Design and development of a mobile website for consumer electronics

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Mobile devices such as cellular phones and the BlackBerry Smartphone are widely used in UAE but mainly for voice and text messaging; very few applications are available that are customized to the UAE market, such as an application that allows users to use there mobiles to browse for products that are available at hypermarkets and related to electronics and consumers' appliances. In this project we will develop such an end-to-end solution to enable customers to browse from their Smartphone the available offers from several hypermarkets. To do this we will develop a database-driven website that allows companies to register, create accounts and upload their offers; we will also allow clients to browse such content from their Smartphone. The problem that people always face is that they take long time and effort to search for the product they need. While shopping, people face different problems such as traffic in transportation which take most of the shopping time. This application will allow people to search using their Smartphone any where they were, to find the latest products available with less efforts and time spend. So, no need for pen and paper to remember the items that are listed in the shopping list, if we have a powerful Smartphone with an excellent application.

The deliverables of this project include: a website that allows vendors to advertise their offers; a mobile application that allows users to view the offers from their mobile devices; and a business model for making this idea commercially viable. A final project report will also be submitted at the end of the project.

The Tasks

a) Creating a Website

Develop a website to allow companies to register and create an account to log on. This website will be in English language. The first page will be a welcoming page; in addition we will provide a multimedia commercial for the companies that desire to advertise for their offers. Moreover, this website will focus on two categories which are electronic and consumer's appliances. Then Companies will view this website using their desktop computers. In this stage we will learn first how to create a professional website using Dreamweaver.

b) Organize Data

In this phase we will organize all the companies' uploads into categories using MYSQL. Before starting this stage we will learn some tutorials to understand how to create database using MYSQL. Then after understanding how to use this program we will organize these uploads into categories using pictures rather than words to make it clearer for us. This stage will take most of our time and attention as it will be important to be more organized and clear so that we can use these information easily.

c) Design and Develop the Mobile Application

We will create another page under the main website which will show the mobile interface using XHTML. First, we will take some tutorials about using the XHTML to create our application because we should be familiar when developing our mobile application interface. This phase depend on the previous one, because this interface will be connected to the server/database.

The first page of the application when the user opens it in his/ her Smartphone is the welcome page followed by the offers page. Under offers, there will appear two search choices for the user which will be either by the company or the product category. Under each categories which will be whether electronics or consumers appliances, there will be pictures with short description about the product such as sale price, quality and manufacture company's name. when the user decides the product he/she wants to buy, he/she will find two options. The first one will be to call them for more information. The second option will be for him/her to find similar product from other company, in this case he/she will be able to search for other company to find similar products.

d) Introduce a Business Model:

In this phase we will be focusing on some important points to form our business model. First, we will identify the value proposition of this application and find out how companies should pay us. Second, we will address our target markets. Third, we will address the advantages of competitive companies by being more efficient in terms of the usage and the cost of the application. All these steps will help us to modify our business model. This will be our final phase which will be done next semester.

Before distributing this application we will identify our target markets which will be retailers companies such as Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket and Abu Dhabi Co-Op Society. In addition, smartphones's companies such as BlackBerry or Iphone. We will make advertisements about our application in the websites, newspapers and daily magazines. Then we will choose a Smartphone company which will pay us more. For example, BlackBerry distributor company in the UAE, will pay us for the application and for the advertising updates. In this case this application will be already installed for the users in the UAE. Then we will start to advertise for electronics and consumer's appliance, and charge Carrefour and Lulu Hypermarket for two things, their accounts and advertisements. Also we will charge them from their sales revenue. On the other hand, we will pay the company that will design multimedia advertising for us in our main web site. In addition, we will pay smart phone companies for advertising for our application. Also we will be charged for the application and the website updates. From the revenue we will expand this application to create a bigger database for other products.

Work Plan

Tasks

Description

Program needed

Skills needed before starting

Member (s) responsible

Date of Completion

Creating a website

Create a website to allow companies to register and create an account to upload their offers.

Dreamweaver

Understand how to use Dreamweaver to create a professional website

All members will be involved

Monday, November 30, 2009

Organize Data

Organize Companies' offers into categories, and test the database driven website.

MY SQL and PHP

Learn how to use MYSQL to organize data and create database which should be accurate and usable and connect the database to the website using PHP

All members will be involved

Sunday, January 31,2010

Design and develop the mobile application

Design the application interface and test it in mobile device

XHTML editor

Learn some tutorials about using XHTML (this will be arranged with Dr.Qusay)

All members will be involved

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Testing the

whole system

Test the application to see if it works properly and check the weakness to solve it

- Web browser

- Mobile phones

-

All Members will be involved

Sunday, March 18, 2010

Introduce a Business model

identify the Revenue and the expenses of our application to form our business models

Related Work

Understand the main points of addressing the value proposition and regarding our target markets and balance sheet

Hanan

Mouza

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Literature review:

Mobile application becomes the recent concern for many business companies. Each company tries to use the latest technology available to provide services for customers. Their vision is to be unique, have a good reputation among other companies and use this technology services as another source for increasing the revenue. Companies found that mobile application allows users to be aware of their new products and offers in an easy and express way.

