Everybody’s heard of ecommerce, but what about “mcommerce?”

There’s a good chance you’ve participated in mcommerce – or mobile commerce – transactions without even knowing it. If you have ever paid a bill using your phone, sent friends money using your banking app or another peer-to-peer payment app, or purchased a product by clicking on a shoppable link on the Instagram app, then you have completed an mcommerce transaction. Mobile commerce refers to payments made using smartphones or tablets, and it is the natural progression of ecommerce as more and more consumers have access to mobile devices. These devices allow consumers to shop for products and services from wherever they are, and complete transactions on the go.

While it might be tempting to consider mcommerce as simply an extension of ecommerce, mcommerce is more accurately described as being the next generation of ecommerce, and it is quickly becoming more popular. Mcommerce sales are predicted to be 44.7% of all retail ecommerce sales in 2019, and are predicted to surpass more than 50% of all ecommerce sales. The number of mcommerce transactions will continue to increase in the coming years as more consumers around the world and in developing countries have access to smartphones and tablets.

Why is Mcommerce Important?

If you are currently running an ecommerce business, have an online store, or are planning to expand your sales online, then it may be helpful to consider mcommerce in your plans to ensure your website is mobile friendly, or even build an app where your customers can shop. Since mcommerce is still a new and evolving platform for transactions, customers will find that their experience from one website to another will not be consistent as not all ecommerce businesses have taken their customers’ mobile experience into consideration. Because of this, mcommerce customers may be left wanting in terms of their mobile shopping experience. This gives your business plenty of opportunity to adapt your ecommerce store for mobile shoppers in order to deliver a superior mcommerce experience and potentially get a leg up on your competitors.

Consider Your Check-Out Process

If you’re setting up your online store for mobile shoppers, or simply optimizing your existing website, it can be helpful to consider the top reasons a customer might abandon their purchase. These could include asking the customer to enter too much information than is convenient, if the customer runs into a connectivity issue, or if there are too many steps for them to complete before being able to check out. While you can’t control the connection a customer will have access to, by streamlining your checkout process you can minimize the instances where a customer might abandon their purchase. Consider only asking for the information that you absolutely need, providing ways for customers to store their information, and allowing them to use a mobile wallet to simplify their payment process.

Where Mcommerce is Headed

Mobile commerce is constantly evolving as new trends and advancements in technology are introduced to the marketplace. If your goal is to establish yourself as a preferred retailer in the mcommerce space, then it is important that you watch for new emerging trends and find ways that your business can adopt them quickly. Customers who are completing mcommerce transactions are doing so on their smartphone or tablet because these devices will be smaller than the computers or laptops traditionally used for ecommerce transactions it’s important to keep the user experience top of mind. Continually delivering the best experience possible is key for getting customers to complete their transaction, and to help make them a repeat customer.

Consumers will have better access to product descriptions and product information using their mobile devices as more businesses include video content and augmented reality on their websites and applications. Social media is playing a huge role in the growth of mcommerce, with some brands releasing Instagram filters that allow their followers to try out products like sunglasses or makeup, as well as the integration of in-app shopping that allows users to make a purchase without having to leave the app. If you want to position your business to excel at mcommerce, these are some areas that may be worth investing in to give your consumers the best possible mcommerce experience.  

Consumers are Getting More Comfortable with Online Transactions

As customers become more comfortable shopping online and entering payment information on their phones, they will seek out the businesses that are able to offer quick, easy, and convenient payment experiences. Regular mobile commerce shoppers may also use mobile wallets that allow them to complete one-click payment experiences. Smartphones and tablets can also offer added security features that help make customers more confident in their shopping experiences, such as biometric security features like fingerprint and facial recognition to unlock devices or authorize payments or the use of different applications.  

Consumers who are confident in the security of their devices and the reputation of the brands they are shopping at are more likely to trust the process of entering their payment information on their mobile device. As more businesses are introducing mcommerce payment options through applications and accounts that consumers have an established familiarity with, trust in mcommerce is growing and more consumers are choosing to make purchases on their phones as opposed to traveling to a store or waiting until they are in front of their computers.

Mobile commerce is on the rise and the lines are being blurred with regard to how, where, and through which devices consumers are comfortable making their purchases. While many consumers may have taken a while to get used to online shopping, consumers have now grown accustomed to using the internet every day for everything from online banking, placing a grocery order, or ordering their kids a new pair of shoes. These consumers are also often avid smartphone users and they are unlikely to consider the technical differences or potential limitations that may be inherent to mcommerce because they are so used to having a seamless web experience across all of their devices. So, if you’re selling products online, make sure you consider this growing consumer trend and aim to deliver the mobile experience your customers are expecting.