Mobile commerce is no longer an idea of the future or some novelty project. The reality is, consumers are putting their hands inside their pockets or bags to make their purchases online from their smartphones, ditching desktops, and even laptops.
The surge in mobile commerce was witnessed during the pandemic, as online orders picked up significantly. As per Forbes' report, till April 21, 2020, online retail orders increased by 146 percent. Another report stated 72 percent of online consumers were using mobile devices for their purchases in 2020.
So, if you are thinking of venturing into eCommerce, it is time you think about planting your feet in the world of mobile commerce. If you are not using the mobile commerce platform, you will be losing out on possible 3 billion customers worldwide because, by 2022, that is the number of people using smartphones.
But if you feel lost about the details and where and how to start mobile commerce, this ultimate guide will help you understand all the nitty-gritty details of it all.
Before we embark on the journey of having a comprehensive idea about mobile commerce, we need to address one crucial question, what is mobile commerce?
The merchant uses the peer-to-peer (P2P) model for the mobile commerce platform. The process allows the payments by the customers to be made to the merchant without any intermediary. However, depending on the business, the payment method, and the purchase location, a third party, can be involved in modifying the payment method.
With the m-commerce app or mobile-optimized website, the customer can browse, preview, and buy the products on the go. In addition, the features incorporated in the m-commerce apps allow the listing of products as per the customer's previous searches, enabling them to spend less time on purchases. This speeds up user conversion and improves the purchase experience.
All these are done with the mobile device being connected to a wireless network. Hence, the m-commerce developers need to take care of the KPIs, which would include the track of the total number of mobile traffics, traffic on the application, average order, value of the order, add to cart rate along with page loading time, mobile cart conversion rates and subscriptions for SMS and push notification agreement.
When it comes to mobile commerce apps, one needs to be aware of the types of mobile commerce apps available. Typically, there are currently three varieties of m-commerce apps. They are:
Mobile banking comes with quite a few restrictions since it deals with sensitive data. Most banks offer their own mobile apps that are customer-centric and have certain unique features exclusive to the enterprise. Mobile banking aims to offer a seamless experience to the customers with basic transactions.
Mobile shopping is like eCommerce/online shopping. However, the difference is that the websites are used are optimized for mobile devices. Moreover, the mobile app developed for shopping has a full marketplace for a seamless shopping experience for customers from anywhere and anytime.
The mobile commerce sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors. Many existing and new-found companies allow people to send money to another person or vendor through the app. The platform also allows the users to use the device to make a payment in person.
While these three remain the main mobile commerce varieties, with the technology evolving and mobile experience and usage increasing, many more types of m-commerce will be available soon.
As mentioned earlier, the use of m-commerce will continue to improve with the promise of better technology revolutionizing the shopping experience.
Some of the features that mobile commerce future holds are
If you are looking for reasons to use mobile commerce for your business or why you shouldn't, here is a list to make an informed decision.
Mobile commerce offers four main advantages to an enterprise and its customers.
Already, 72 percent of the adults who own voice-activated devices stated that it is part of their daily routine. Hence, the rise of intelligent voice assistance will become part of the shopping experience.
Whether it is Alexa or Siri, people have started using voice search for their shopping too.
Mobile commerce is growing exponentially because of the convenience it offers. As a result, it is not going away anytime soon. Rather, with the rise in smartphone device usage, optimizing the business for mobile commerce is the way forward.
The in-built analytics in the apps allow you to identify the customer and the market trend, thereby providing a better customer experience.
One of the unique natures of m-commerce is ubiquity. Now, brands and businesses can enter the market and connect with customers with an app. Any information is available for the users anywhere, anytime, without extra cost.
Businesses can easily save hundreds of dollars for credit card terminal payments. With only barcode scanners, the payment gets easier for the customer with multiple payment gateway options and the business owner.
While there are certain advantages of mobile commerce, it does have some drawbacks like
There are chatbots and live chat software options when customers purchase online. However, it still lacks the personalized touch that a physical store brings based on the customer's previous experience and interaction. Also, a customer cannot feel and touch the items before the purchase.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) can cache web content. However, a customer cannot go through the full purchase without an internet connection. Also, there is no option of fast checkout and consulting services.
The mobile site must be optimized and updated regularly to provide the best user experience. However, it can cost you a lot of bucks. You also have to keep the pricing dynamic and stay at the top of your competitors, which means you have to keep track of them.
Since most m-commerce transactions happen online, the products are delivered by third-party shipping companies. However, at times the handling of the item can be a problem, like getting it misplaced or lost.
Like every sector, m-commerce has its advantages and disadvantages. It is up to the business owner as to how they want to handle and utilize the benefit of mobile commerce.
Mobile commerce is considered to be the same as e-commerce, only on a smaller screen. But has gained much more importance. It is coming up with new trends like:
You no longer have to wait for the ad to end and search for the product online. Instead, the visual content and the m-commerce platform are being integrated for you to start shopping between the ad via the link provided.
While shoppable videos are there, brands collaborate with influencers and bloggers to offer an immersive shopping experience with live events. Products will be displayed while interacting, and shoppers can order them instantly.
Brands with social media accounts can easily tag and push their products through posts for shoppers to buy directly.
There are several challenges that m-commerce stores face: the lack of internet connection, small screens, security threats, constant OS updates that the mobile commerce app fails to keep up with.
However, all these issues can be navigated with proper research and understanding of consumer behaviour. So, if you want to invest in m-commerce, the best way to move ahead is to optimize the storefront and create an application that puts the customer experience at the centres.