M-Commerce Getting a Push from SMBs

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    While many enterprises seem to always be on the cutting edge of technology, the truth is that red tape and tedious infrastructures often keep them from adopting new types of strategies quickly. However, small to midsize businesses (SMBs) can usually move faster and in a more agile fashion, and because of this, SMBs are now helping push the innovation of mobile commerce technologies.

    A study by BIA/Kelsey found that 40 percent of SMBs currently use mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) devices in stores to accept payments. And that number is sure to rise with the predictions that SMBs will further drive mobility spending in the next five years. Having tablets and smartphones on hand to take orders and payments is a simple, smart way to do business—especially for mom-and-pop shops and small retailers.

    Many analysts predict that this year, small and midsize businesses will embrace technology in many forms. writer Eileen Goode believes SMBs’ use of new technology could spur innovations in mobile commerce:

    Indeed, SMBs appear to be charging forward, embracing online banking and paperless invoicing. With this recently charged-up interest SMBs could become a force that pressures the market to develop new and innovative ways to transact business electronically.

    Many new technologies have come together to help SMBs become quite competitive and effective within their markets. Seamas Egan for FOXBusiness’s Small Business Center agrees:

    Cloud computing and SaaS have evened the playing field for the small business community. Today’s technologies allow for agility and flexibility that is necessary to effectively compete (and even outcompete) in a cost-effective way: They can run a campaign, update a Web page, and add additional server support—all with the simple click of a mouse.

    Mobile is one area in particular where small businesses can leapfrog past enterprises. Juniper Research says mobile commerce transactions will equal $3.2 trillion by 2017, and eMarketer recently projected that m-commerce will account for nearly 16%, or $41.68 billion, of 2013 e-commerce holiday shopping spend. More than half of these transactions (62.5%) will take place on tablet devices. There is a huge opportunity to be the pace car in this new mobility race.

    According to a recent ZDNet article, the driving force behind SMBs and enterprises turning to digital commerce is more than ease-of-use. It has more to do with “improving the customer experience.” It goes on to examine seven themes that will likely change the way SMBs do business within the coming year, including the increased use of tablets for POS, more social media influence on shopping, the rise of mobile payment systems, and the introduction of the Internet of Things to smaller retail shops via mobile devices and GPS.

    For SMBs that are willing to invest in new technologies, 2014 could be a banner year. New types of mobile devices and wearables mean even more ways to snare shoppers and complete sales. And mobile payment systems can finalize transactions quickly and easily, which means more happy customers.

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