Candidly, Smartphones in the ‘go digital’ era has made a momentous mark in the area of e-commerce, and is also becoming a preferred platform for consumers’ quick shopping due to its advanced computing capability and connectivity. This trend has given way to the new bracket called m-commerce. On observing that more than 60 percent of online shoppers prefer mobile devices, mobile wallets have become a key enabler for m-commerce strategies to be successful. The core idea of m-commerce is to ensure that the shoppers buying experience is compatible to the smaller screen sizes on smartphones and tablets. With this use of mobile wallets, payment has been made simple via mobile apps right from buying groceries to book a movie ticket. It can help shoppers to process all their transactions digitally without having the need to focus only on banking.
M-commerce is not a separate entity from e-commerce; it is a more specific sub-group of e-commerce transactions that involves the use of smartphones and tablets, instead of desktop and laptop computers. Mobile is one of those devices which are found with everyone at all times, right from getting up in the morning until the moment they go to sleep. As it is a prominent factor that connects the world digitally with no geographic boundaries, m-commerce strategy is being the center of the digital consumer experience.
For a successful implementation of m-commerce, concepts such as a mobile-friendly user experience, mobile apps and responsive site design is essential. In simple words, m-commerce is just a retail outlet into the shopper’s pocket.
In a recent report published by IBM's marketing team illustrates some of the observed trends present in the online shopping. The following are some of those key points:
• Mobile now accounts for 57 percent of all online activity (upto 14 percent from the previous year).
• 36 percent of all online sales came from mobile devices.
• Tablets, for the first time, outpaced desktop sales with higher per-average purchases.
• Smartphones outpaced tablets for the number of completed sales, and that number is growing at a massive rate of 75 percent each year.
IBM's report gives a clear picture of the speed with which mobile has overtaken desktop as the consumer choice for engaging in online shopping. Now, it has become even more important for the retailers to ensure that they provide a seamless platform for mobile users, who engage in browsing mobile store end buying something from their website.
Fundamentals for an m-commerce Strategy
Many of the conventional e-commerce brands by now have tailored their internet platforms to the mobile channel. They have decided on to launch a native application on the trending platforms such as iOS or Windows Phone, Android, and many more, to witness productive results.
However, one of the primary challenges for retailers is to make mobile shopping convenient and fast as smaller screen sizes of the phones can restrict the searching and browsing capability, making it hard for the shoppers to complete their purchases. To this end, a fully performing gateway is indispensable to effectively help shoppers in finding their desired products and information like a search box tool on top of the web page.
It is to be noted that a fully optimized m-commerce strategy is a vital element for the success of online retailer in today’s mobile driven world. It unbolts the door to location-based messaging and mobile chat functionalities, which are one of the emerging tools for promoting business. The m-commerce strategy adds the attributes of location awareness to identity data, disclosing not just who the customer is but where they are operating right now, and what their preferences are. It empowers brands to improve communication with consumers and their search, enabling brand to gain adoption and loyalty.
With a mobile device, consumers can shop anywhere, anytime, which was not possible through traditional brick and motor stores. By eliminating the need to go to a physical store, m-commerce saves consumers’ travel time and queues to pay. These benefits are tremendously creating relevant aspects that attract users to switch to m-commerce.