What’s In A Name, M-Commerce Style

Written by Evan Schuman
June 23rd, 2011

Industry shorthand is intended to be an efficient way to communicate frequently used phrases. Sometimes, however, retail tech drops its guard and ends up with multiple identical terms to refer to very different things. Some 15 years ago, “Web server” was the classic example, referring to both software and tower hardware. It was often impossible to tell which was being referenced, even in context. Today, M-Commerce is giving us a 2011 example.

If I reference Best Buy Mobile revenue, am I referring to the chain selling phones or what people buy using their phones looking at Best Buy’s site on those phones? The same can be said of just about every major chain that happens to sell phones, but Best Buy is an especially severe offender. It actually dubbed one of its divisions BestBuy Mobile—and it’s the chain’s M-Commerce group. Here’s a Merriam-Webster brain-tease: What do you call revenue that Best Buy earns from people accessing the chain’s M-Commerce site on their iPhone and then using that connection to purchase an Android phone? (Was going to ask for the name if those same people engaged in this M-Commerce Android effort while riding the LAN at a local Mobil gas station, but thought better of it.)


One Comment | Read What’s In A Name, M-Commerce Style

  1. Dave Says:

    Why not just call it Mobile Channel revenue? It doesn’t matter if they buy a phone or a TV, if the transaction is completed on the mobile site, it’s done in the mobile channel. The challenge will be that Mobile is certainly a channel, but its potential to influence is much more significant than its potential to actually transact. For example, in our platform, we get 63 “Find a Store” transactions for every “Purchase” transaction. And what about when someone searches, browses and executes a “Click to Call” transaction? So Mobile is the great facilitator of cross channel sales. Have some fun naming that!


StorefrontBacktalk delivers the latest retail technology news & analysis. Join more than 60,000 retail IT leaders who subscribe to our free weekly email. Sign up today!

Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

Our apologies. Due to legal and security copyright issues, we can't facilitate the printing of Premium Content. If you absolutely need a hard copy, please contact customer service.