Buying or selling goods and services via mobile devices (mobile phones, tablets), better known as mCommerce, currently accounts for nearly 40% of all eCommerce activities and there are no indications that sales growth via mobile phones will decrease. This is why, as it seems in practice, today we hold the main tool and shopping experience in our hands.
The main turning point on this path was 2015 when searches on mobile phones for the first time exceeded the number of searches on computers. Since then, there has been an exponential growth and development of mobile commerce, leading to the situation that mCommerce now accounts for just under half of eCommerce activities, in general.
Is mCommerce Different From eCommerce?
Essentially, the basic postulates of buying are the same. Products are searched in the same way, they are added to the cart in the same way, payment methods work in the same or similar way.
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Ultimately, when comparing mCommerce and eCommerce, the former is also called the next generation of eCommerce.
However, there are a few details that make these two seemingly similar concepts differ:
1. Devices Used for the Purchase
The devices through which eCommerce is performed are mostly static. Shopping via desk computer or laptop is usually done in one place (apartment, house, office).
On the other hand, shopping via mobile devices is done on the go. It isn’t the place where the device is located that matters, but the place where the owner is, i.e. the one who uses the device.
2. Adaptation to Interests and Needs
Computers, unlike mobile phones, aren’t personalized, meaning they are often used by more than one person, so personalization and customization for each individual computer user aren’t common.
On the other hand, mobile devices are the property of one person and therefore, each individual can adapt the shop application to their interests and needs.
3. Device Interface
Webshops are far easier to use on mobile phones because the interface on mobile versions and mobile applications is simplified compared to standard web applications. In general, users of mobile versions of websites and mobile apps spend less time in shops, because their obligations end on the go. Therefore, ease of use is a basic prerequisite for the success of an online store designed for mobile devices.
What’s very important to emphasize is that a simplified user interface doesn’t mean that users of the mobile versions of the website, or mobile app, should be deprived of important information. Be sure to describe each of your products or services in detail because the users, when they find the desired item, will certainly want to read the description of the same and its characteristics.
4. Consumer Habits
Mcommerce is slowly but surely creating new habits among consumers that certainly influence mobile commerce trends in online sales. When preparing to buy, each user will visit several mobile sites, compare prices, and only then will they decide to buy. After making a decision, users will buy online or will go to the store where they will buy the desired product.
With mCommerce, the reverse process also happens. How many times have you seen an interesting item while visiting a physical store, but you didn’t immediately decide to buy it? Why is that? The answer is very simple. You will first “Google“ it, check its price in other places where it’s available, and only then you’ll decide to make a purchase.
Ease of Purchase
The retail environment is constantly evolving, as are the habits, needs, and priorities of consumers. The shopping experience itself, navigation, and available payment methods have changed significantly. That’s why it’s crucial for sellers to be aware of upcoming mcommerce trends, in order to be ahead of consumer demand.
Shopping is increasingly “moving“ to the Internet – consumers want to save time and buy what they need from home. That’s why today, they don’t hesitate to buy elsewhere (websites or applications) if they come across a bad experience during mobile shopping. Mobile shopping must be simple – from attracting customer attention, ease of search and cost-sharing, to securing mobile payments service, which is one of the most important factors for customer retention when it comes to mCommerce.
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The Importance of Regionalization
Consumer taste is different in different countries and different parts of the world, which is why it’s considered that traders must be aware, not only of the rapid development and progress of mobile commerce technology but also of applying it efficiently by regions.
For example, 80% of Chinese consumers who buy a product or service via a mobile phone, use an app instead of a mobile browser. On the other hand, Germans are more likely to give up shopping if the website or app doesn’t support their favorite payment method.
Research has shown that in the US, 40% of shoppers are casual search engine surfers with no clear goal of what they are looking for and want to buy, while in Australia, 67% of smartphone users search online retailers via their mobile phones for fun. Of all casual customers, as many as 77% impulsively buy something.
So, there’s a huge potential for very strong engagement and sales with incidental customers, who are now just as important as those who know what they want to buy.
Brands Adapt to the Needs of Mobile Customers
Soon, there will be more smartphones in the world than people, so the growth of mCommerce will only continue, thus creating an increasing difference between shopping via mobile phones and computers. As the retail environment adapts to these technological changes, it becomes necessary for brands and retailers to provide a seamless shopping experience, from start to finish, in order to connect with their customers as much as possible.
The importance of mCommerce and eCommerce has been recognized by many big brands, even in the sphere of social networks, so after Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WeChat, even Instagram recently allowed its users to shop within the app.
Although for now, this option is only available to users in the UK and US, and it’s only possible to book and schedule various appointments, it’s clear that over time the offer will expand, as well as availability in an increasing number of countries.
In addition, all of these brands continue to meet the needs of users, making the use of their apps more extensive, without the need to abandon them, in order to, in this case, make a purchase.
Mbanking as a Result of the Transformation of the Banking Sector
The transformation of the banking sector is largely directed towards mBanking, with the aim of enabling users to manage finances directly from mobile phones. This area is large and there’s a lot of room for new and advanced solutions and improvements. What do customers really want when it comes to mobile banking experience?
For starters, users primarily expect to manage their data, transfer money, and use other banking services in an easy and simple way. Mbanking applications are those places where the bank interacts with users, while it’s very important that the complete process of money management takes place safely for the user.
When it comes to mBanking, the software industry has learned from its mistakes. Given that the development of products is a great focus of banks on customer expectations, it’s necessary for the app developers to be agile and innovative.
Further plans of banks in the near future regarding this banking technology is a digital wallet. The idea is to collect all virtual cards in one place.
What’s the Future of mCommerce?
According to statistics, mCommerce is the fastest growing niche when it comes to online sales. In 2019, global sales increased by 1362% compared to 2014. Does this mean that mCommerce will replace eCommerce? Of course not. The need for large screens and personal computers will certainly exist for a long time to come. However, the fact is that eCommerce will evolve and increasingly adapt to mobile technologies and their users.
What has already started to happen and is going in that direction is reducing the purchase process to one page instead of 5 or 6 pages as was the practice before, then the growing offer of mobile payment apps which significantly speeds up the payment process, interaction with customers via chatbots, etc…
Regarding the growth trend of global eCommerce in the period from 2014 to 2019, by some statistics, last year it grew by 21.5% compared to 2018, which is 2.5 times less than the expected growth of mCommerce for the same period.
“Living a fast life“ and “chronic lack of time“ have influenced Internet users to increasingly turn to mobile technologies and that all the obligations they once performed on personal computers now they finish via mobile devices, which are always and everywhere with them.
Statistics show that an individual smartphone user takes a smartphone in its hand 150 times during the day. These are certainly clear signals to all users of the global network to adapt their businesses to the changed needs of users.
Trends are changing dizzyingly, which is evidenced by the fact that mCommerce hasn’t clearly profiled itself as a term, and nCommerce (neighborhood commerce – a platform bringing together all your daily needs onto your smartphones, making them accessible to the consumer) is already knocking on the door as a new “big thing“ in the field of online sales.
Unused Potential of mCommerce
A special focus should be directed on mCommerce technologies whose potential has yet to be used, namely: augmented reality (AR), image recognition (mobile recognition), personalized notifications, NFC contactless communication and payments, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, Google AMP, as well as all solutions based on artificial intelligence in general.
If we talk about online commerce, this segment of payments in the coming period could largely be shaped by chatbots, cloud systems, e-wallets, and more.