The year is 2022. Skynet rules the world. The machines and humans are at war —and the humans are losing. Gadgets have taken over the bigger chunks of our lives.
From the end of the 20th century, mobile commerce has evolved from a simple and convenient way for users to make purchases using their mobile devices to an expected component of any successful business today.
mCommerce is an emerging industry that has proliferated over recent years as mobile devices have become more popular. The number of mobile phone users worldwide reached 3 billion in 2012, up from 200 million in the 2000s. This growth has made it easier for companies to reach customers through their phones, which has led many businesses to start offering their products through this medium.
Table of Contents
What is Mobile Commerce?
Mobile Commerce is the buying and selling goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as smartphones, tablets, and MP3 players. It is the art of using mobile communication technology (e.g., Short Message Service (SMS), Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)) to conduct transactions while on the go.
Mobile Commerce is also known as Mobile Shopping, M-Commerce, and Mobile Transactions.
It differs from traditional e-commerce in that it involves direct interaction between the buyer and seller through their mobile phone rather than through a PC or laptop or mouse clicks on a website. This fluidity allows them to make purchases on the move and in real-time while still at the store.
In the current scenario, mobile commerce is about shopping on your smartphones and tablets. The most common use of mobile commerce solutions is shopping from an eCommerce website. However, there are several other ways you can use your smartphones to make purchases for various business models, including banking and ticketing. You can also use mCommerce for marketing purposes, such as sending coupons or special offers directly to customers' phones.
Learn more about the influence and advantages of mCommerce on your eCommerce business.
Different Types of Mobile Commerce
While mCommerce covers a wide variety of transactions, the most common types of applications for mobile devices can all be categorized by function broadly into one of three types:
- Mobile Shopping
- Mobile Banking
- Mobile Payments
But there are plenty more branches out there to explore.
We're now going into the details of the 12 most popular types of Mobile Commerce.
1. Mobile Commerce for Shopping
This category is similar to eCommerce but accessible via your iPhone or Android. You can buy anything from anywhere with just a few taps on your phone. Browse, research, compare, shortlist, add to cart and buy - all with the help of your phone.
2. Mobile Commerce for Banking
You can pay your bills, transfer money to friends or family, and more with just the touch of a button. Use the mobile banking apps to make in-app transactions, including requests to the bank and merchant transactions.
3. Mobile Commerce for Finance
The most important kind of mobile commerce is for finance. It includes banks and other financial institutions that want to increase their customer base by providing information about their services on their mobile devices. Banks can also use this opportunity to provide real-time information about their customers, like credit card usage or online transactions. It will help them track fraudulent activities easily and better understand how they should market their products to their customers to increase sales.
4. Mobile Commerce for Payments
You can pay for things using various payment credit cards or debit cards by linking it up with your bank accounts through your phone. Paying for stuff with accounts like PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay saves you the hassles of carrying a wallet, visiting an ATM, or even fearing losing your cash, credit, or debit card.…the list of advantages goes on!
5. Mobile Commerce for Catalogs
These are like book clubs where you get free items delivered right to your door! They come in all shapes and sizes (and flavors). E.g., IKEA has come up with a "try before you buy" alternative that allows customers to take photographs of their living spaces and create an imaginary spot using their AR app. The bottom line of business gets boosted, and you can see an overall improvement in customer satisfaction.
6. Mobile Commerce for Mobile Marketing
This one's simple: you put ads in front of people's faces, so they see them repeatedly until they finally decide to buy something from you. You can send promotional e-mailers, discount codes, and SMSes and use your app for location-based mobile marketing for easy branding and visibility.
7. Mobile Commerce for Retail and After-sale Services
Retailers can also take advantage of this technology by sending push notifications to their customers when they receive new product shipments or when they have in-store sales nearby. Customers can get updates on products they are interested in buying through push notifications sent directly to their devices through a retailer's app or website. It can be handy if the retailer has multiple stores around.
8. Mobile Commerce for Healthcare and Medicine
Healthcare and wellness have never been so easy and accessible before. You could use apps like CVS to access and fill out prescriptions and facilitate pick-up and drop of medicines. You can schedule doctors' appointments and routine tests with a few clicks. You could speak to a doctor online without rushing to the ER for every minor discomfort like mild temperature, runny nose, rashes, UTI, etc.
9. Mobile Commerce for Mobile Ticketing and Hotel Reservations
The working generation of today who wants everything under their fingertips used this widely. Want to get your airline tickets ready for your business conference? Want to take your date out to their favorite concert? Want to surprise your spouse with an impromptu holiday? All of this is possible with the click of your phone buttons. There are apps for every function. Easy peasy!
