I have found myself doing a twofold-take when somebody is referring to mobile commerce known as “the next huge thing.”
For me this implies that mobile commerce is a trend, a passing fad that will soon be forgotten, or superceded by something else.
For me, it means that mobile commerce is in trends and a passing fad will be gone or superseded by other things.
Is mobile commerce distinct to e-commerce?
Yes and no.
Mobile commerce is a typical evolution of ecommerce.
On few levels they’re nearly indistinguishable, but also, there are crucial distinctions between the two.
Thus, I would love to use ecommerce rather than mobile commerce sometimes through this post, and you should do the same.
But I will only exchange them while referring to the prospects that go beyond; there will be great times when only mobile commerce will do.
Why does mobile commerce matter a lot?
Mobile ecommerce sales report for 34.5% of full ecommerce sales in the year of 2017 and that number is rising.
By 2021, mobile ecommerce sales are proposed to report for 54% of whole ecommerce sales.
By now your site – and web store – must already be available on Smartphone, yet that doesn’t mean your industry is all set for mobile commerce.
And according to the eMarketers suggest, you will be missing out a wide range of sales.
As per DynamicYield, “Only 12% of clients discover shopping on their mobile web expedient“. There is a lot of space for enhancement.
More than that, our mobile use is affecting our purchasing decisions even when we are in a substantial brick-and-mortar store.
One-third of our decision to buy is influenced by discovering additional info on the product through our Smartphone device.
But prior to we get ahead, let’s initiate from the commencement.
What is mobile commerce?
Mobile commerce, also known as m-commerce or m-commerce, includes any financial transaction finished using a Smartphone device.
It is a growth of e-commerce, helping individuals to buy and sell goods or services from anywhere using a Smartphone or tablet.
Yet mobile commerce is something than a simple fruition of e-commerce.
Also Read: Cost to Develop an eCommerce App Like Amazon
It has served as a trigger for novel businesses and services, or enabled the current ones to develop, including:
• Mobile money transfers.
• Electronic tickets & boarding passes
• Digital content purchases and delivery.
• Mobile banking
• Contactless payments & in-app payments
• Location-based services
• Coupons, mobile marketing, and loyalty cards
• Is there diverse kind of mobile commerce?
When m-commerce covers a broad range of transactions, they can be easily categorized as one of its types:
1. Mobile shopping
Mostly same as ecommerce, yet available through a mobile device. Mobile shopping is now probable through mobile optimized sites, dedicated applications, and social media platforms.
2. Mobile banking
Not much different to online banking, though you may find some transaction types are limited or restricted on mobile devices. Mobile banking usually involves a dedicated app, though some banks have started experimenting with the use of chatbots and messaging apps.
3. Mobile payments
There are so many diverse mobile payment options that we have chosen to cover them in detail further in this article.
As a business owner, and user of BigCommerce, your exposure and interest in mobile commerce would mostly relate to shopping and payments, which are what the rest of this article will focus on.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Commerce
There are disadvantages to many forms of doing business, but this should never be viewed as a significant hindrance.
The advantages usually outnumber the disadvantages, and there are ways to overcome many of the pitfalls, especially when you know what some of them are.
Let’s start with the good, first.
Common Benefits of Mobile Commerce
1. 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 which making it easier for businesses to interact with their customers using apps and services their customers already use and love.
2. A true Omni-channel experience
An omni-channel experience is when stores sell both online and offline — likely also 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.
Omni-channel is about being where your customers are, and making it possible for them to buy what they want.
3. Variety of payment options
With new mobile payment solutions emerging, it is now possible to offer customers a truly diverse range of payment options.
This doesn’t mean we’ve moved beyond “cash or card,” but mobile commerce has given up mobile wallets, which make one-click checkouts possible in more than one store.
Popular mobile payment solutions include:
• Apple Pay
• PayPal One-Touch
• Visa Checkout
• Amazon Pay
Common Pitfalls of Mobile Commerce
1. Constant need for optimization
This isn’t so much of a pitfall as it is a need to change your way of thinking when it comes to developing and managing your online store.
As we will discuss later, the speed at which the pages of your website load play a critical role in conversions and repeat business.
You will need to be aware of advancements in technology, and changes in optimization best practices to ensure your website – at least on mobile – offers a superior experience that is fast and simple to use.
2. Variety of payment options
The diversity of payment options is both a benefit and pitfall when it comes to mobile commerce.
Many mobile wallets are not available in all geographical locations, while consumers in some locations prefer one payment option over another.
3. 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.
You can overcome this by – like your customers – constantly being aware of what your competitors are charging for the same products, not just those close to you, but also those miles away, and even across borders.
4. Need to know and comply with a wider range of regulations
This is a pitfall for both traditional ecommerce and mobile commerce: knowing and complying with a large number of tax laws and other regulations for all the countries you ship to.
Some online stores avoid this by only selling and shipping to residents of one country, or only a small handful of countries.
It is true that some products can only be shipped to a few international markets, but for everything else you should – as your business grows – investigate the feasibility of expanding across borders.
A smart alternative is to make some of your products also available via Amazon, so while your own online store only ships to certain locations; through Amazon you are able to ship far more widely. With Amazon taking care of many of the regulations involved.
Understanding Mobile Payment Options
Choosing the right payment solution for your ecommerce business is even more important when it comes to mobile.
Your customers would prefer skipping the need for adding credit card and shipping details, so one-click solutions that integrate with mobile wallets offer you and your customers more.
For some brands, like Power Support, choosing the right payment solution can result in an immediate increase in conversions. For Power Support, they say a 26% increase in orders within two weeks after installing Amazon Pay.
Mobile payments is one type of mobile commerce that has become an industry all of its own.
Mobile payments now include:
• Mobile wallets, also referred to as digital wallets
• Contactless mobile payments
• Closed loop mobile payments
While not all of these are applicable to e-commerce, it helps to understand what each type of mobile payment means.
1. Mobile wallets
Mobile wallets make it easy for online shoppers to securely store their credit card details, shipping address, and more.
The benefit to shoppers is that when paying for online purchases they don’t need to enter all this information again, which can be especially awkward on mobile phones.
There are a many mobile wallets available, though some are limited to specific geographical locations, and only a few are accepted by most ecommerce merchants.
Here is an example a brand out of the UK, Sour Cherry, using PayPal One-Touch for a one click payment option.
Well-known mobile wallets include:
• Apple Pay.
• Google Pay.
• Amazon Pay.
• Samsung Pay.
2. Contactless mobile payments
Contactless mobile payments make use of select mobile wallets to facilitate payments made in-store.
Supported mobile wallets typically include:
• Apple Pay
• Google Pay
• Samsung Pay
Some banks launching their mobile wallet too.
When making a payment in a physical location, customers can place their phone close to a supported terminal to validate and transmit payment, instead of swiping their debit or credit card.
3. Closed loop mobile payments
Closed loop mobile payments are exactly the same as mobile wallets, but are linked to a single brand via a dedicated mobile app.
• Walmart Pay
• Taco Bell
All allow users to add their card details to the mobile app, and to then use the app to pay for their purchases in-store.
As a result, ecommerce platforms and businesses alike have moved into near 100% responsive site builds, meaning most sites today are easy to use on mobile.
What’s more though is that many brands are moving to mobile-first, or mobile-unique experience. In these instances, a mobile site is created specifically for the mobile user –– different than what the desktop version looks like.
Brands that do this often see an increase in mobile conversion due to easier site navigation and specific experience built for the unique browsing patterns and challenges of mobile shopping.