Mobile shopping is only just beginning to achieve its vast potential, utilizing the advantages of m-commerce that offers an efficient and convenient alternate payment method. The need for and reliance of mobile devices has changed traditional consumer behaviours and the act of buying, which has resulted in the evolution of mobile shopping; online and in-store.
The technological advancements of online mobile shopping have brought retail to a turning point. Consumers that were once confined to a particular purchase location are now free to make purchases anywhere and anytime, favouring not being chained to a specific shopping destination. Text2Pay, a first-class billing application which has applied such technology, makes online mobile shopping an ease for both consumers and merchants. Text2Pay enables customers to pay for goods online using their cell phone with the purchase coming off their phone bill. For merchants, this online mobile payment process serves not only as an affordable alternative to investing in a physical retail business location but as a productive and flexible payment method that does not require the use of a credit card, which in turn increases the potential for a wider base of customers.
In-store mobile shopping promises consumers an interactive and personalised shopping experience. Using the new mobile app, Scan it, the Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. allows consumers to scan and bag their groceries while they shop, paying for their goods at the checkouts. Homeplus in Korea is another company that has applied this technology; however they use virtual stores in local subway stations, placing pictures of shelves with real inventory and attaching QR codes to each item. The customer scans the items they want and the digital purchases are charged to an account and the items delivered to their homes. Square has also designed its own version of an in-store mobile system. Instead of using a register, merchants use an iPhone or iPad, and an app and connect a credit card reader that charges the customers card for purchase. This potentially allows the store assistant to completely focus on helping the customers. These examples of in-store mobile shopping deliver an interactive shopping experience and have replaced the original purpose of mobile devices from a communicative tool to a product scanner and personal register.
With the acceleration of mobile technology and the momentum m-commerce has gained, the practice of mobile shopping is strong, and makes good use of mobile payment superiority. Mobile shopping solutions serve as a complement to traditional business practices and help merchants attract customers. However, to revolutionize mobile payments, the advantages of being mobile need to be utilized. In-store mobile shopping provides an interactive experience but unlike the use of online mobile payments provider Text2Pay, the consumer still needs to physically be at the store to make a purchase. An additional benefit of Text2Pay is that it does not require the use of a credit card or any other financial information, where as in-store mobile shopping relies on this for purchases. Merchants that offer online mobile payment significantly increase their revenue opportunities by reaching a wider base of customers, unlike merchants using an in-store mobile shopping system that rely on banked consumers to come to their store.