Nowadays, what we hear more and more often is “mobile commerce”. Maybe it’s time to ask ourselves: what is m-commerce?
When did Online Commerce Start?
E-commerce stands for electronic commerce. It’s the concept of conducting business on the Internet. The founders of online commerce were Amazon and eBay, and it all started between 1994 and 1995.
It was a time when the Internet became indispensable, giving us access to information and goods we didn’t have before. Certainly, looking at customer behaviour, we can divide time between pre-Internet and Internet era. How and where people shop is something that has changed from the roots.
It is no wonder that today the highest recommendation for any business is to build strong electronic commerce channels to communicate with customers.
Of course, the evolution of online business did not stop there. Considering that we live in the era of smartphones (by 2020, 2.87 billion people worldwide will own one), it is necessary to make a step further and adjust to customers entirely to offer them your products and services. Bring your business on their smartphones, because they already spend a lot of time on it.
What is M-commerce?
It’s time to find out what m-commerce is. M-commerce stands for mobile commerce. It is buying and selling goods through mobile devices that run or operate on wireless network technologies. So, it is a complete online shopping experience, but with the convenience of being on a mobile device.
M-commerce increased the accessibility of all goods and services and ensured complete connectivity, at all times.
With the boom in tablet and smartphone ownership, m-commerce is becoming more and more popular. First, it is easy to carry mobile devices. Because of that, desktops have become repressed. Second, mobile device options that enable online transactions are advancing every day and will continue to do so. Technological growth gives those wireless handheld devices advanced capabilities and substantial computing power.
Will M-commerce Outgrow E-commerce?
E-commerce is expanding every year. And the mobile counterpart too. More and more customers are adopting the mobile-first strategy. By 2020, m-commerce is expected to become a $250 billion market, according to Smart Insight. What is m-commerce, if not an upgraded version of e-commerce?
Retailers are noticing that significant percentage of their shoppers comes from mobile devices. The conclusion is: m-commerce is the next logical step in their digital investment. Consumer habits have changed. It is time to consider how to best approach sales on this growing e-commerce channel.
Advantages of M-commerce
Portability, flexibility and accessibility are one of the major advantages. There is no need for direct internet connectivity since mobile devices use telecommunication networks for their connection.
Ubiquity and mobility, because through mobile devices, businesses can reach their target audience faster. There are no restrictions by physical or geographical locations when doing any kind of commerce.
In m-commerce, there is no need for constant connection to an electrical outlet since mobile devices come with a battery, making shopping possible without direct current.
It is clear that many people prefer making their purchase online, in the comfort of their homes. But, with m-commerce, it is not necessary to be at home anymore on your desktop. Shop anywhere, anytime, because your smartphone is with you. In the train, in the dentist’s waiting room, wherever you want. M-commerce brings comfort and convenience.
Give Your Customers More
Once you find out what m-commerce is, and once you understand all of its benefits and you decide to develop an m-commerce strategy, you should pay attention to a few things.
The most important thing is to ensure that your mobile web page loads quickly. Customers like to make instant purchases. Pages that load promptly will result in higher sale conversions.
Make sure that simple mobile checkouts allow the customer to enter payment information easily.
Assure adding payment information using a mobile wallet. Avoid all the fuzz with manual entries, eliminating the possibility of human mistake and facilitating a smooth checkout experience.
Mobile Apps or Optimized E-commerce Website?
If you were browsing on your phone and you wanted to make a purchase, there was no possible way to do it immediately. You needed to memorise it and search for it later. With mobile-optimised e-commerce websites and mobile apps, now it is finally possible.
The question is, which strategy is better? Although there are many different opinions on this topic, the best answer might include both. Why?
First, a mobile-optimised website is something that people will bump in when searching for a product. It is much easier to make people aware of your webshop if you have a mobile-friendly site.
Purchasing via mobile apps, on the other hand, will be the choice of loyal customers. The mobile app is integrated into the core system of smartphones and in that way will encourage customers to return. Having a mobile app means that you can ensure a direct and safe way for your customers to purchase from the store, directly message all users and send them deals and coupons that can be redeemed instantly through a mobile device. Mobile apps are beneficial for building a network of loyal customers.
Retailers, Adopt M-commerce
Mobile platforms cannot be ignored anymore. The changes in consumer habits are evident. People want shopping experience to be fast and simple, with excellent service, customer support, and product information. All of it in one place, accessible immediately.
What’s the best way to give them all of it, if not on mobile devices, where they are already spending a lot of time?
Mobile devices have become a big part of our lives, and online shopping via mobile devices has become much more common and convenient.
Consumers use their mobile devices to search for inspiration, to find products. Provide possibility to buy it also. It is time to recognise that smartphones and other mobile devices have become the primary touchpoint with businesses.
M-commerce is growing, and it will continue to grow, taking a more prominent place in the retail sales. So, mobile should be the heart of your digital strategies and digital product development.