Mobile commerce (m-commerce) is the process of completing a transaction through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. M-commerce has become a popular trend in recent years due to the increased use of mobile devices and more digital purchases. The rise of mobile technologies, such as mobile wallets and payment apps, stands behind the growth of m-commerce, making it more convenient and easy to access than any other form of payment.
Mobile commerce allows businesses to reach a more extensive customer base and provide a seamless shopping experience through mobile devices. What lies in common between all e-commerce platforms is that they aim to provide consumers with a convenient and efficient way to complete a purchase or make a transaction on the go.
There are various types of mobile commerce, including mobile banking apps, in-app purchasing for specific retailers or food chains, virtual marketplaces like Amazon, digital wallets such as Apple pay, and mobile ticketing. The options for using your mobile phone to complete a purchase have almost entirely replaced all the need for physical credit card transactions in daily life.
M-commerce pros and cons
Any business that takes itself seriously in today's rapidly technologically advanced society will need to incorporate m-commerce as a measure for their customers to complete a purchase or make a payment. As it is, retail is a very competitive market, so you will need to follow this trend to stay relevant and maintain a loyal client base.
Like many other business trends, M-commerce presents retailers with new opportunities but also introduces new challenges that must be confronted. Here are some of the pros and cons of M-commerce:
Advantages of m-commerce
- More convenient - M-commerce offers consumers the convenience of shopping from anywhere, anytime, and without the need to visit a physical store or use a desktop computer.
- Wider customer reach - Purchasing through your mobile phone can be done from almost anywhere. Businesses can reach a larger customer base just by optimizing their platforms for mobile devices.
- Improved customer engagement - Mobile devices offer various features, such as push notifications and in-app messaging. Businesses can use these features to increase customer engagement and build brand loyalty.
- Faster and more efficient transactions - Mobile commerce transactions tend to be faster and more efficient than traditional e-commerce transactions, which can increase customer satisfaction.
Disadvantages of m-commerce
- Technical challenges - Mobile devices have smaller screens and different input methods than desktop computers, meaning that m-commerce platforms must be designed with mobile users in mind. This often involves simplifying the user interface and optimizing the checkout process for mobile devices.
- Security risks - Mobile devices are more vulnerable to hacking and other security threats than desktop computers, which means that m-commerce retailers need to implement security measures when setting up their store.
- Higher development cost - Developing a mobile commerce platform can be expensive, and not all businesses have the resources to put towards this investment.
- Reduced customer adoption - While mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular, not all consumers are willing to adopt m-commerce platforms as a new method of purchasing. Businesses must ensure that they provide a seamless and user-friendly experience to encourage consumer adoption.
What is the difference between m-commerce and e-commerce?
M-commerce can be broadly understood as a subcategory of e-commerce. Several differences distinguish between m-commerce and e-commerce, but these are some of the most obvious ones:
- The device used - One of the primary differences between e-commerce and m-commerce is the device used to access the platform. E-commerce refers to all online transactions conducted digitally, while m-commerce refers to online transactions conducted through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets only.
- Payment methods - M-commerce involves different payment methods, including those optimized for mobile devices, such as mobile wallets and one-click payments. In contrast, e-commerce tends to rely more on traditional payment methods such as credit cards, PayPal, and even wire transfers.
- User experience - Mobile devices have smaller screens and different input methods than desktop computers, meaning that m-commerce platforms need to be designed with mobile users in mind. This often involves simplifying the user interface and optimizing the checkout process for mobile devices. In contrast, e-commerce platforms can have more complex user interfaces and checkout processes optimized for desktop computers.
How to improve your business through m-commerce
Having an online store available for consumers to access through their mobile phones isn’t merely enough to guarantee they will complete the purchase. Several aspects need to be addressed to ensure that your m-commerce strategy will generate business and increase conversion. Here are a few ways to improve your m-commerce performance:
- Optimize your website for mobile devices - Your platform should be mobile-friendly and responsive, meaning it should adapt to different screen sizes and be easy to navigate on a mobile device. If you want consumers to proceed with a purchase, the buying process has to be simple. Simplifying the purchase process will improve the user experience, add brand recognition and increase conversion.
- Develop a mobile app - Creating a mobile app, as opposed to a store accessed on a regular internet browser, can provide a more seamless shopping experience for mobile users. Apps also offer features such as push notifications, which can help to increase customer engagement and loyalty. That said, mobile optimization for browsers is necessary for every online retailer, as many consumers prefer not to download countless apps.
- Implement a mobile payment solution - The biggest advantage of m-commerce is that it can be done on the go. The moment a buyer needs to enter his credit card details, it defeats that value. Mobile payments, such as mobile wallets and payment apps, make it easier for customers to buy and more frequently. Easy m-commerce payment solutions will improve the checkout experience and increase your store's conversion rate.
- Use location-based services - Location-based services, such as geotargeting and beacons, can help provide mobile users with a more personalized shopping experience. For example, you could offer discounts or promotions to customers near your physical store.
- Prioritize security - Security is a top concern for mobile users and must be prioritized when setting up your m-commerce platform. Security measures can include using encryption to protect customer data, implementing two-factor authentication, or monitoring for suspicious activity.
- Provide customer support - Mobile users may have different needs and questions than desktop users, so it's essential to provide customer support optimized for mobile devices. For example, customer experience can be improved by offering chat support or providing an FAQ section that is easy to navigate on a mobile device.
Ehouse and m-commerce
Online retailers with an online mobile presence will enjoy many benefits when working with ehouse. Ehouse offers comprehensive supply chain management services such as warehouse and inventory management, order fulfillment, shipping coordination, retail distribution, exchanges, and returns, no matter the mobile platform they are based on. The same businesses will be able to receive professional support and guidance from ehouse’s expert team on optimizing these platforms, whether it be Amazon, Instagram, or Whatsapp. Mobile retailers that work with ehouse are not only cared for in terms of their business logistics but are part of a community of retailers like themselves, who have the same questions and needs. As m-commerce is a rapidly growing area of online retail, a community that holds knowledge, experience, and support in this field can be of great value to all businesses that take part in this.