By Brad Jones, Asia Pacific Regional Head, P97 Networks
Mobile commerce is transforming the checkout process by making the payment virtually invisible. By allowing consumers to perform transactions via their phones, tablets, and cars, mobile commerce is adding a level of convenience, security, and value never before experienced by consumers.
Most retailers in various industries are taking the benefits of mobile commerce to transform the customer experience. With the introduction of mobile commerce, retailers are collecting more data on customer demographics and behaviour, utilising advanced processing capabilities on the data collected to attract and retain customers.
Fuel retailing is one industry set to benefit significantly from mobile commerce. Currently, there is a clear disconnect between what consumers want and what today’s fuel retailers provide, driving the need for mobile commerce to bridge the gap. This is the first of a three-part series on an introduction to mobile commerce. Read on to learn about the technology trends driving today’s consumer-facing industries.
The Four Technology Trends Driving Today’s Consumer-Facing Industries
Mobility and Internet of Things
Most consumers and retailers in various industries are taking the benefit of mobile computing to transform the customer experience for purchases of goods and services. With the introduction of the Internet of Things concept, we see more retailers using technology to collect more data on customer usage through wearable devices and utilising advanced processing capabilities on the data collected to attract and retain customers.
Cloud computing is computing capability delivered as a utility through internet standards and protocols, commonly grouped into ‘public cloud’ and ‘private cloud’ types. Public clouds, as the name indicates, are available for anyone who wields a credit card (an example of a public cloud would be Microsoft Azure). Private clouds are meant for the exclusive use of a business or a consortium of businesses that collaborate. The cloud approach is ideal for complex fuel retailing operations, with its multi-vendor, multi-partner environment and huge volumes of data that require a combination of strict security and easy sharing with appropriate partners.
Social Media and Collaboration
With current IT infrastructure, collaboration is also difficult because there’s no convenient, shared location where multiple internal and external partners can access information stored on the corporate network. For example, it would be extremely valuable for fuel retailers to correlate consumer profiles with fuel and in-store purchases. This correlation would require marketing data tied to the purchaser’s payment event data, marketing data of an offer being accepted for in-store purchase, and payment data of the in-store purchase. Facilitating this collaboration would lead to predictive analytics becoming available to the value chain participants.
The industry is now embracing social enablers to increase worker productivity using social media technologies like status updates and notifications from social networks like Twitter and Facebook, along with real-time messaging, blogs, photo sharing, and wikis. As professionals use these technologies to manage their personal and professional connections, the industry is adapting network-based capabilities to foster cross-discipline collaboration and to better understand and manage the fuel retailer’s operations environment.
Big Data / Analytics
The future of fuel retailing will incorporate the concepts of data mining, business intelligence and real-time event correlation to create predictive analytics from mashups. Mashups will take two forms: consumer mashups, which will combine data from multiple public sources to facilitate behavioural marketing, and data mashups, which will combine similar types of media and information from multiple sources into a single representation (e.g. new behavioural profiles, segments and categories).
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