A Typology of Firms Regarding M-Commerce Adoption

A Typology of Firms Regarding M-Commerce Adoption

Sonia San-Martín (University of Burgos, Burgos, Spain) and Nadia Jiménez (University of Burgos, Burgos, Spain)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJISMD.2015100103
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Nowadays firms are actively considering the mobile phone as a means of marketing and should also analyze its potential as a means of selling. In this study, the authors present the survey results from a sample of 125 firms, in Spain. They outline four types of firms (innovators, followers, laggards and traditionalists) on the basis of factors that drive or inhibit this type of selling and the main variables from TOE (technological, organizational and environmental) framework. The authors also characterize those four types of firms according to their size, sector, experience and use of ICT marketing strategies. To the best of their knowledge, scarce studies have analyzed mobile selling in Spain and proposed an exhaustive characterization of mobile vendor firms and strategies. Both academic and managerial implications of interest are derived from this study.
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The mobile phone has differential characteristics, as opposed to other devices such as the computer (mobility, interactivity, ubiquity, localization and personalization), thus it should be seen as an appropriate instrument for firms to complement other types of commercial channels (Clarke, 2001, Tsai and Gururajan, 2005). Mobile selling (MS) involves an opportunity for firms to position their products or services in consumers’ pockets anywhere and anytime (Riivari, 2005). Following Clarke (2001), Heng-Sheng and Gururajan (2005) and Lee et al. (2007), mobile selling involves the action of offering products or services through portable or mobile technologies that facilitate consumers to do their shopping in an ubiquitous way and anytime.

Literature on m-commerce has especially focused on its adoption by consumers (Agrebi y Jallais, 2015; Zhang et al., 2013; Chan y Chong, 2013; López-Catalán y San-Martín, 2013; Zarmpou et al., 2012), and there are only a few that analyze the perspective of firms (San Martín et al., 2012; Gebauer y Shaw, 2004; Liang et al, 2007; Shankar, 2010). It is remarkable that research and practice of m-commerce by firms is still in preliminary stages of adoption (Kim et al., 2015), which involves a great challenge and a future of several marketing opportunities. In this sense, Tsalgatidou and Pitoura (2001) and Pierre-Majorique et al. (2004) find that firms that have adopted e-commerce are more prone to adopt m-commerce and use it as a complementary channel to offer additional value to its customers.

According to data from the National Interview about Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Electronic commerce by INE (2014), Internet adoption by Spanish firms is widespread (99.9%). On the contrary, if we only take into account mobile connections, the percentage of adoption is much lower (57.8%). 27% of Spanish companies use a software to analyze customer information for marketing purposes and e-commerce represents 16% of Spanish enterprises' sales (ONTSI, 2015). Spanish market offers great potential as it is in fact the first European country regarding the percentage of smartphone (Fundación Telefónica, 2015). According to this report, in Spain there are 23 millions of active users of mobile applications that perform 3.8 millions of daily downloads of mobile applications. In fact, there are more mobile telephone subscriptions (50.760.771) than population in Spain (46.5 millions of people) (ITU, 2015). Therefore, we think it is necessary to analyze the perspective and characteristics of firms facing the opportunities of the Spanish market for m-commerce and high penetration of mobile phones.

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