Mobile Electronic Commerce

Mobile Electronic Commerce

Samuel Pierre
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-054-7.ch003
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Mobile electronic commerce (or m-commerce) is generally defined as the set of financial transactions that can be carried out over a wireless mobile network (Pierre, 2003; Varshney, 2001; Varshney, Vetter, & Kalakota, 2000). According to this definition, m-commerce constitutes a subset of all electronic commercial transactions (electronic commerce or e-commerce) from business- to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B). Thus, short personal messages such as those from short messaging system (SMS) sent between two individuals do not fall within the category of m-commerce, whereas messages from a service provider to a salesperson or a consumer, or vice versa, do fit this very definition. M-commerce appears an emerging manifestation of Internet electronic commerce which meshes together concepts such as the Internet, mobile computing, and wireless telecommunications in order to provide an array of sophisticated services (m-services) to mobile users (Paurobally, Turner, & Jennings, 2003). Before purchasing a product, clients need services such as those used to search for a product and a merchant who offer the lowest price for this product. Consumers also like to participate in auctions and analyze the quality/price ratio of a product for a certain number of suppliers (Jukic, Sharma, Jukic, & Parameswaran, 2002). Online shopping for a given product is becoming increasingly popular, and electronic purchasing and bargaining consist of looking up and deciphering the contents of electronic catalogues prior to making a decision. To automate this process and to ensure that these documents are comprehensible to computers, they must have a standard format. Such services exist in standard commerce; however, in e-commerce, they require further consideration such as those related to the market dynamics, the variety of platforms, and the languages used by various merchant sites (Itani, & Kayssi, 2003; Lenou, Glitho, & Pierre, 2003).

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