Distinguishing Between Different Types of Mobile Commerce

Here are some ways you can now use mobile commerce, all of which we discuss in greater detail in the following sections:

  • SMS alerts: Short Message Service (SMS) alerts are one of the most popular methods of mobile commerce. Companies use SMS to send short text messages to their customers' cellphones. As an example, Allure magazine sends daily or weekly messages about contests and bargains to subscribers who have chosen to receive text alerts. The goal is to drive subscribers to the magazine's Web site, to keep them actively engaged with the magazine and potentially increase subscriber rates for their magazine.
  • Text-to-buy: Some savvy marketing companies have begun testing an instant gratification type of application for mobile commerce. With text-to-buy, companies place traditional advertisements for a specific product on billboards, in television or radio commercials, in print ads, and online in social network sites. Included in the ad is a special numerical code (usually a short string of numbers or letters). The consumer enters the code into a cellphone and buys the product.

    images Text-to-buy ads are an effective way to strike while the iron is hot, or to get a customer to buy while he's thinking about the product he just saw in an ad.

  • Mobile coupons: Some people may still be reluctant to make a purchase by using a cellphone, ...

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