Companies that supply manufactures of mobile phone want to be more successful and famous companies in the world. This new technology will Support the companies and customers and also provided as a part of a comprehensive solution for both sides by providing the appropriate applications for all types of users and businesses. In addition, it will also provide an appropriate and attractive content especially in the areas of shopping. Therefore some west companies developed Mobile Shopping applications, such as Armani Exchange which produced the first mobile ad campaign, TheFind.com which launch mobile Shopping Application for Apple, and Sprint Customers Get Industry which also lunched a mobile shopper application. However, UAE supports developers and institutions to work with the latest techniques available solution to upgrade mobile devices. So, now for the first time in the UAE we will add a new mobile Shopping technology which makes the shopping easier, enjoyable and express.

“Instance Message…Instant Style”

Armani Exchange recently produced an advertising campaign for their spring collection of 2009. The purpose of their mobile application is to build strong relationships with customers by sending them text messages to raise the awareness of their new spring collection. In these text messages they will watch videos, images and find the nearest A|X store. The spring collections are organized using a special code for each product that help customers to find the product that they would like to buy from the store. The main tool that A|X is using for this ad campaign is a database that records all the information about the collection and records the customers' mobile numbers to send them constantly about A|X spring collection of 2009.

“Customers can shop and buy from more than 30 online retailers...”

Sprint Nextel is a wide range of wireless and communication tool that help customers to search for different kind of product. Their new solution for customers is to provide a website where they can register to search for different product. It shows more than 7 million products for sale from more than 30 well-liked online retailers such as eLuxury, eBags, and more. When customers register in Sprint Nextel website at (www.spring .com/mobileshopper), they can search for the product they are looking for using their phone or PC. After they find the product that they were looking for, they can purchase it by entering their mobile phone number and the PIN of their credit cards, and immediately the charge of this product appear in the credit card statement. It's just the same as they were shopping from their PC.

iPhone ™ Comprehensive mobile shopping application:

TheFind.com lunched a comprehensive shopping tool for customers. This shopping application is designed to help customers to search for lifestyle goods from anywhere in anytime. It gives them information about products depend on the store location, price and sales information from several stores to help them make a comparison to choose the suitable product. In addition, this application easily and quickly gives the customers a determination of the outlet stores using the map to see the location, address, and phone number. Also it help customers to check what is available in stores at which price to make a good deal by comparing several stores with the price and choose the best depending on their income. IPhone comprehensive mobile shopping application is based on two tools which are the database search engines and GPS to determine the store location.

1. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/3044.html

2. http://www.mobilewhack.com/sprint-customers-get-industry-first-mobile-shopper-application/

3. http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080805005798&newsLang=en

A|X store

Strengths:

1. Increase customers' awareness about the brands' collection with prices, images and location using a reachable text messaging tool.

2. Add a good reputation with a new SMS marketing tool.

3. Use the Coding technique which helps customers to find the product easily.

Weakness:

1. This program is just an advertisement campaign for Spring 2009 collection only.

2. Its not useful for some people, because not everyone is interested in knowing the new collections.

3. Receiving messages everyday might annoy customers because they might not buy every new collection.

Opportunity:

1-Get the benefits and increase the revenue when focusing on the customers' awareness ad campaign.

2- It's the first Ad campaign that uses text messages to promote for the new A|X collections.

Threats:

1-This ad campaign will make affect negatively on the importance of commercial marketing agents.

2- Customers are charged for these messages.

Sprint Nextel

Strengths:

1. Sprint website covers more than 7 million products from different popular retailers.

2. Sprint allows customers to buy using their own account with a secure credit card PIN.

3. Customers are not charged for this “Mobile Shopper application”. They are only charged for the products they buy.

Weakness:

1. This service is the just the same as customers will shop online using PC.

2. A customer cannot search for a product or shop for it unless he have an account.

3. To use this service, mobiles should be connected to a wireless collection.

Opportunities:

1. Attract popular companies to spread their products using this application.

2. This is the first application that doesn't take any charges from customers.

Threats:

Competitors might take the advantage of imitating this application and improve its weaknesses. For example, charge customers for the application to use it without wireless.

