Mobile Commerce (aka m-commerce) Keeps Finding Its Voice

Call it mobile shopping. Call it mobile commerce. Call it m-commerce, if you’re into the whole brevity thing.

Call it upward mobility, if you must.

Whatever you call it, with each passing day, it becomes more and more of a force. And an increasingly common way to shop and purchase in late-2013 America.

Shopgate, a “m-commerce business solution,” even released a recent report entitled the “2013 Holiday Guide for Online Retailers,” in which “current m-commerce traffic” was estimated to represent more than 20 percent of all American internet traffic, and mobile shopping was expected to reach $42 billion by the end of 2013, when Holiday m-commerce numbers have all been tallied, tabulated and accounted for.

More and more positive predictions about the rapid rise in mobile commerce (and mobile advertising) are being made, although the “more demanding” nature of m-commerce shoppers might not be something to get too excited about. And whatever way you slice it, it’s becoming quite clear that companies and brands who wish to survive and thrive in the future must be adept at not just e-commerce as a whole…but at m-commerce in particular. A big part of that success involves optimizing your company’s website for smooth, clear mobile usage.

Of course, things move faster and faster each and every day, and while “m-commerce” may be a term that many marketers, consumers, brands and businesses are still just beginning to get familiar with now, it might not be long before “mobile voice commerce” transcends “regular old m-commerce.”

Nuance may not have the same name cache as, say, Apple, but the Burlington, MA-based technology company employs nearly 12,000 people, counts annual revenue of around $2 billion and creates voice recognition technology that helps power more than 5 billion mobile phones and some 70 million cars.

On their website, Nuance claims to be “reinventing the relationship >between people and technology” and the company keeps taking steps to back up such bold and ambitious claims. Its Dragon natural language understanding software products have long been renowned for their high level of sophistication in translating vocal input, making it the voice recognition engine behind many consumer-to-computer interactions. The company itself bills Dragon as “the world’s best-selling speech recognition software. It turns your talk into text and can make virtually any computer talk easier and faster.”

Nuance also recently unveiled its new Mobile Innovation Center in the intellectual hotbed of Cambridge, MA. Centrally located between MIT and Harvard University, the expansive Mobile Innovation Center can house more than 150 people, and is slated to serve as home to Nuance’s expanding and robust R&D team assigned to all things associated with advanced voice recognition, natural language, user interface technologies and more.

At the center’s opening, MediaPost mCommerce Daily editor Chuck Martin interviewed Nuance Executive Vice President and General Manager of Mobile Michael Thompson, who spoke enthusiastically of plans to “make the click-to-buy as fast as possible” via advanced and streamlined mobile voice commerce.

“Connectivity is exponential, compounding the expectation level,” said Thompson. “People would rather be carrying a phone than a wallet, and with this approach, there is no keyboard needed, since it’s voice-enabled.”

What do YOU think about mobile commerce in general…and mobile voice commerce in particular? Is it something you’d like to see advance society? Your business? Are you excited to see something like this become commonplace in America? And if so…how long do you think it will take to really catch on?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below this blog. We’d love to hear from you on this one.

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