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The IUP Journal of Information Technology
Technology Integration for the Success of B2C M-Commerce in India: Opportunities and Challenges
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Mobile phone subscriptions in India reached 1.1 billion in June 2016, and this in turn has broken many hurdles towards the adoption of e-commerce. Poor computer literacy, inadequate power supply in remote areas, cost of ownership of computing devices, regional connectivity and accessibility were the major roadblocks to e-commerce companies in India. An increasing number of smartphone users are already being targeted by B2C businesses, and companies like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, etc., are registering consistent growth in sales via mobile devices. The number of smartphone users (having the facility of 2G/3G/4G connectivity) has already crossed 400 million mark, and still there is a huge user base with the basic mobile phones forming the untapped potential for m-commerce companies. There is a specific need for technical integration to tap this group of users. On the other hand, mobile-friendly websites, feature-rich mobile applications, security and payment standards, speed and bandwidth limits of mobile networks pose significant competition and challenges to the growth of B2C e-commerce, considering the smartphone users. The present work analyzes the current B2C mobile business in India and outlines the opportunities and challenges for B2C m-commerce. Importance of technology integration has been identified for the success of m-commerce in India.

 
 

Mobile phone is one of the handful of consumer products that have gained global acceptance relatively within a short period of time (Barnes and Scornavacca, 2004). Today, mobile phone is central to the lives of human beings across the world. It is not only a personal device used to stay connected with friends and family, but also an extension of their personality and individuality for the consumers (Sultan et al., 2005; and Grant and O’Donohoe, 2007). People have started using mobile phone not only to make phone call but also for web access, chatting, surfing and also shopping (Sachin and Anand, 2014). With the faster availability of online business channels, mobile phone is being widely used by the consumer to buy products online. E-commerce has been on the rise consistently in the past few years, but m-commerce is fast becoming popular and becoming the preferred mode of shopping for the online buyers. With the rapid proliferation of mobile devices, including mobile phones, PDAs, and handheld computers, mobile commerce (m-commerce) is widely considered to be a driving force for next generation e-commerce (Ting, 2004). M-commerce is a natural successor to e-commerce (Au et al., 2007) and should not be viewed as e-commerce with limitations, but rather as a unique form of e-commerce with its own unique benefits (Scornavacca and Barnes, 2006). M-commerce is poised to take the first position due to lots of technological advances that are making it easier for people to shop on phones.

 
 

Information Technology Journal, Mobile commerce (m-commerce), Online shopping, Mobile marketing, Online buying behavior