Driving Forces for M-Commerce Success

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Driving Forces for M-commerce Success

Jason J. Zhang, Yufei Yuan, and Norm Archer

Michael G. DeGroote School of Business

McMaster University

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Abstract
Is m-commerce just an extension or a subset of e-commerce? Will it turn out to be just more hype? In this paper we discuss the realities of m-commerce and the major differences between mobile commerce and Internet-based e-commerce. Based on this understanding, we identify key factors that must be taken into consideration in order to design valuable m-commerce applications. We emphasize that the success of m-commerce relies on the synergy of three driving forces: technology innovation, evolution of a new value chain, and active customer demand.

Key words
m-commerce, e-commerce, wireless communication networks
Jason J. Zhang is currently a Ph.D. student in Information Systems at Michael G. DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Canada.  He received his M.E. degree in Information System Engineering at the School of Management, Dalian University of Technology, and B.E. degree in Computer Science & Engineering at North China Institute of Technology, P.R.C. He once worked as an IT consultant for Office Automation (OA) for the Chinese government. His research interests include e-commerce, e-government, supply chain management, m-commerce, and agent-facilitated decision support systems. Yufei Yuan is currently a Professor of Information Systems at Michael G. DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Canada. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems from The University of Michigan in U.S. in 1985. His research interests are in the areas of web-based negotiation support system, business models in electronic commerce, approximate reasoning with fuzzy logic, matching problems, and decision support in health care. He has published more than 30 papers in professional journals such as International Journal of Electronic Markets, Internet research, Fuzzy Sets and Systems, European Journal of Operational Research, Management Sciences, Academic Medicine, Medical Decision Making, International Journal of Human-Computer Systems, and others.

Norm Archer holds the Wayne C. Fox Chair in Business Innovation, and is a Professor of Management Science and Information Systems in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. His research interests are in topics that relate to eBusiness, including business-to-business implementations, intelligent agents, and the human-computer interface. He has published in a number of journals, including Internet Research, International Journal of Management Theory and Practice, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, International Journal of Technology Management, and others.

1. Introduction

What is mobile commerce? Is it just hype? Almost every company in telecommunications is trying to figure out what m-commerce really is, and how to exploit it. From the marketers’ vision, in the new world presented by m-commerce, consumers can use their cell phones and other wireless devices to purchase goods and services just as they would over the Internet using their personal computers (PCs). Specifically, m-commerce is about content delivery (notification and reporting) and transactions (purchasing and data entry) on mobile devices (Leung and Antypas, 2001). Unfortunately, in reality, m-commerce is often a highly frustrating experience. Industry observers attribute this drawback to the immaturity of mobile technology, but they believe 3G (third generation wireless digital cellular telephone technology) networks could change the situation (Cohn, 2001). While m-commerce is still in its infancy, enhanced devices and networks are irrelevant unless m-commerce applications are compelling and user friendly.

Most often m-commerce is understood as mobile e-commerce (Donegan, 2000; Schwartz, 2000; Liebmann,...
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