10. Mobile Commerce for Entertainment
Remember when Pokemon Go took over the world of gamers? Now it is the turn of augmented reality to take your entertainment life to new pinnacles. Gamers have a chance to live in their favorite universe and socialize with other devoted gamers. Game creators get an opportunity to sell their goods through in-app purchases and ads.
11. Mobile Commerce for Information Services
You get notified of everything happening worldwide in the blink of an eye. You get informed if anything changes in the world. Every news portal has an app - financial news, political news, sports figures, or traffic updates. You can choose the topics you want to be abreast of. The information world has shrunk into the little device you always hold in your hand.
12. Mobile Commerce for Education
You can learn anything you want under the sun through specific modules online – live or recorded. Most of our children attended online sessions throughout the pandemic, and many of them used their handhelds to do so. Educational apps, dimes to the dozen, help children find that extra help they require with complex subjects.
Need to implement mobile commerce for your eCommerce business?
Mobile Commerce Latest Trends and Statistics
Recent trends in mCommerce point to it becoming less about convenience and more about a personalized and individualized customer experience. Because of this, we can expect that mCommerce will evolve in new and exciting ways in the coming years. Hence it is important to keep an eye on new trends and statistics pertaining to mobile commerce.
Popular Mobile Commerce Statistics
While there are many different channels for shopping online, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and even smart watches - mobile devices have become the preferred method for making purchases with shoppers. Let us look at some of the most trending Mobile ecommerce statistics.
- A recent report from Google shows that nearly 60% of all online searches are done via mobile, and this trend continues to grow yearly.
- 6.378 billion people in the world own a smartphone.
- 96% of Americans have a cell phone.
- 80% of Americans shop on their mobile devices
- Market share or growth of mobile commerce is expected to grow to $740 Billion by 2023. You can imagine the furor it can create while expanding at such an alarming rate.
- There has been a whopping jump in the mobile wallet market from $1.65 trillion to $5.3 trillion between 2013 and 2020 and will grow at a faster rate in the future.
- New contenders will emerge between 2020 and 2025 in the mCommerce market other than existing leaders like PayPal, Google, Apple, and SAP.
Leading mCommerce Trends
In light of this growth in digital shopping on mobile devices, it's worth looking at some mobile eCommerce trends that could shape it over the next few years. To understand what these new trends may hold for mCommerce, here's our breakdown:
1. App Commerce
App Commerce is a subset of the mCommerce domain. The transactions happen on a native app. Native apps are those developed for specific platforms such as iOS or Android.
2. Mobile Commerce App and Website Development
Most companies are now moving into mobile commerce app and website development services. Below are some key points to monitor in such scenarios.
- SMS subscriptions
- Cart conversion rates
- Page loading times
- Logging average
- Add to cart rate
- Value of orders over time
- Average order value
- Traffic on the application
- Total mobile traffic
3. Multiple Mobile Payment Options
Increasingly sophisticated payment options will continue to drive adoption rates among consumers who prefer convenience and speed over anything else when completing transactions online or through their smartphones.
4. Additional Payment Services
As more traditional brick-and-mortar retailers jump into the digital space (or expand their existing ecommerce stores), they'll need ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. It could, in turn, lead them to offer additional services such as free shipping or discounts if buyers decide against paying for expedited shipping services.
5. Leverage on Chatbots
Chatbots will increasingly affect how people shop using their phones. They make shoppers' needs easier at any given moment without having them go through multiple screens just so they can find out if something they have shortlisted is available before buying it!
6. Augmented Reality Shopping Experiences
AR would be rampant in providing shopping experiences online akin to in-person buying. It will mainly reflect in the fashion, beauty, accessories, and home furnishing industries. Implementing AR - VR fitting rooms and 3D photography would promise an ethereal shopping experience for the customers.
Benefits of Mobile Commerce
1. Personalized Customer Experience
You can create personalized experiences for your customers by using AI and machine learning in mobile commerce.
There are three ways to build a personalized experience:
- Use data analytics to understand customer preferences. For example, suppose you have a mobile app that sells entertainment-related products. In that case, you can analyze your customers' browsing history and behaviors to determine their favorite movie genres or TV shows and use that information to recommend items they may be interested in buying next time.
- Use AI for personalization across channels based on previous interactions with the brand or product category. Imagine that a user has bought beauty products from your website before and then opens your mobile app for the first time after downloading it from Google Play Store or Apple App Store (or whatever store you're using). The system will offer them relevant recommendations based on previous purchases because it recognizes who they are as individuals through their browsing and usage patterns.
