DoCoMo To Trial New mCommerce System

While the idea of “traditional m-commerce”, where you use a mobile phone to surf a shopping site and buy something, has mostly been discredited in the US, it seems that they’re going to give it another go in Japan. DoCoMo is running a trial of a mobile payment service that will let people log onto a shopping portal and buy various goods from their phones (both 2G and 3G). In other places where similar efforts have happened, most people found that there really wasn’t any products this made sense for. The problem is pretty straightforward: it needs to be a product that you need to order now. Something you can’t wait a few hours until you’re at home or the office and sitting in front of a computer. Yet… it also has to be a product that you don’t mind waiting a few days to receive. Those two things are almost always contradictory, so it’s tough to imagine many situations where buying things via a mobile phone make sense. Now, in Japan, there are situations where people use their mobile phones for internet access more than a computer (often if they don’t have a computer) – so that might be the market for this offering. However, the idea that everyone is going to rush out and buy stuff with their mobile phone sounds a bit far fetched.

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