Iphone Mobile Shopping Application

Strengths:

1. Quick and easy tool to search for a products' price, image, location and availability.

2. This application uses GPS which determine the address of the store “Location awareness”.

3. It helps customers to receive the latest promotion and offers of the proffered stores. It also saves their time and money.

Weakness:

1. This application works just with Iphone mobiles, and not everyone can buy it.

2. GPS service is expensive and need to be updated constantly.

3. This application might be useful for just people who have a high income.

Opportunities:

1. The first application that uses GPS as “Location Aware”.

Threats:

Encourage competitors, such as BlackBerry smart phone company, to make such an application that might cost less.

From this analyze we recognized that our application should fill the gap of the companies above. Our project should focus on some important areas like customers' needs and income and also application needs, and raise awareness under good market condition.

Mobile Shopping Application is an application which is provided for all kinds of people regardless to their incomes. People need a shopping application which focuses on electronics and customer appliance, perhaps, not everyone is interesting in fashion. Customer's different incomes whether low or high need to adapt the technology to find their needs with wasting time and resource.

Our application will be much simpler as it will use less complicated tools that will facilitate the database updating. Smart phones like Iphone and Blackberry, will our target mobile device because they are widely used.

SWOT Analysis for Our Mobile Shopping Application:

Mobile Shopping Application

Strength:

1. Easy way to use and check for the product details.

2. Suitable for people from different income levels.

3. Save people time and effort.

4.Raise awareness of companies products advertisements

Weakness:

1.This application is designed for just for Smart Phones

2. Limited categories of products. Its provides offers for electronics and customers appliance.

Opportunities:

1. This application is the first mobile shopping application in the UAE.

2. This application gave us the chance to use the latest technology available to establish a advertisement database which will be viewed using the customers' mobile application.

3. Increase the technology reputation to rise up the name of the UAE.

Threats:

1. Competitors will take our idea and expand it for other categories. In other words, a small change in focus of a large competitor might wipeout any market position we achieve.

Fill The Gap

Vision :

Our vision is to look for competitive advantages for our customers using modern and resourceful use of technology. Our main aim is to offer an excellent customer service and satisfaction, using this mobile shopping application that offers different choices of electronics and customers appliance from different companies.

Mission:

Our application is able to provide outstanding client software advanced services, and work closely with customers and business necessities in deliver the best outcomes. Our mission is focused to maximize the value for our clients by providing them efficient and cost effective solutions for reaching fast product modernization and profitability.

Lessons Learnt

Knowing how Mobile shopping application is used globally is really interesting. Also, we recognized that this project which is mobile shopping application is not used in the UAE by any local companies that indicates to our capstone project that we develop is new in the UAE. This assignment helps us to improve our critical thinking, mange our time and work as team work. We learnt from this assignment how can we get benefits or improve others ideas. After searching in the internet we learnt the strength and the weakness for each company that used mobiles application.

We have learned from (MALOs) and (ZULOs) lots. As for (ZULOs), we learned the important skill which is critical thinking skill. From this assignment we are able to use our critical thinking to recognize which application is closer to our application. Also we thought how these applications could help us to create an advanced mobile shopping application.

This assignment helped us achieve some of the Major Learning Outcomes (MALOs) of Zayed University. We used the internet technology to do a search about global companies that use mobile application and also we used different search agents. We learnt how to manage our time firstly by understanding what our goal is. Then, we divide the work to all members in group by creating flexible schedule and write the deadlines for the completion of certain tasks. Team members are working hard, and they handed in their job on time.

This project helps us to be motivated and more focused since it was developed by us. We used our management skills that we learned from business college, how to manage our time efficiently. Another skill that we learn is how to lead ourselves because we learned that everyone is a leader- guide ourselves- and should work as a team boss and do not just depend on one member of the team to be guided. All these leadership skills help us to finish on time or before, to revise the assignment again to see how we could improve it. Nothing is easy, yet nothing is difficult, so it is a time issue to succeed in this project.

Conclusion:

Mobile Applications create a major advantage for people regardless to their position. For example, marketers get the benefit by promoting for their products using the mobile devices that easily reach a large number of people in a short time. So they use this tool to increase the awareness of the customers about the latest offers, products, discounts etc. Since the new technology appears, everyone is thinking of creating an application or a device that facilitate the shopping for customers and work as another source of revenue. Many companies around the world are focusing on attracting the customers using the mobile application because it easily can reach them such as A|X, Iphone and Sprint Nextel. These companies use different tools to gain the market benefits. For example, A|X used the text messaging technique, while Iphone focused on the location of the store in addition to information about the product, and Sprint Nextel used online mobile shopping application. We have looked at their objectives, strengths weaknesses, opportunities and threats and develop our vision and mission to fill the gab. So we are more focused on developing an application that are described as an easy, useful, and provide timeless shopping for customers

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