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Growth of M-Commerce: Definitions, Benefits, and Trends

Your shoppers are mobile…are you? Discover why m-commerce is the future of online selling.

By Miva | December 23, 2021 | 8 minute read
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According to InMobi, 82% of Americans now make purchases on a mobile device. People are turning to their phones to find new products, research information, and ultimately buy products.

As a merchant, what does this surge in mobile shopping mean for you? To capture attention of shoppers in the current commercial landscape, your brand needs to be able to meet your customers where they are. In this article, we discuss what mobile commerce is, what it provides for the customer experience, and how you can leverage it for your business. 

What is Mobile Commerce?

Mobile commerce (also known as m-commerce) is the use of any mobile device to conduct commercial transactions via the Internet. In other words, mobile commerce is any transaction completed on a mobile device—paying bills, transferring money, signing up for a subscription, and the purchase and sale of goods and services.

What’s the difference between ecommerce and m-commerce?

Mobile commerce is a subset of ecommerce. M-commerce makes it even easier for shoppers to buy things online at their convenience and for businesses to reach new shoppers to sell to customers no matter which device they’re on. 

Types of Mobile Commerce 

 The different types of mobile commerce transactions include:

  1. Mobile banking: Mobile banking apps make it easy for consumers to conduct financial transactions like depositing a check or transferring money.
  2. Mobile payments: This includes online payments for things like utilities, phone bills, and even paying for dinner at a restaurant.
  3. Mobile shopping: Mobile shopping has now become the standard in ecommerce across many industries. Customers can purchase clothing, health and beauty items, books, groceries, music, art, gifts, and even travel.
a mobile website on a smartphone

Mobile Commerce Growth

According to InMobi, mobile commerce sales are expected to reach $437 billion by 2022. As more shoppers use their phones to buy online, the complex customer becomes more multifaceted and shaped multiple channels and devices. To stay competitive in the current commercial landscape, your business needs to capitalize on this growth. 

Do You Need a Mobile Commerce Strategy?

A solid mobile commerce strategy is key to thriving in modern ecommerce. Today’s shoppers seek convenience. As a business owner, you want your products to be available to your customers anytime, anywhere. A mobile commerce strategy can help you engage with shoppers on a touchpoint that is easy and accessible for them, putting you in a better position to attract your ideal customers, make their lives easier, and encourage customer loyalty. 

What Are the Benefits of M-commerce?

M-commerce benefits both consumers and online businesses. Shoppers can purchase just about anything from their mobile device, while online businesses have greater reach and visibility when selling their merchandise online.  

Advantages of mobile commerce for consumers

Mobile commerce provides flexibility, comfort, and spontaneity. Shoppers can order groceries online, pay utility bills, and shop for new sneakers—all on their mobile device. Many shoppers carry their phones wherever they go, making on-the-go shopping and browsing even easier than before. M-commerce offers consumers the convenience of being able to purchase what they need when they need it. 

Advantages of mobile commerce for online sellers

M-commerce provides another channel for online sellers to engage their customers and drive sales for their business. Mobile commerce is convenient, adaptable, and accessible, providing opportunities to create an even better customer experience.

Here are some additional advantages of m-commerce:

  • Rapid purchase process. Consumers don’t have to stand in a line at a store to pay for an item or wait until they can access a computer. They can browse for items they are interested in and make purchases using their mobile device. A strong mobile experience can help increase conversions on your site.
  • Enhanced customer experience. As a business owner, you want your customers to have the best shopping experience. If your mobile commerce app or mobile-ready store is designed to attract your target customers and provide them with a unique online shopping experience, they will return again and again.
  • Direct communicationWith m-commerce, you can take advantage of mobile features like targeted push notifications to reactivate your customers and bring them back for re-engagement.
  • Personalized shopping. If you have a mobile app or website, you can obtain important customer data. You can see your customers’ buying patterns, shopping history, behaviour, and demographics. This information can help you create a personal shopping experience for each customer, provide relevant offers and recommendations that increase their customer lifetime value.
  • Bridge between online and offline shopping. The growth of click and collect services like buy online, pick up in store is making mobile shopping even more seamless for shoppers. Shoppers are browsing products on their phones before, during, and after visiting a physical store. Mobile commerce opens up additional opportunities for sales.  
  • Omnichannel commerce. Omnichannel is all about meeting your customers where they are and making it easier for them to buy. With mobile devices, you can further enhance your omnichannel strategy since customers have their phones on them at all times. 
  • Diverse payment methods. To simplify the buying process, you can take advantage of mobile payment technology and mobile wallets to move shoppers quicker through checkout.
Mobile-App-vs-Website_header

