Chapter 6Commerce in a Right-Time Experience

In some ways, commerce hasn't changed in hundreds of years. Businesses must still bring the right goods to market and price these wares competitively. In other ways, technologies like the Internet and mobile have fundamentally changed how we experience commerce. They allow virtual marketplaces that allow buyers and sellers to connect instantly across the globe. They also enable us to buy at any time of day and on the go. This trend, first with the Internet and then with mobile, has had a profound effect on brick-and-mortar retailers and all types of businesses. Even Internet heavyweights, such as eBay, have seen shifts in commerce as a result of mobile.

At the end of 2012, eBay was selling an average of 9,200 cars and 383,982 car parts each week through its mobile application.1 Granted, these buyers may have initially found the cars and parts on the company's website, but they were using the mobile channel to complete transactions on the go.

Given the nature of eBay's auction process, the ability to participate in an auction while out of the home or office is a huge process improvement. Consumers don't have to be sitting at a computer to win an auction, discover new products, or purchase items. This is just one example of the change technologies such as mobile are driving in the area of transactions. This chapter will highlight how a diverse group of organizations have improved or plan to improve commerce through right-time experiences. ...

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