Factors Affecting Mobile Commerce and Level of Involvement

Factors Affecting Mobile Commerce and Level of Involvement

Frederick Hong Kit Yim (Drexel University, USA), Alan Ching Biu Tse (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong) and King Yin Wong (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-096-7.ch021

Abstract

Driven by the accelerating advancement in information technology (IT), the penetration of the Internet and other communications services has increased substantially. Hoffman (2000), one of the most renowned scholars in the realm of Internet research, considers the Internet as “the most important innovation since the development of the printing press.” Indeed, the omnipresent nature of the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) has been a defining characteristic of the “new world” of electronic commerce (Dutta, Kwan, & Segev, 1998). There are a good number of academics and practitioners who predict that the Internet and the WWW will be the central focus of all commercial activities in the coming decades (e.g., Dholakia, 1998). In particular, Jarvenpaa & Todd (1996) argue that the Internet is alive with the potential to act as a commercial medium and market. Figuratively, discussing the business prospects of the Internet and the WWW is somehow analogous to discussing the Gold Rush of the 19th century (Dholakia, 1995). Admittedly, the close down of a lot of dot.coms since 2000 has been a concern for many people. However, the statistical figures we have up to now show that the growth pattern continues to be exponential. For example, the latest Forrester Online Retail Index released in January 2002 indicates that consumers spent $5.7 billion online in December, compared to $4.9 billion in November Forrester Research, 2002a). There is yet another sign of optimism for online shopping: The Internet Confidence Index (as released in September 2002), jointly developed by Yahoo and ACNielsen, rose 13 points over the inaugural survey released in June 2001, indicating a strengthening in consumers’ attitudes and confidence in e-commerce services (Yahoo Media Relations, 2002). Hence, we believe that the setback is only temporary and is part of a normal business adjustment. The future trend is very clear to us. Everybody, be it multinationals or small firms, should be convinced of the need to be on the Web.
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Introduction

Driven by the accelerating advancement in information technology (IT), the penetration of the Internet and other communications services has increased substantially. Hoffman (2000), one of the most renowned scholars in the realm of Internet research, considers the Internet as “the most important innovation since the development of the printing press.” Indeed, the omnipresent nature of the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) has been a defining characteristic of the “new world” of electronic commerce (Dutta, Kwan, & Segev, 1998). There are a good number of academics and practitioners who predict that the Internet and the WWW will be the central focus of all commercial activities in the coming decades (e.g., Dholakia, 1998). In particular, Jarvenpaa & Todd (1996) argue that the Internet is alive with the potential to act as a commercial medium and market. Figuratively, discussing the business prospects of the Internet and the WWW is somehow analogous to discussing the Gold Rush of the 19th century (Dholakia, 1995).

Admittedly, the close down of a lot of dot.coms since 2000 has been a concern for many people. However, the statistical figures we have up to now show that the growth pattern continues to be exponential. For example, the latest Forrester Online Retail Index released in January 2002 indicates that consumers spent $5.7 billion online in December, compared to $4.9 billion in November (Forrester Research, 2002a). There is yet another sign of optimism for online shopping: The Internet Confidence Index (as released in September 2002), jointly developed by Yahoo and ACNielsen, rose 13 points over the inaugural survey released in June 2001, indicating a strengthening in consumers’ attitudes and confidence in e-commerce services (Yahoo Media Relations, 2002). Hence, we believe that the setback is only temporary and is part of a normal business adjustment. The future trend is very clear to us. Everybody, be it multinationals or small firms, should be convinced of the need to be on the Web.

While researchers like Sheth and Sisodia (1999) have described the growth of the Internet as astonishing, an even more startling growth is projected in the area of wireless Internet access via mobile devices. The general consensus is that mobile commerce, a variant of Internet commerce (Lucas, 2001) that lets users “surf” their phones (Wolfinbarger & Gilly, 2001), will become part of the next evolutionary stage of e-commerce (e.g., Keen, 2001; Leung & Antypas, 2001; Tausz, 2001). Mobile commerce involves the different processes of content delivery (notification and reporting) and transactions (purchasing and data entry) on mobile devices, and its current landscape resembles the Internet in its first generation in the early 1990s (Leung & Antypas, 2001). According to a study by Strategy Analytics, the rise in demand for mobile commerce services will lead to a market value of $230 billion by 2006 (Patel, 2001). Also a cause for optimism in mobile commerce services is the estimates made by the Yankee Group that the value of goods and services purchased via mobile devices will exceed $50 billion by 2005, up from $100 million in 2000 (Yankee Group, 2001). According to Yankee, the number of wireless consumers using financial services in North America alone will reach more than 35 million in 2005, a leap from the current 500,000.

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