In an era where online commerce is growing at an exponential rate most of those transactions have still occurred within a traditional PC environment. Within the framework of online commerce, the release of Fire Phone, announced by Amazon at an event in Washington on Wednesday (6/18/14), will push for drastically more awareness and emphasis around mobile commerce. While the phone has a variety of flashy software and hardware feature sets, including most notably the ability to render certain images and functionalities into a 3-D like appearance, there is one core functionality that promises to help change the way people view, consume, and purchase products through retailers.
With the launch of their Fire Phone, Amazon upped the ante by integrating Firefly; an image, text , and audio-recognition technology into the hardware of their phone with a dedicated button that is located on the side of the phone. This feature will give customers the ability to showroom products in a big box store and then immediately jump on Amazon to complete their purchase at a more attractive price point because with less overhead and smaller margins Amazon is often able to undercut in store pricing. The Firefly functionality will also allow users to identify songs, movies, and TV shows that they can immediately stream through or purchase through Prime. While this core functionality is obviously largely self serving to the Amazon platform and the Amazon shopping a experience a parallel effect will undoubtedly be drawing more people to becoming comfortable with transacting online, and is a feature that could fundamentally change the shopping flow for big box stores and hyper local businesses alike.
In 2018 it is expected that online commerce sales, on a global level, will top $638 billion, which for reference that figure is approximately the entire size of the online commerce market in 2013. With such growth in dollars available in the mobile experience what does this mean for hyper local businesses? It means that in an era of fierce competition for online retail and service dollars it is of a quintessential nature that if you already don’t have an online commerce strategy that you start to think about how to implement and execute one. This is not only true for brick and mortar stores that need to be concerned about their online selling experiences, but it is also necessary for service based business to really evaluate how they can capture a sliver of that online revenue pie. Mobile commerce will undoubtedly boom within the physical product spectrum, but these types of technological advances will also lead the way for service based offerings to be shopped and paid for through mobile environments.
At PowerSites® we understand this necessity and are working vehemently to be able to provide you the product offerings you need to support your business online in any capacity that you deem fit.
Lynn Hughes is the Product Manager at PowerSites®, an all inclusive website-hosting, creation, and marketing solution that helps local businesses establish their brand, drive leads, and track success. PowerSites® is a leading resource in print, online and mobile for hyperlocal advertising, and brand management with our Business Directory Listings.