You’ve probably heard people talking about mobile commerce as the next big thing. The truth is that the rise of mobile devices and their progressing domination over desktop make mCommerce a natural successor of eCommerce. M-Commerce and eCommerce have many things in common. However, there are a few important differences between them that you need to know if you’re trying to decide which approach is better for your business. Your company website and the online store might already be optimized for mobile devices. It means your business can get ready for a move towards mobile commerce, and cooperation with an M-Commerce app development company.
Mobile commerce, also called mCommerce, refers to any transaction completed with a mobile device – be it a smartphone, tablet, or even a wearable device.
Experts consider mobile commerce as the next phase of eCommerce, as it allows consumers to buy goods or services online – but from anywhere and at any time.
But mobile commerce is so much more than that. In fact, mCommerce triggered the emergence of brand-new industries and services or helped the existing ones to grow in new directions. Examples of such innovations include:
- Tickets and boarding passes,
- Mobile banking,
- Money transfers, contactless payments, and in-app payments,
- Digital content purchases,
- Location-based services,
- Mobile marketing, including coupons and loyalty cards.
Common Benefits of Mobile Commerce
Better overall experience for customers
Ecommerce already made shopping more convenient.
Consumers were given access to:
- A wider variety of products.
- More competitive pricing.
- All without ever having to step away from their computer.
With mobile commerce, they still have these benefits, but now they don’t even need a desktop computer. As long as they have a mobile device, they can shop whenever they want, wherever they are.
New mobile commerce applications that enhance the customer experience even further include:
- Augmented reality, with IKEA and Sephora among top retailers using augmented reality apps to complement their mobile commerce business
- Chatbots and messenger apps make it easier for businesses to interact with their customers.
Phenomenal growth potential
eMarketer expects global e-commerce sales to reach $4 trillion by 2020 representing 15% of total retail sales. The percentage belonging to m-commerce will also continue to grow. More online retailers will see more than 50% of traffic coming from mobile devices. This suggests that retailers investing more in mobile commerce can ultimately expect a higher conversion rate and ROI.
A true multi-channel experience
Multi-channel experience is when stores sell both online and offline. They will also be selling through multiple online channels (i.e. on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, B2B).
We’ve also been referencing the importance of listing your product wherever consumers are already spending their time. This is increasingly known as contextual commerce, a more strategic take on the overarching omni-channel term.
Multi-channel is about being where your customers are and making it possible for them to buy what they want. And mobile commerce makes this easier than any other form of multi-channel marketing and selling.
To get ahead of their competition, businesses are striving to list their products wherever they know potential consumers are already spending their time. This type of contextual commerce offers companies an opportunity to help their customers buy what they need from platforms and services they use every day. Moreover, mCommerce also makes it easier to plan and execute multi-channel marketing and sales strategies.
Better customer experience
We all know what happened when eCommerce became popular. It made shopping so much more convenient and fun for customers. They could browse through a wide range of products, benefit from more competitive pricing, and complete their purchases without having to step away from their computers.
It’s safe to say that we all got used to purchasing products and services online. With mobile commerce, we retain all the benefits of eCommerce – but now we don’t even have to use our laptops or desktop computers anymore. As long as consumers have a mobile device, they can shop whenever they want and from wherever.
Mobile commerce allows companies to interact with customers easily because they’re using apps and services their target audiences already know and like to use.
To amplify the user experience in their mobile commerce applications, companies use cutting-edge solutions such an augmented reality (AR) or chatbots. For example, IKEA is among the top retailers that take advantage of AR apps to boost their mobile commerce business.
Variety of payment options
New mobile payment solutions emerge every year. Businesses can now offer their customers a broad and diverse range of payment options to make the process of buying products and services even smoother.
All of that doesn’t mean we’re moving our credit cards or cash behind. However, mobile commerce takes advantage of solutions that don’t force users to manually enter their details every single time they make a purchase. Examples of such modern mobile payment solutions are PayPal One Touch, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay.
Easier for customers to compare prices
The traditional way to do a bit of comparative shopping was to know your prices in advance, by scanning a number of catalogues and advertisements before you went to any physical stores.
Alternatively, you could have moved from one shop to another, and get a great workout in the process. But mobile commerce has again simplified this. Armed with little more than a mobile phone, customers are able to rapidly compare the prices – and shipping costs – for dozens of stores until they find the one offering the most value.
Types of mobile commerce applications
mCommerce applications cover a broad range of transaction options. However, it’s possible to divide them into one of the following types:
- Mobile shopping – this type of mCommerce implementation is most similar to eCommerce, only accessible through a mobile device. We’re talking about dedicated apps, optimized websites, or even social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram that allow in-app purchases or linking to online stores.
- Mobile banking – Mobile banking is quite similar to online banking. However, you will find that some transactions might be restricted or limited to mobile devices. Mobile banking is a type of implementation that usually involves a dedicated application – though some financial services companies are now experimenting with chatbots or messaging apps to deliver customer service.
- Mobile payments – this type of mobile commerce focuses on the progressive innovation in payment options realized with mobile devices. Today consumers can take advantage of many diverse mobile payment options that go way beyond mobile wallets.
As the article comes to an end, we come to understand that Mobile commerce is here to stay. M-commerce will continue to grow rapidly. Its always best to take note of the market trends and place your bets wisely.