Digital marketing · 4 min read

What Is Mobile Commerce? How Your Business Can Cash In

THINK ABOUT THE LAST TIME YOU BOUGHT SOMETHING ONLINE. WE’RE WILLING TO BET YOU DID SO VIA YOUR SMARTPHONE. M-COMMERCE IS TRANSFORMING THE E-COMMERCE LANDSCAPE, AND ONLINE SELLERS NOT INVESTING IN THIS CHANNEL RISK MISSING OUT ON A LOT OF SALES. SO, WHERE SHOULD YOUR BUSINESS START WITH MOBILE COMMERCE? AND HOW DO YOU TURN THE SCROLLERS INTO PAYING, LOYAL CUSTOMERS? READ ON…

 

WHAT IS M-COMMERCE?

M-commerce (or mobile-commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets. It’s a booming market: in 2021 alone, global mobile commerce revenue hit US$3.5 trillion1.

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WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR ONLINE BUSINESSES?

IN 2021, 72.9% OF GLOBAL E-COMMERCE SALES CAME FROM MOBILE2

Customers of every demographic now use their smartphones to discover, research and buy products, which means online businesses like yours should be making m-commerce a central part of their sales strategy.  

If your e-commerce website is not mobile friendly, then you can wave goodbye to a significant portion of sales. Consumers want the mobile shopping experience to be seamless, and to be able to complete their purchases – including payment – in a few taps. If they can’t, they’ll simply abandon their carts.

THE MOBILE-FIRST MINDSET

If your e-commerce website is not mobile friendly, then you can wave goodbye to a significant portion of sales.

A mobile-first focus demands fast loading speeds but with rich media, effortless touchscreen, easy navigation and click-to-buy buttons. These services aren’t just preferred anymore, but prioritized – with Google leading the way in offering mobile friendly pages. Their search engine now ranks web pages based on how mobile friendly they are, and they’ve also launched AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), an open source HTML framework to make mobile web browsing faster.

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THE APP FACTOR

Of course, you can go one step further and create a dedicated mobile app for your business. It’ll be worth it: 85% of online consumers prefer mobile apps over mobile websites3. According to leading mobile app builder Tapcart4, their popularity is largely driven by their speed – running, on average, six times faster than mobile websites5.

Customers will have a better, easier shopping experience – which means a lower cart abandonment rate – and, as the app sits on the user’s home screen, they’ll be reminded of your brand every time they scroll through their phones. You can also send push notifications to alert them to sales and discounts you’re running.

Not surprisingly, merchants enjoy 2.2 times higher revenue through their mobile apps than their mobile websites6. Yep, read that again and then get serious about investing in a dedicated mobile app for your business.

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PAY ATTENTION TO GEN Z

Gen Z are those born between 1996 and 2010. In 2019, they became the largest generation, constituting 32% of the global population7.

Serving as the first truly mobile generation, they’ve never known life without the internet. This group spends double the time millennials do using their mobile devices for shopping, and they’re also converting about twice as much as any other demographic.

While their purchasing power is relatively low, brand loyalties are typically set in a shopper’s early twenties, meaning it’s valuable to make a customer out of them at this impressionable stage. But, it’s important to note that Gen Z-ers don’t like to be overloaded with messages. Living in a world of ad-free entertainment like Netflix, they prefer their marketing effortlessly integrated with their Instagram feed.  

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SOCIAL MEDIA: THE HEART OF YOUR M-COMMERCE STRATEGY

Mobile commerce and social media go hand in hand: in fact, 1 in 3 consumers use social media to discover new products and brands8. As a result, many of the leading platforms have integrated commerce features. In 2019, for example, Instagram launched “Checkout with Instagram” in the US, which allows users to buy directly from brands on Instagram – without leaving the app. They only need to enter their details (such as billing information and shipping address) once, and they’re then saved for future check outs. For brands, this feature is a lucrative opportunity to convert engaged followers into loyal customers.

Discover more about selling on social with our dedicated guide.

A GLOBAL SNAPSHOT OF M-COMMERCE

The leading markets worldwide based on mobile spending per capita are Japan, South Korea and the US (Q1 to Q3, 2021)9

In 2022, there are expected to be 869 million mobile commerce users in China10.

In short, whichever market you’re targeting, do your research into the m-commerce habits of consumers there. Our country guides will help!

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THREE SIMPLE RULES FOR M-COMMERCE

Globally, mobile commerce penetration is high, but it’s not without its downside: at 85.6%, the cart abandonment rate for mobile users is higher than on any other device11.

So, how can your business avoid this pitfall? By remembering these three golden rules of m-commerce:

1. Keep it simple

Typing on a small screen can be fiddly and frustrating. Remember this when you’re requesting information from customers. Keep form filling to a minimum – offering Guest Checkout is highly valued – and allow customers to pay with their digital wallets so they can complete checkout with minimal taps.

2. Keep it fast

A slow loading page is a sure way to lose customers. Invest heavily in this, and keep pop-ups and ads to a minimum – they can slow down the customer’s browsing experience.

3. Keep it intuitive

Think about the way users scroll and browse on mobile – your commerce site should be compatible. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the best way to achieve this is to invest in a dedicated mobile app for your business. It will pay off in sales!

Small screen, big sales: for more tips to help you maximize your mobile commerce strategy, check out this guide. Happy selling!

1 - Statista, published May 2022

2 - Statista, published May 2022

3, 5 & 6 - Forbes, May 2022

4 - Tapcart

7 - Bloomberg UK, August 2018

8 - Business2Community, July 2021

9 - Statista, November 2021

10 - Statista, published May 2022

11 - Barilliance, January 2022 

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