What is Mobile Commerce – Essential Facts You Need to Know!
What is mobile commerce? And why is it such a big deal all of a sudden?
You’ve undoubtedly heard online business entrepreneurs talking about mobile commerce or m-commerce at least a few times in recent years. As a result, you may be asking yourself these questions:
- So what’s the difference between e-commerce and m-commerce?
- Are they the same thing?
- Is there anything good about m-commerce that I can apply to my e-commerce store?
We will answer all in this article. We’ll provide industry definition, benefits, and relevant technologies for you to enter the world of m-commerce.
What is Mobile Commerce?
Mobile commerce is defined as the use of wireless devices like mobile phones or tablets to perform commercial activities, including:
- Product sales and purchases
- Online transactions
- Bill payment
- Online banking
Differences between e-commerce and m-commerce
Believe it or not, it’s frustrating to learn a new concept, but your mind automatically associates it with a seemingly similar idea. So let’s start with distinguishing these two concepts before focusing on m-commerce.
By definition, e-commerce is a general term for commercial activities on the internet. These activities focus on trading goods and services with related components, including:
Among these components, communication plays a central role in trading. CNBC forecasts that 72.6% of internet users worldwide will only access the website with mobile devices before 2025. With that increasing trend, communication is more and more dependent on mobile devices.
Soon, mobile devices will be the primary access channel to your customers. Therefore, mobile commerce, also known as m-commerce, was born as an inevitable variation of e-commerce. In other words, it is a subset of e-commerce.
The critical difference is that while e-commerce focuses on the overall online shopping experience, m-commerce focuses on mobile devices’ customer’s shopping journey.
Indeed, m-commerce is the future of e-commerce, gradually replacing each other. Sometimes, we can even hear people say “mobile e-commerce” in combination.
Therefore, distinguishing these two concepts is not as important as understanding that m-commerce aims at increasing customers’ experience on mobile devices for higher mobile conversion rate and revenue. It’s a trend you can’t ignore if you have an online business.
Now you know the concept. It’s time to dive deeper into m-commerce. How does mobile commerce enhance efficiency?
Mobile Commerce Pros and Cons
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of mobile commerce is an integral part of critical thinking to see the aspects that can turn challenges into opportunities.
Advantages of M-Commerce
With an increasingly large and dominant user base, m-commerce expands potential sales opportunities by connecting with them online via mobile devices.
Insightful customer data
Mobile commerce can collect consumer data and gain better insights into the customer journey. For example, the customers come to the store, purchase, and leave with brick-and-mortar retail. Yet, very few details are noted and saved for statistics and analysis, like why they buy.
With mobile commerce, businesses connect with their customers from the moment they visit their stores, consider the products, and make a purchase. These are all valuable signals, from purchase intent to order.
Mobile commerce allows businesses to reach customers at the right time, rather than every time. For example, ad technology based on demographics or geographies can help you connect with customers at the moment before they decide to make a purchase, increasing the likelihood of completing a purchase.
Fast browsing and transactions
Time is money, so businesses look for ways to help customers get a faster and more convenient buying experience. Offering more efficient and faster transactions to your customers is the most significant benefit and one of the driving forces behind the growth of mobile commerce.
With mobile commerce, shopping applications have a faster processing speed than traditional websites. Or, if you can’t invest in building apps yet, you can also consider an advanced technology called PWA storefront that turns your website into an app-like interface with outstanding features, including:
- Easy installation
- Add to the home screen
- Push notifications
- Full responsiveness
- Offline work mode
Better user experience with faster speed leads to a massive increase in online sales through mobile devices.
Complementary to brick-and-mortar stores
Mobile commerce benefits online sales and purchases from brick-and-mortar stores. For example, many customers come directly to your store and choose an item but still want to see more online reviews about the products. Or vice versa, they use their mobile device to explore products, customize colors and sizes, and check stock availability of items at nearby stores.
In short, mobile commerce helps retailers and brands drive sales in both online and brick-and-mortar stores by reaching a broader and more diverse set of customers.
Whether you are launching a new product or trying to reach a new market, it is clear that mobile commerce offers significant competitive advantages for retailers. In addition, the access and customer data that mobile commerce can provide is an excellent source of information for expanding market share.
However, advantages always come with disadvantages.
Disadvantages of M-Commerce
Highly competitive marketplace
Many companies have shifted their focus to investment and success in mobile commerce in recent years. If you start today, you’ll meet thousands of existing competitors along the way. As a store owner, you need to find a targeted market or a niche market to have a competitive advantage.
Ad fraud risk
Ad fraud is always the most considerable prejudice in mobile commerce. Digital advertising spend lost to fraud could reach as high as $68bn globally in 2022, with the US most affected, according to the latest study from Juniper Research.
Meanwhile, most businesses are not well prepared to deal with this risk. According to HuffPost, more than 60% of marketers confess that they don’t have any preparation to block out fraud in mobile marketing.
Businesses should comply with MRC (Media Rating Council) and TAG (Trustworthy Accountability Group) standards. Compliance is the first step to showing your customers that you are aware of mobile ad fraud and are working to take steps to head off it.
When customers allow you more access to their data, m-commerce businesses take on a greater responsibility to protect personal information. First, you must ensure that your company and your partners adhere to strict user protection terms. Then, make it transparent to your customers about how their data is shared, collected, and stored.
No personalized connection
Online shopping and mobile commerce are still considered low-personality. Therefore, commerce businesses are still trying harder to connect with their customers. Giving consumers a personalized message or reward based on their date of birth and preferences are some of the suggestions for creating a greater sense of belonging and appreciation.
To overcome limitations, you should consider mobile commerce as an enhancement to the traditional shopping journey, not a replacement. One of the best ways to deal with both the pros and cons of mobile commerce is by building a mobile-first site or shopping mobile app so you can connect with consumers and stand out from your competitors.
Your mobile site and app allow you to gain access to vital customer purchase data to choose the right timing and messaging for your customers. Data is also an important component when you want to scale your business and find new markets.
Mobile commerce will continue to play a crucial role within the retail and e-commerce industries, and all brands should plan accordingly. By staying up to date on the latest mobile commerce strategies, you can empower your business for success in 2022 and beyond. We can help!
Do You Need to Prepare for Mobile Consumers?
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And if you are still not sure how to add m-commerce capabilities to your e-commerce or brick-and-mortar store, let’s talk. We will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine the best m-commerce solutions for your company or product brand!
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