December 17, 2020

What is M-Commerce? How to Prepare for the Latest Era of E-Commerce

E-commerce has seen explosive growth in recent years. However, where that commerce occurs is shifting away from computers and towards mobile devices.

Just look at Cyber Monday 2020, when mobile commerce accounted for 37% of all sales. It will only go up from there, as mobile devices advance and people shift more towards buying online in general.

Related Article: Although BF/CM has passed this year, it’s never too early to prepare for next year. Be sure to read our 7 Tips For Early Black Friday and Cyber Monday Prep to position your business for success in Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021.

Anyways, targeting mobile users with your marketing will set you apart in the near future. Read on to learn more about mobile commerce, its advantages, and how to do well with it.

What is M-Commerce?

Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

M-commerce is shorthand for mobile commerce. Mobile commerce is essentially e-commerce conducted through mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets. 

Mobile commerce is likely increasing in popularity for a few reasons.

First of all, devices have become sufficiently advanced to rival the e-commerce shopping experience on a computer. Many shoppers appreciate the convenience of pulling their phone out of their pocket and buying instead of heading over to their computer and booting it up—especially when the phone is just as easy to use.

Of course, mobile devices can also be taken on the go more easily, creating a more convenient shopping experience. People can buy things whether they’re at home, on the subway to work, dining out, and more.

It’s also worth noting that many brands are creating their own m-commerce apps, making the mobile shopping experience much more intuitive. Shoppers can go beyond a mobile-optimized site and hop right into the app to knock out their shopping.

For example, Amazon has an app that’s much easier to use on a mobile device than their website. Big brick-and-mortar brands like Walmart have their own apps as well, making it easy to shop entirely online. Some customers even use the app to check item availability before going into their local store if they can’t wait for an item to ship.

M-Commerce’s Future

As mentioned earlier, mobile commerce’s only direction is skyward as we move into the future. Mobile e-commerce is set to reach $3.56 trillion in 2021, several trillion more than where it was just a few years ago.

Types of Mobile Commerce

When you hear mobile commerce, you probably imagine buying products online. However, that’s only one form of mobile commerce. There are many others:

  • Shopping
  • Banking
  • Investing
  • Payments (Apple Pay, etc.)
  • Ridesharing/delivery driving services
  • Subscriptions
  • Purchasing/renting digital content

Nowadays, the lines between mobile commerce and general commerce are blurring. The discussion is shifting away from the mobile availability of certain forms of commerce in favor of optimizing the mobile experience for users.

Advantages of Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce offers numerous advantages to brands.

Accessibility for Customers

The main benefit customers see is accessibility. They can take their shopping everywhere they go, thanks to their smartphone and sometimes their tablet.

For you, this means your customers have more chances to see your brand’s marketing online. They also have more opportunities to buy from you. In the past, if they got the impulse to buy something from you while out and about, they’d have to wait until getting home. By then, the urge may fade. Today, they can simply pull out their phone and buy.

Better Marketing Timing and Targeting

Once again, you have a constant, low-level presence in your customer’s life. You can sell to them no matter where they are. 

With this in mind, you can use the environment they might be in at any given time throughout the day to your advantage. For example, imagine you are a fitness brand. If your audience hits the gym between 5 and 7 pm, you can target them with your ads in that timeframe. Plus, they will be in a fitness mindset, meaning they might be more primed to buy fitness products.

Another example would be later at night. If they’re on their phone before bed, and you sell sleep-related items (such as pillows or blankets), perhaps set your ads for that time.

Mobile commerce allows you to target based on a variety of other factors as well, such as:

  • Location
  • Device
  • Service provider

More Accurate Choice of Advertising Platforms

Mobile commerce also opens up opportunities to pick the right platforms for advertising.

Let’s return to the fitness brand example. Most gym-goers will likely be listening to music during their workouts. Consequently, you might choose to advertise on Spotify or Pandora. With that in mind, some gym-goers may also listen to podcasts. Landing a podcast sponsorship could be another option.

M-Commerce Tips and Tricks

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Much of optimizing for mobile commerce involves simplifying your checkout process. If you want to take advantage of mobile commerce growth, make sure you follow these m-commerce tips and tricks.

Streamline Your Mobile Checkout Process

Make your checkout process as fast as possible and minimize the number of screens they have to click through. Try to gather as many relevant details (shipping address, billing address, etc.) as possible on each page. Make form fields easy to fill in.

Staring at a phone and clicking a bunch of buttons is harder than on a computer. Most people on mobile want their purchases to be quick and easy. Streamlining the checkout process ensures they don’t give up mid-checkout.

Optimize Your Site For Mobile

Make your site visually appealing and easy to use on mobile. Also, make your site as lean and fast as possible without “dumbing it down” too much.

Once again, users want an easy and intuitive experience. Having a site that fits and functions on a mobile screen is key to maximizing mobile sales. Additionally, Google now prioritizes mobile when it comes to indexing. Optimizing your site for mobile devices could give you an SEO boost.

Don’t Make Account Registration Mandatory

Allow guest checkout on your site to make buying a faster process. Creating an account on a computer to finish checking out is a minor inconvenience, but it’s a lot worse on a phone, especially with email confirmations and verification codes. People expecting a quick, easy purchase will be discouraged if they have to enter all their information and bounce between apps just to buy.

Make Searching For Products Easy

Optimizing for mobile starts before the checkout process. You’ll want to make searching for products smooth and straightforward. 

As mentioned earlier, typing on a mobile screen is more challenging than on a computer. Typos can especially frustrate users, as they have to highlight the error and replace it or delete the whole word and start again. Add auto-suggest in the search bar users don’t have to type the full product name and hope it pops up. Additionally, make sure your product filters are up to par. 

Screen space is limited on mobile devices, so, if you’re selling on a popular e-commerce marketplace like Walmart or Amazon, you should consider optimizing your listings so they appear at the top of search results. 

Seller’s Choice and our team of digital marketing experts have the knowledge and tools to get your products to the top of search results; let prospective customers see you first––no matter which device they’re shopping from.

Bringing Commerce to Web 3.0

Many people call the rise of mobile apps and technology Web 3.0 (Web 1.0 was connectivity, and Web 2.0 was social media). Web 3.0 offers a wealth of new opportunities to advertise products, so we will likely see mobile commerce growth well into the future. Prepare by using the tips above to outdo your competition and pave the way for the mobile-preferred present and future of shopping.

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