Access to the Internet has virtually connected the entire globe, and the use of blogs, forums and social media has made a difference in the way that consumers and organizations are able to build rapport and continue an on-going relationship with each other. Thus, a new frontier has taken place on the web; still in its baby stage, the use of mobile devices to access the web has begun to impact the way consumers interact with organizations.
To begin, mobile devices offer a new platform fororganizations to differentiate themselves from others and speak directly with their customers. When we speak of mobile devices, we are talking about devices such as cell phones, PDAs, and similar products. These devices have come about and created a new web (the Mobile Web) because they allow users to access the Internet while on the go. As stated in the article, “Mobile Web users are not online simply to browse and surf the Internet. Rather, they are online with a specific need or purpose in mind and convenience is of the utmost importance to them” (FairWindsPartners, 2011). So, my first observation of why mobile devices impact the way consumers interact with organizations at all is the fact that it is very convenient for the user. More and more people are living busier lives by the day and that means that they do not always have time to stop and sit in front of a computer for information. They want and need information right then and there without interrupting any priorities already in progress. Mobile devices and the Mobile Web make it all possible.
Though mobile devices make it convenient for the consumer, it may not be as convenient for organizations in the beginning because in order for organizations to accommodate their customers on the Mobile Web, they must create Mobile Web specific versions of their content (FairWindsPartners, 2011). One would imagine this process to be lengthy and costly; maybe so, but later it shall be worth the effort on the organization’s behalf. According to FairWinds, organizations can also “rely on various usability technologies that reformat traditional Internet content for the Mobile Web. Though many companies have not set up their Web sites to respond correctly, in an optimal scenario, corporate servers should detect the use of a mobile device and respond with suitable content”. Consumer demands will force more organizations to look to Mobile Web in the near future, forcing them to look closer at their websites and the domain names that provide doorways to mobile interactions (FairWindsPartners, 2011).
Speaking of domain names, mobile devices have impacted consumer and organization relationships in such a way that Visa, Nokia, and Microsoft have actually created a Top Level Domain name registry called dotMobi. Domain names ending with the dotMobi extension are intended for content that is designed for mobile consumption, and the registry requires that a name provides just that experience if it is going to be live (FairWindsParnters, 2011). So for instance, if a mobile user wanted to visit Wal-Mart’s website using his or her iPhone, instead of typing walmart.com, he or she would type in walmart.mobi and Wal-Mart’s content for mobile devices would be loaded to the phone.
Finally, according to FairWindsParters, as the Web Mobile continues to grow and attract more users, issues with domain name and sponsored advertising trademark enforcement are likelyto surface more frequently. Since mobile search delivers results in a different manner, it gives fraudsters the opportunity to operate more successfully, thus impacting both the consumer and organizations in a negative way. “In addition, the change in user needs and behaviors and the difficulty of typing accurately on a mobile device may cause a spike in cybersquatting (when someone uses a registered domain name that doesn’t belong to them in hopes to profit from it) as the Mobile Web grows in popularity” (FairWindsPartners, 2011).
With the Internet around, we surely are connected, and mobile devices have taken the way we connect to another level. As the Mobile Web continues to gain momentum, consumers shall reap the benefit. While on the go, their mobile devices are at hand to assist with information such as news, directions, weather, sales, etc. Organizations, on the other hand, may have to put in some extra work to meet the demands of the consumers on this new platform, but they too will benefit from this new, evolved Internet because their customers have immediate access to them. As always, there will be fraudsters lurking for someone’s vulnerability, but with proper monitoring and evaluation, technology will continue to push us forward while removing the discrepancies.
FairWindsPartners, 2011. Mobile Web- Consumer Behavior, Volume 2, Issue 7. Retrieved
May 1, 2011 from