What Is Mobile Commerce? The Ultimate Guide
If you check your pocket, what do you find there? Chances are that you are within arm’s length of a mobile device. Most people these days own a cell phone or a tablet. These devices have changed the way the world works. Things that could only be done with computers have now become mobile experiences. One of these experiences is online shopping.
If you’re running a business, you probably know a bit about e-commerce. However, are you aware of m-commerce? M-commerce, formally known as mobile commerce, is important to businesses of all sizes. Learn all about it here!
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
What Is Mobile Commerce?
Mobile commerce is the use of mobile devices to make commercial transactions online. It is also known as m-commerce or mcommerce for short. Many people use their mobile devices for transactions of all kinds. People send mobile payments to one another, and they also do their online banking from their phone. Additionally, many businesses make specific mobile websites. These websites make the mobile shopping experience easier to do from a phone or a tablet.
Mobile Commerce Comes from E-Commerce
Much of mobile commerce is derived from electronic commerce, also known as e-commerce. E-commerce is the act of purchasing items by way of websites. Technically, mobile commerce is a form of e-commerce. As such, with mobile phones becoming so popular, it’s assumed that mobile e-commerce sales would be high. That assumption is correct, and mobile commerce is only expected to grow over the coming years.
Examples of Mobile Commerce
There are many examples of mobile commerce available in today’s market. Each one of the following examples is a form mobile commerce, or an industry heavily influenced by it:
- Mobile payment options, like Apple Pay and Google Pay
- Electronic tickets on a mobile device
- Digital wallets allowing for digital payment through a mobile browser
- Mobile banking applications
- Mobile marketing and coupons
Much of the customer experience in the modern market is shaped by mobile devices. The access to information that a cell phone provides influences purchases. It allows people to research products prior to buying them, and it influences them to buy them in the long run.
Types of Mobile Commerce
When discussing mobile commerce, you’ll likely come across three main types of it. These are the current types available. However, as the mobile experience continues to evolve, more types may become available.
Mobile shopping is mostly the same as online shopping. However, the websites used for mobile shopping are optimized for mobile devices. Additionally, there are entire mobile applications that have been set up as marketplaces. This induces comfortable shopping, since it can be done from just about anywhere.
While mobile shopping is almost the same as online shopping, the same cannot be said for banking. Mobile banking is a bit more restricted due to the nature of the data being sent back and forth. Transactions tend to have restrictions. Most banks have their own mobile apps, making the experience seamless for customers.
This is probably the fastest growing area in mobile commerce. Many companies and vendors have been founded, allowing people to send mobile payments to one another. Additionally, they allow users to pay in-person using their devices.
Why is Mobile Commerce Important to My Business?
If you find yourself asking this question, there are a number of reasons to be brought up. Most online shoppers find themselves shopping from their phones these days. That’s because mobile phones have introduced a convenience factor.
When a customer is given a convenient option, they’re more likely to take it. If your business allows customers to shop online but not from a phone, they’ll probably seek an alternative. This is especially true if they’re using their phone to browse. Convenience matters so much that many businesses offer one-click checkout. Mobile conversion rates are one of the most important factors for online businesses today. The convenience of cell phones is the reason behind that.
Additionally, it should be noted that mobile websites tend to have a preference in Google and other search engines. A website that is optimized for mobile viewing will rank higher in the search results. This is because most people use their phones to look things up quickly. Mobile commerce is important for this reason. Just because you have a website optimized for mobile viewing, it doesn’t mean that it’s ready for mobile commerce. Your website needs to be built with the intent to allow mobile transactions.
Advantages of Using Mobile Commerce
If you’re looking for more reasons to use mobile commerce, we’re going to outline some of the biggest advantages here. If you’re not using mobile commerce strategies, these should provide a reason for you to.
Market Trends Indicate Growth
Mobile commerce trends have only been leaning towards growth. This is because of the popularity of cell phones, as well as the convenience of mobile commerce. Mobile commerce isn’t going anywhere soon. As such, it’s important to optimize your business to be ready for mobile sales.
In 2020 alone, mobile commerce sales made up 15% of all retail sales. That’s nearly double what it was 5 years ago. Again, this is only expected to grow. Most online retailers see over half of their sales coming from mobile devices.
The Best Experience for Customers
Both mobile commerce and e-commerce create a better shopping experience for your customers. The use of shopping online allows for a wider variety of exposure to products. It also allows businesses to offer more competitive pricing. The use of a mobile store is much less expensive than a brick-and-mortar storefront. Additionally, it means that shopping can happen anywhere.
A couple of features are available to mobile users that aren’t available online, though. Many retailers have taken to using augmented reality for their products. This allows furniture retailers to use the cameras on wireless devices to place fake furniture in rooms. Makeup retailers also use this to apply makeup onto faces without having to do so.
The last feature that should be talked about is chatbot and messenger apps. These make it easy for customers to interact with businesses. Many of them use artificial intelligence, meaning that customer support agents don’t have to use time to answer basic questions. It means customers don’t have to wait for agents to become available, either.
All Sales Channels Are Used
Originally, the omni-channel experience referred to selling products online and in stores. However, at this point in time, those aren’t the only two sales channels a business can use. Because of the prevalence of mobile sales, retailers have to consider adding this third channel to cover all of their bases. Additionally, the popularity of mobile sales are still growing. In time, mobile commerce could overtake the traditional online commerce that it came from.
The idea of using all sales channels comes from making sure you’re where your customers are. Most people spend a large amount of their time online. However, more people access the internet from their mobile device than they do from a computer in recent times. As such, you have to make sure that you have an optimized mobile experience, as well.
The Ability to Take All Payments
With the evolution of technology, there have been some payment methods developed solely for mobile use. As such, if you don’t have a mobile commerce site, you may be missing out on them. We haven’t moved past traditional payment methods, by any means. However, it all comes down to convenience. Mobile wallets allow users to make a single click to make payments. This is much easier than putting all of your information online every time you want to make a purchase. To take advantage of this attractive feature, you have to be optimized for mobile commerce.
Disadvantages of Using Mobile Commerce
With the good must come some bad. However, it should be noted that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Mobile commerce is here to stay, so you’ll have to get used to some of the harder parts of it.
Websites Need to Be Optimized All the Time
To provide the best user experience, you have to make sure your mobile site is always up to date. This can be time consuming, as well as costly. If your website doesn’t work on a user’s device, they won’t be using it. It’s as simple as that.
When you rely on mobile commerce, you have to be aware of the higher competition. This means that price checking is easier, and customers will go elsewhere when they can. As such, you have to keep your pricing dynamic, especially on your mobile commerce website.
More Payment Options
This is an advantage and a disadvantage. Being able to take all types of payments means more fees and surcharges. These can add up in the end. Finding the right provider is key here.
Mobile commerce is the way of the future. Many businesses establish themselves through mobile commerce platforms alone! To stay viable in modern times, you have to keep up with the trends. For businesses, one of those trends is mobile commerce. Head over to our resource hub for more articles like this!