- Automation of customer and sales point of contact makes it convenient for customers to shop. The easier the buying process, the more likely customers will choose you for repeat shopping.
2. Voice-enabled Shopping
Voice-enabled shopping is a trend that has been growing for years. Voice shopping has been gaining popularity, especially with the rise of smart speakers such as Amazon's Alexa and Google Home. Voice-enabled shopping is now predicted to be worth $30 billion by 2022.
Voice-enabled shopping can be more convenient in mobile commerce because it's faster and easier to perform a task with just your voice than with your hands. It can also be more personal since you don't need to type anything or move around much at all - you simply have to speak commands into your device, which will do the rest of the work for you.
3. Mobile-First Marketplaces
Mobile-first marketplaces are the future of eCommerce. And no matter how many different ways you try to say this, it's still a big claim. However, as we look back on the past year and consider what's been happening in the industry (and what will happen next), it becomes clear that mobile-first marketplaces have become an essential part of mobile commerce and digital marketing strategy for retailers worldwide.
Why is this? We can explain.
Mobile-first marketplaces can offer new ways for shoppers to discover products and content through personalized recommendations based on their past purchases or browsing history - which creates more opportunities for users to find products they love with less effort than ever before. This helps increase sales conversions across all channels (not just mobile) by providing consumers with relevant content about things they might want to buy or know more about - before making purchases anywhere else - online or offline!
4. Improved Checkout Process
Mobile payments will continue to be a considerable part of the shopping experience in 2022. It's possible that this trend may even become more pronounced as we go forward, with online and brick-and-mortar retailers trying to outdo each other in terms of mobile experience.
One of the biggest challenges facing merchants is finding ways to make checkout faster, easier, and more secure — across all channels (web, desktop apps, and mobile). You should develop a more personalized mobile checkout. If you have an existing relationship with a store or brand through your computer browser, you should see different information when checking out via your phone than someone who has never been there.
5. Convenient Payment Procedures
Convenience is another factor driving innovation; making it easier for customers to pay makes them happier. And while this might seem obvious at first glance, convenience in terms of payments goes beyond just speedier payment processing times. It also encompasses making it easy for shoppers to choose their payment method by offering multiple options such as credit cards or alternative methods like PayPal, Apple Pay, etc. It would not require them to first download an app before being able to use these services properly.
6. Convenience Shopping
The customers gain access to a wider variety of products and services on the phone, giving them the space to compare prices, sift through reviews, and buy products of their choice without having to switch on their desktops or laptops. They can make purchases while browsing through a mall, window shopping, or on the way to the office on a train.
7. Improved Customer Support
Customer service is one of the most critical aspects of the mobile commerce experience. With consumers spending more time than ever on their phones and tablets, businesses need to guarantee that they're providing an excellent customer experience by offering convenient ways for customers to reach out when they have questions or concerns.
8. Enhanced Customer Retention
Better customer support always signifies a better retention percentage. An easy shopping experience ensures that the customers come back to you for shopping or use your apps to make in-app purchases.
Curious about how mobile commerce can increase your sales and revenue?
Challenges with Mobile Commerce in 2022
Mobile Commerce is not without issues like any other technology in its initial growth phase. Developing a good mobile shopping experience for your customers has specific challenges that need addressing.
So what are the challenges faced in mobile commerce?
1. Security Hazards
Anything that goes online has its security risks. Bank account breaches, password hacking, data leaks, stolen mobiles, and many other factors must be considered while starting mobile payments. Preventive measures and authentications must be in place before you begin transacting on mobiles.
2. Limitations of the Handheld Devices
An outdated, slow, or faulty mobile can disrupt a smooth mobile shopping experience. Not everyone can afford a sleek, contemporary mobile phone.
3. Hostile Surrounding Conditions
Bad connectivity, weak signals, or any other external factors can decide if the customer makes a payment or not—the place where the customer hails from plays a significant role in the shopping experience.
4. Redundant Shopping Options
Listing obsolete products, using a slower platform, etc., could act as deterring factors that take away from customer delight.
5. Small Screens on Mobiles
Mobiles with smaller screens have lower resolution, and the products might not look attractive. They would not display well, and the customer might end up abandoning the cart.
6. Trouble with Payment
If the payment process in the mCommerce apps and websites is not current, is laborious, and lacks multiple payment options, you cannot expect a customer to make payments through your app or site.
7. Faulty Development of Mobile Devices
Having a slow, faulty mobile phone would stop a customer from thinking about shopping from the phone. They would instead reach out to a faster laptop or desktop.
