In today’s digital age, businesses need to be present where their consumers are, and increasingly, that means on mobile devices. Undeniably, mobile devices have completely revolutionised the way we live, work, and connect with others. As a result, consumers are more consistently turning to mobile commerce, or m-commerce, to purchase products and services. In fact, according to statistics, mobile commerce is projected to account for more than half of all online sales in the coming years.
As mobile commerce continues to rapidly gain traction, businesses that aren’t optimised for mobile risk getting left behind. In this guide, we’ll explore what mobile commerce is, how it differs from traditional e-commerce, and the advantages it offers. We’ll also dive into four ways businesses can harness the power of m-commerce, including creating an engaging app, adding an instant buy button, staying up-to-date on the latest trends, and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs). By the end of this guide, you’ll know just how businesses can shift to mobile commerce and start capitalising on this growing trend.
What is Mobile Commerce?
Mobile commerce, also referred to as m-commerce, refers to all commercial transactions that are made over electronic hand-held devices such as smartphones or tablets. This includes not only purchases made through mobile-optimized websites, but also through mobile apps and other mobile-specific platforms.
Nowadays, more consumers are being drawn to the convenience of electronic commerce and, since smartphones completely revolutionised our digital world, digital commerce has woven its way to our mobile devices with dedicated apps and mobile optimised websites.
When speaking of m-commerce, there are three core functions that make up this type of commerce:
- Mobile shopping. This gives customers the ability to make purchases straight from their mobile devices thanks to dedicated applications or mobile optimised sites. In fact, app commerce forms a subset of m-commerce which offers users an online shopping experience that is secure and easy to navigate.
- Mobile banking. Apart from traditional online banking, people are now able to access their bank accounts, pay bills, carry out transfers and even make stock trades straight from their mobile devices. All of this is done using a secure app which has been designed by the bank to make banking more accessible and effortless for its customers.
- Mobile payments offer a convenient alternative to traditional payment methods, such as cash, credit cards or debit cards. Since consumers are more likely to forget their purse at home than lose sight of their phones, being able to make a transaction via a smartphone is a handy form of m-commerce that perfectly suits our current times.
M-Commerce vs E-Commerce: What is the Difference?
M-commerce and e-commerce both refer to transactions that happen with the aid of technology. Yet, although m-commerce is technically a subset of e-commerce, there are a few key distinctions which set them apart. Some of the main differences between m-commerce and e-commerce include:
- User experience. Mobile devices have smaller screens and touch-based interfaces, which can make browsing and purchasing on mobile devices different from desktop computers. As a result, mobile commerce requires a different approach to design and user experience than e-commerce.
- Accessibility. Mobile devices are always with us, making it easier to browse and purchase items on-the-go. This convenience has made mobile commerce increasingly popular with consumers, particularly for quick, on-the-spot purchases. So, being a more portable option, m-commerce is more accessible and is viewed as a more convenient form of commerce.
- Security. Security is crucial to the user experience and out of the two options, m-commerce has the upper hand. With a combination of biometrics technologies and phone identification, m-commerce offers an additional layer of security when compared with e-commerce’s reliance on usernames and passwords. Naturally, there are still ways to make sure that your details are secure when shopping from your laptop, yet mobile commerce offers added peace of mind.
- Personalisation. Being blessed with better analytics, m-commerce makes it easier for brands to reach their target audience. In truth this is a win-win, as this makes the user experience quicker and more efficient whilst generating more sales for online businesses.
- Location tracking. Unlike desktops and laptops, mobile devices are meant to travel with us; joining us at work as well as a night-out or a session at the gym. This means that, using Wi-Fi and GPS-based technologies, location tracking can be carried out efficiently by mobile apps. Thanks to tracking technologies, apps are able to enhance their shopping experience by generating location-specific content and highly personalised recommendations for their customers.
The Advantages of Mobile Commerce
- A more expansive customer base. When compared to e-commerce, m-commerce attracts a larger influx of consumers and inspires stronger loyalties. This is mostly because mobile devices offer easier access to diverse apps and websites.
- Better analytics. Mobile analytics offer great insights into your customers’ shopping habits and show you which areas require improvement. This valuable data could also be used to boost your revenues by targeting offers and discounts based on their shopping preferences.
- More choice and convenience. Certainly, when browsing online, shoppers can benefit from a large choice of products and carefully compare prices before making a purchase. At the same time, with m-commerce apps, customers can advantageously read reviews and make their purchase anytime from anywhere.
- Varied payment options. Whether you prefer PayPal, Apple Pay, Revolut or Visa, m-commerce offers a variety of mobile contactless payment options. To make paying even more efficient, various sites and apps make it possible for customers to input their payment information once and thereafter use the one-click option.
- Omni-channel brand experience. Evolving from multi-channel marketing, an omni-channel experience brings together various online channels to create a seamless experience for customers.
4 Ways to Harness the Power of M-Commerce
Now that we have covered the core features of m-commerce, along with its many benefits, let us dive right into our top 4 ways to use m-commerce to your advantage.
1. Create an Engaging App
One way to set yourself apart from your competitors is by creating an app that is efficient and easy-to-use. A successful app is marked by a combination of excellent user experience and profitable business-centric elements. Achieving this winning balance requires good marketing and audience research, a great design and a sound marketing strategy, amongst various other factors. Additionally, features like push notifications, personalised recommendations, and easy checkout can keep customers engaged and coming back.
When outsourcing to digital marketing professionals – such as our dedicated team at Bullshark – you will ensure that your new app is skillfully and efficiently executed by specialised personnel. An amateur looking app is more likely to get looked over in favour of its competitors.
2. Add an Instant Buy Button
Whether shopping from a mobile optimised site or an app, online customers typically shop from their mobile devices because it is quicker. Sites like Amazon have recognised this and made the process even swifter and more appealing with a “buy now” button. Going through the checkout process, which involves inputting your payment information for each purchase, can significantly lengthen the shopping process. However, an instant buy button allows customers to make a purchase with the swift click of a button, thus encouraging impulsive buying.
As a result, adding an instant buy button has become a crucial aspect of mobile optimization as it simplifies the purchasing process, minimizes cart abandonment, and improves conversion rates by enabling customers to buy products with just one click.
3. Know The Latest Trends
Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends in m-commerce, such as mobile payments, augmented reality, and social commerce, can help businesses stay ahead of the curve. Since mobile commerce is constantly evolving and growing in popularity, it is particularly important to keep up with the latest trends or risk losing their competitive advantage. Currently, trending approaches include location-based mobile marketing and augmented reality (AR) to offer a better customer experience and employ mobile SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to direct a healthy flow of traffic towards your online platforms.
Yet, these approaches are constantly being developed and refined, so it is crucial to be vigilant with your mobile marketing approaches. One way to ensure this is by consulting a professional digital marketing company. Our experienced marketing team at Bullshark makes it their express business to keep up with the latest marketing trends, so that you are always one step ahead of your competition.
4. Monitor the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
At the end of the day, a high return on investment (ROI) is what any business is aiming for. Whilst this is difficult to measure when dealing with in-person shopping at a physical store, m-commerce makes it infinitely easier to measure the successes of your campaigns using digital KPIs. At Bullshark Studio, our team of experts analyses customer engagement, acquisitions, outcomes and much more for our clients, to ensure that they are all making the most out of their online platforms.