eCommerce has taken the world by storm in recent years. As online shopping becomes faster and more convenient, businesses were able to reap big rewards after investing in their websites. Now a trend is fast emerging that is set to change the customer experience once again.
This trend is m-commerce. As our phones get smarter, we are using them for more things every day. Believe it or not, people used to get excited when they could send a text, make a call, and play a heavily pixelated game called Snake.
Today, you can watch your favourite shows, shoot and edit 4K videos, chat with your friends, play games with people from around the world, and keep your entire library of music on one device that you keep in your pocket. It doesn’t stop there though, thanks to the emergence of m-commerce.
What is m-Commerce
M-commerce is the term used when referring to mobile commerce. This is when a financial transaction is completed using a mobile device such as your smartphone or tablet.
“But I make payments through the browser on my phone all the time?” we hear you ask. Well, this is still eCommerce as the transaction is being completed through a website – even if that website is being accessed on your phone.
M-commerce has paved the way for various things that we take for granted today such as shopping apps, location services, mobile wallets and loyalty cards, and even mobile banking.
The Types of Mobile Commerce
Although m-commerce apps and services come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, they all fall into one of the three following categories:
This is by far the broadest category of m-commerce. It covers everything from mobile wallets to payments apps by businesses. These are apps designed so that the user can make or receive payments in a secure fashion through their mobile device.
This, for example, is the reason we have access to things like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. There are apps that can be used to transfer money to accounts domestically or abroad without the use of a bank, such as PayPal and Venmo. There are even apps like Square that help businesses to track and manage transactions in-store.
Shopping and Retail
M-commerce applies not only to specific shopping apps, such as ASOS but also mobile optimised apps that allow you to shop along with doing other things such as Instagram.
They also include delivery apps where you can order your favourite food straight to your door with a few taps.
If you can’t remember getting cash from a teller or filling out a form with a pen attached to a desk with a chain, you have mobile banking to thank for this. It differs slightly from web banking in that you will typically use a dedicated app that allows you to view your accounts, manage your accounts and complete almost all of your banking tasks.
Some banks, such as Monzo, are entirely mobile-based, aimed at providing users with an efficient and affordable service outside of the traditional banking system.
After reading these categories, you may have noticed how much you were using m-commerce without realising.
The Advantages of Mobile Commerce
Thanks to advances in technology, mobile commerce apps are accessible to virtually everyone from big businesses to individual sellers. This means that if you haven’t done so already, you may be considering a jump into the world of m-commerce. To help with your decision, here are some of the advantages of m-commerce.
One of the biggest benefits of m-commerce is convenience. So long as they have their phone, your customers can purchase your products or use your services 24/7. They aren’t reliant on a mobile-optimised page or having access to a computer.
By developing a branded app, you can offer a bespoke experience for your customers. This could mean unique features, speciality functions – essentially anything that you believe that they will enjoy.
All signs continue to point to huge growth when it comes to m-commerce. In fact, some forecasters predict that by 2025, m-commerce will account for over 10% of US retail sales.
Reach a Wider Audience
Just as multiple store locations will help you to reach more customers, having another way for customers to purchase your products can help to increase your sales.
Younger people who are more familiar with phones and apps use websites less than the generations that have come before. Having an m-commerce solution can help you to reach these customers too.
By all accounts, m-commerce is poised to change the way spend our money for good. If you haven’t done so already, it may be time to expand and incorporate m-commerce functions into your business model.
After all, the last thing you want is to be left behind by your competitors that were quicker to adopt this exciting technology.