8. Lack of Mobile Apps and Responsive Websites
If the store lacks mobile apps or responsive web designs, the customers will never stay on. No one wants to shop at a slow-loading site.
9. Slow Buying Experience
Streamlining the buying process is paramount when it comes to getting the customers to make purchases. If the sites or apps are not updated, there isn't a faster way to lose customers.
10. Geographic Constraints
Some locations lack some payment options and digital wallets. Some areas still do not support mobile payments. The geographic location constraints would not allow the customers to shop for their favorite items.
11. Cross-country Regulations and Tax Laws
Complying with the tax laws and regulations of every country you ship to could be challenging. Otherwise, you might have to limit purchases and shipping within your country of origin.
2. Efficient Shipping Mechanism
Even if you have a perfect website, if you cannot deliver your goods on time, your business and hard work would go down the drain. You have a problem if you operate out of places with a dearth of efficient shipping companies.
Facing issues integrating mobile commerce into your business?
Types of Mobile Payments
Since mobile payment has become so contemporary and mainstream, most financial institutions have devised mobile payment methods to join the competition. Customers look for myriad payment methods when they are looking to shop from a mobile website. Convenience takes precedence here.
Mobile Payment Models
There are some primary models for mobile payments. Let us discuss some important ones here.
1.Bank-centric Payment Model
This payment model depends on the banks as the pivotal point for the payment. The bank regulates and distributes the payment transactions. It includes debit card payments, credit card payments, and commerce through mobile bank apps such as bank transfers.
2.Operator-centric Payment Model
Here, the operator works as the central transaction point for the payments for every merchant transaction.
3.Collaborative Payment Model
The mobile operators and financial intermediaries collaborate to make payments possible in this model.
4.Independent Service Provider (ISP) Model
A third-party operator works as an intermediary between financial enterprises and mobile carriers. Mobile Wallet Apps like Google Pay, PayPal, Samsung Pay, etc., fall under this category.
1.Mobile or Digital Wallets
Mobile wallets are third-party apps that have your card information and facilitate transactions through the phone. Amazon Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, etc., are some of the major mobile wallets. It also includes person-to-person transactions like Venmo.
2.Credit or Debit Cards
You can make use of your bank cards saved on mobile apps to make transactions via your bank accounts. It is one of the easiest forms of marketing.
3.NFC or Near–Field Communication
A reader module debits the required amount from a smartcard-equipped mobile phone when it is in proximity. The amount is charged to the customer's bank, mobile, or prepaid accounts.
4.Quick Response (QR) Code Scanning
Now, this one might be fairly familiar to you. Scan a QR code generated on your phone and scanned by a POS, or use a scanning app to scan the QR code of the merchant establishment to make the payments. Quick and easy!
Most traditional models still use SMSs as authentication and authorization tools to continue transactions with debit or credit cards. The mileage on the ubiquity of the SMS channel to do transactions like ticketing, subscription renewals (Netflix, Spotify, etc.), and in-app purchases.
6.Sound Signal-based Payments
Options like data voice-over, NFC 2.0, near sound data transfer (NSDT), etc., generate audio signals that mobile microphones can pick to trigger online transactions.
7.MSTs or Magnetic Secure Transmissions
In this case, you equip the smartphone to emit a magnetic signal akin to one produced by a magnetic credit card while swiping through a credit card terminal. No need to carry umpteen cards with you!
The mode functions on billing directly through mobile network operators. Direct operator billing is another term for this payment mode. The payment will ultimately get added to your mobile operator bills.
Differences Between eCommerce and mCommerce Concepts
Though both are financial transactions that happen over the internet, there are some hallmark differences that sets eCommerce and mCommerce apart.
1. Originated in the 1970s
1. Flourished in the 1990s
2. Traditional method
2. Modernized version
3. Executed over the internet using electronic systems
3. Transactions over wireless devices such as tablets and smartphones
4. Computers and Laptops
4. Mobile Phones, Tablets
5. Not easy to carry the devices and hence not executed on the go
5. Handheld devices make transactions easy on the go
6. Internet is a must
6. Can be executed without internet
7. Stuck to a specific location and hence dependent on the power supply and signal strength
7. Portable and hence wide ranging
Page Speed Optimization for Mobile
Page load speed is the Holy Grail to keep your customer on the page. If your site is slow to load, consider the customer gone. Mobile sites load slower than their desktop counterparts, i.e., 10.3 seconds on desktop vs. 27.3 seconds on mobile making them almost 87.84% slower! The only way out of this pinch is to optimize mobile page speed to get maximum load speed.
Some tips to keeping your pages loading faster are listed below.
