Re: Wireless ecommerce

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Thu May 25 2000 - 20:00:45 MDT wrote:
> What am I missing here? Is it all hype? Plenty of companies are putting
> big bucks into it. Or is the growth mostly expected in the business
> arena, where a mobile sales force needs access to real time connectivity
> to the corporate net?

As it happens, the e-commerce place I work at is currently investigating
this issue. Here's the list of applications they're investigating, for
what it's worth:

* Purchase via laptop w/wireless connection - not much change from
  purchasing via a PC, except you only need an area to sit; you don't
  have to be in an office or other wired area.

* Travelling salesperson uses PDA as an order taker, rather than filling
  out forms and faxing them to central office. (Combine with
  touchpad/signature taker on the PDA, and you can seal deals on the
  spot, thus potentially increasing the number of deals per day that a
  salesperson can do and lowering the amount of time a customer must
  spend to purchase from you.)

* IT guru needs to purchase more licenses for an install. Enter order
  via PDA, license server records new licenses, new installs permitted
  on the spot. (This one seems the weakest on the list, though it would
  be the easiest to implement - barring the laptop one above, which any
  Web store automatically supports - since we'd just have to rewrite a
  few HTML pages.)

* Purchase via regular PC, fulfill via PDA. (For example, subscription
  services to various data of interest, or outsourced intranet-style
  applications like calendaring/appointment management.)

A full Web store on a cell phone does not make sense for multiple
reasons, primarily the limited display capabilities. But, for the most
part, it looks like people are still identifying uses for this; there
does not (yet) appear to be a killer app for wireless ecommerce.

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