What Are the Challenges of M-Commerce? 

Although mobile commerce has a lot to offer, there are some challenges for your business to consider. Here is how to overcome some of these:

  • Wide variety of screensDepending on the user’s phone, your mobile experience can vary widely between devices. To provide a consistent experience no matter which device your site is viewed on, you’ll want to make sure you have a mobile-ready, fully response website.
  • Payment troubles: If a shopper cannot make a payment on their mobile device, they are less likely to return to your business. Make sure you offer a variety of flexible payment options to make things easy for shoppers.
  • Price comparison: A simplified mobile experience makes it easier for customers to quickly compare prices across different stores on their phone, potentially leading them to your competitors. To keep customers sticking around, you’ll need to make sure your site is user-friendly and easy to navigate and communicates a compelling offer.
  • Security and privacy: Customers care about their privacy online, and many may be hesitant to shop on their phones for this reason. Make sure your ecommerce platform provides top-notch security and data encryption to protect both consumer data and your reputation.
  • Constant maintenance and development: Since mobile devices are constantly updated, you need to properly maintain and optimize any mobile apps your store has alongside these phone updates. Depending on your needs, a mobile-responsive website might be the better solution for your business.

Mobile Commerce Trends

As shoppers continue to use features that are unique to mobile devices, mobile commerce will become faster, more seamless, and more focused on delivering a customer-centric experience. Developers and ecommerce solutions will implement new technology to entice mobile shoppers throughout the whole buyer journey.

Here are some m-commerce trends to watch for:

  • Social commerce: With shoppable posts on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, social commerce allows the end-to-end shopping experience to happen in one spot. Shoppers can find products, read reviews, and check out on social media apps on their phones.
  • Voice shopping: With voice ecommerce sales set to reach $19.4 billion in 2023, businesses will incorporate chat apps and AI technology to make it easier to engage with shoppers.
  • Mobile chatbots: Chatbots will make it even easier for shoppers to have access to 24/7 customer service with their phones.
  • Mobile payments and wearable payments: Mobile wallets are becoming a preferred payment option for consumers. We will continue to see mobile payment options extended to other wearable devices like smart watches, health sensors, and fitness trackers.
  • Omnichannel shopping: Today’s shoppers obtain information from a wide variety of sources (like a mobile website, within an app, an online store, and a physical store), and they will move between different channels. Merchants will need to engage with their customers and provide a smooth and personalized experience no matter which device they’re on.
Social commerce infographic

How Online Sellers Can Harness Mobile Commerce

What comes next? As you continue to scale and differentiate your online business, you need to have a mobile strategy that aligns with both their business and their customers.

Every shopper who owns a mobile device is a potential customer. By providing what shoppers need to explore your brand and purchase your products, you'll be able to turn them into loyal customers. A mobile strategy enables you to deliver that speed and convenience that reaches customers where they are and helps them complete their journey in the shortest time possible. 

To enhance your online store for mobile customers, you’ll want to consider things like having a mobile-ready website, a mobile app, push notifications, SMS marketing, mobile-friendly content, and customer engagement strategies. To learn more, download our guide to enhancing your online store for mobile shoppers.Get Guide: 5 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Online Store for Mobile Shoppers

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Author's Bio

Miva

Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.

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