What You need to Know About Mobile Commerce
Smart Phones are here to stay-whether it’s the powerhouse iPhone, the addictive Blackberry or one of the relative newcomers-the Windows Mobile or Android. These phones are more like mini-laptops that also make phone calls than they are like the phones we were all using just a few years ago. With larger screens, built in cameras and the capability to function as well and as quickly as a desktop computer but still fit in a pocket or purse these phones are powerful and exciting. For some people it’s all a little too overwhelming; for others it’s a little too addictive. For the rest of us, it’s exciting and intimidating at the same time. Navigating through the world of apps can be treacherous and confusing without some idea of what you are looking for.
Mobile commerce is the exchange of goods and services over this type of mobile connection. It differs from its cousin, e-commerce, in that it is all or mostly done from a handheld device. All transactions are conducted right from the phone and the laptop serves mainly as a backup device. The phone has become the new laptop in many cases-with the laptop staying at home or in the briefcase and the phone functioning in the way a computer does-storing files, sending emails and now, especially shopping!
So, what does the average person need to know? First of all-it’s not complicated or at least it doesn’t have to be. Using your phone for shopping or other mobile commerce transactions is really as simple as it is to use your laptop for the same things it just takes a little getting used to. There are many, many websites who have accommodated their pages for their mobile customers. Additionally, most of the larger companies are offering free mobile apps that make shopping and even browsing their stores and website seamless and enjoyable. The best place to start is to figure out what you want your phone to do for you and how you are going to do it. If you want to order food from your phone, browse around until you find a free app that will do that for you. Many chain restaurants have created their own apps to help you find locations, “call” ahead for seating or even order a pizza from your handset. Taking advantage of these apps can make your shopping experience much better.
The other thing you should know about mobile commerce is that it’s safe-as long as you use the regular safeguards you would use whenever you are shopping online from your home computer. Keep your passwords strong and don’t stay logged into a site that is connected to any financial accounts. After all, your phone is much easier to lose than your laptop If you stay logged in to ebay, you might have an unpleasant surprise in your bank account when someone finds your phone sitting on the desk at the library. By thinking ahead, you can keep mobile commerce safe and convenient.
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