s chief information officer asserts that infrastructure must be understood by all the staff members. 

Task Three (Question 2 and 3)

Question 2: Challenges Faced By Nationwide Project

Nationwide project presented to the Chief Executive officer of SpaceConnect, Brian Smith a real challenge in reinforcement of a contract in order to recover $3million owed to it by National Operating and Management Company (NOM). This dire financial situation was caused by failure by NOM to honor payment responsibility under Nationwide’s procurement, installation and a contract that was signed between the two companies.

Initial SpaceConnect and NOM jointly financed installation of VSAT Network for the lottery project and SpaceConnect signed a seven year contract in return. Offshore guarantee backed the project for 3months. However, the two parties began experiencing some difficulties on the expiration of the guarantee. SpaceConnect filed an arbitration claim against NOM. This experience tested the survival of the two businesses and their sustainability.

Question 3: Why Nationwide Project Was a Success

First Nationwide strengthened budgeting processes. Prior to the implementation of the project, the enterprises used a variety of reporting languages that affected its ability to focus, budget, and report. For example, the finance department used 14 general ledgers, 13 reporting tools, 17 financial data repositories, and over 300, 000 spreadsheets. This possibly led to the variations in the financial information. On the other hand, after the project the company’s staffs followed similar reporting procedures.  This is because the project clearly stated the procedures that were supposed to be followed and the roles of each of the company’s staff. The project also increased access to comprehensive data thereby allowing for better analysis and forecasting of the trend. Additionally, the project provided clear definitions of data used by business units from various sectors; such mechanism allowed the company’s chief executive officers to make more informed decisions.

Secondly, the project encouraged team work since the project team consulted all the key stakeholders in Nationwide business units. Following the team work strategy, it solved most of the problems that affected the business’ operations. In addition, the focus team identified the employees who were affected by the changes and appointed communications personnel to train them on how to use the new systems. Therefore, all the company’s stakeholders could successfully use the new system.

The third strategy employed by Nationwide was an improved transparency. That is, the project improved the company’s accounting processes; therefore, it reduced errors and cases of fraud. For example, the project enabled the company’s staff to monitor the flow of data and focus on risk areas that could affect the accuracy of the financial data. Similarly, given that the focus team thoroughly evaluated technologies that could enforce accounting rules, the projects ensured that the company’s staff followed the accepted accounting standards.

Task Four (Question 3)

How Companies Benefit from Cultural Assessment

Cultural assessments enable businesses to establish a close relationship with customers. That is, by assessing consumers’ cultural factors, businesses find out more about the customers’ behaviors. For example, Experian survey indicated that over 35% of adults who used social networks in the past month also bought a product online. Such information can be used to target particular groups of customers. In other words, tracking consumers’ behaviors enables businesses to launch more marketing campaigns that appeals to consumers. For example, Flower companies use Facebook to target customers celebrating their birth days. Similarly, Sony has several Facebook fan pages for its various products and regions.

Why Businesses Contact Online Opinion Leaders

Despite that relying on on-line opinion leaders might not cause increase in sales, most business still contact such leaders because of the perception that they have more knowledge on the behaviors of online consumers that is required for successful e-commerce. However, other firms contact such online leaders to obtain feedbacks on online consumers’ opinion on their brands or products.

Meaning of   the Statement “you want to ride the wave rather than trying to start one of your own,”

The statement “you want to ride the wave rather than trying to start one of your own,” refers to the act of creating marketing campaigns based on existing trends instead of creating a unique one. This is mostly practices by businesses that rely on online opinion leaders. However, such trends lead to loss of creativity; therefore, marketers should invest more efforts in creating their own campaigns.

Question 1: Change Of Online Behavior Patterns As Individuals Become Older

Studies show that younger generations shop online more than older people. This is evident from the fact that more youths buy tickets online for youthful events than adults. Similarly, youths prefer social websites while older persons mostly use official websites. For example, youths dominates social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter while adults use emails more than the youth.   

As people become older, with more responsibilities and challenging jobs, they require more time to handle the jobs. Notably, most young people use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube mainly for fun. However, older people consider that as a waste of time hence prefer to be more specific to the tasks assigned to them due to their complexity. That is why they have to use the internet to get things related to their work.

Question 2 and 3: Why the Applications Become Less Important for Older People

Notably, due to the responsibilities given to the older and experienced individuals in a particular organization, the mobile applications mentioned above that is social networking sites become less important. An older would rather use internet sites that answer their questions directly and deeply like research materials rather than applications used by younger people whose main interest is entertainment and social interaction. Hence older people are able to handle complex assignments within a shorter period of time owing to the experience enabling them handle huge workload allocated to them in their respective departments.

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