- Choose the best CMSs like Squarespace and Weebly for your mobile platform as opposed to the slow-loading Wix and WordPress
- Use a CDN and reduce HTML requests to speed up TTFB on mobile.
- Maintain optimal total page size to maintain the best Visually Complete load times.
- Check the page size to get a better load speed.
- Very low or very high compression time helps with performance.
- Reduce third-party scripts to increase the load time.
- Use responsive images and image compression to garner the best load speed.
- Enabling browser caching would speed up your website.
- Disabling unused add-ons on your website is a sure-shot method to increase the load speed.
- Make sure that your site is running on the latest PHP version to ensure that your shopping platform works better
- Keep your store running on the latest MySQL version to maintain twice the load speed as the previous version.
Integrate mobile commerce to enhance your online business
Wrapping Up - Mobile Commerce Opportunities
Takeaway: Even though machines and robots run the world, mobile commerce continues to be a massive area of growth! People still buy things! With mobile commerce continually evolving, it could be wise to consider what changes the future may hold for mCommerce and ecommerce in general.
As shoppers continue to demand convenience, mobile commerce needs to meet customer expectations in an engaging and efficient way. Mobile Commerce Development, Mobile commerce development services, and Mobile Commerce App Development services are something you can bank on to succeed in the future. If you are ready to take your ecommerce business to the next level and increase sales by reaching new customers, contact us today to build your customized mobile apps!
Mobile Commerce - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can mCommerce help its customers?
mCommerce lets customers shop online through handheld devices like mobile phones, tablets, and iPads. It helps shoppers execute transactions while they are on the move inside a physical store or while traveling or sitting at home. mCommerce also gives customers access to various products and easy comparison. Plus, the payment methods are quicker.
What are the types of mobile commerce?
The most essential mCommerce types are:
- Mobile money transfers
- Digital purchases and delivery
- Mobile banking
- Contactless payments
- In-app payments
- Location-based services
- Mobile marketing, coupons, discounts, and loyalty cards
- Electronic ticketing and boarding pass
- Hotel Bookings
- In-app eCommerce purchases
- Virtual marketplaces
- Digital Wallets
Which are the languages used in mCommerce?
Generally, to develop, customize or implement a mobile app, wml is the normal choice. Developers use Magento or Shopify CMS platform for framework and PHP as the Coding language. Other languages are HTML5, Swift, Objective-C, Java, C++, C# etc. The programming language is decided based on the business type and type of features needed.
What is the purpose of mobile commerce?
mCommerce allows users to access online shopping platforms without needing to use a desktop computer or laptop. Shoppers do not always need the internet to transact online. mCommerce includes in-app purchases, mobile banking, virtual marketplaces like the Amazon mobile app, contactless payments, and digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay.
What are the components of mobile commerce?
The mobile commerce system is broadly classified into six components for ease of understanding and a better structure:
- mobile commerce applications
- mobile stations
- mobile middleware
- wireless networks
- wired networks
- host computers
All these components must be optimized and deployed effectively for mCommerce to work for your eCommerce business.
What is a mobile commerce Framework?
A mobile commerce framework refers to the software a company uses to build its mobile store, like Magento or BigCommerce. It is the framework of how the company wants its customers to access its site. Most companies generally have a touch point concerning mCommerce to decide the strategy.
What are the KPIs that drive mobile commerce?
The most important KPIs to be kept in mind while deploying mCommerce are:
- Refusal Rate
- Bounce Rate
- Dropout Rate
- Page Views
- Conversion Rate
- Push Notifications
The companies also track customer demographics like age and affinity to mCommerce. Duration and frequency of mobile usage, internet shopping habits, etc., are other factors that need monitoring.
What are the origins of mobile commerce?
mCommerce gained popularity in the 1990s. The phrase mobile commerce was first coined in 1997 by Kevin Duffey at the launch of the Global Mobile Commerce Forum. The same year Coca-Cola installed two mobile-phones enabled vending machines in Helsinki, Finland, which accepted payment via SMS text messages and started a new era of mobile commerce.
What is the fastest-growing mobile commerce platform, and why?
SAP Hybris is the most popular mCommerce platform that delivers many digital transformation capabilities such as context-driven marketing, customer data management, and unified processes for omnichannel e-commerce. Others are Pontis, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, GPShopper, Kony Mobility Platform, and Oracle Commerce Platform.
What is mobile middleware?
Mobile middleware helps build applications seamlessly. They connect mobile applications, programs, systems data, and users. Mobile middleware essentially hides the complexities of working in mobile environments, reducing the costs involved in developing and running mobile applications. Get in touch with Virtina for all your Middleware needs.