The rise of the smartphone might have its critics, but it creates huge opportunities for businesses. Nowadays, almost everyone has a smartphone, and people use them for a huge variety of things, including shopping. In fact, research shows that more than half of consumers use phones to purchase goods online, and almost 70% use shopping apps.
If you’re running an online business, you need to understand how you can use this opportunity to drive growth. So, in this article we’ll explain:
– What is mobile commerce?
– Its pros and cons
– Different types of mobile commerce
– Online mobile payments
– Trends and tips to help you excel
What is mobile commerce?
Mobile commerce defines any monetary transaction completed using a mobile device, such as a mobile phone or tablet. It is a division of ecommerce that enables people to buy and sell goods using their mobile phone or tablet device. It also includes monetary services such as bank transfers.
Ecommerce vs m-commerce
For online businesses, it’s worth noting some of the differences between ecommerce and mobile commerce, or m-commerce.
In ecommerce, shopping is usually more experience-focused. Businesses can use desktop computer features (larger screens, easier browsing) to offer richer customer experiences. That includes displaying personalised product recommendations or product research information. In m-commerce, fewer clicks means more chance to convert, so the shopping experience relies on simplicity and a seamless checkout experience.
Types of mobile commerce
There are many different examples of mobile commerce, but three main types. These are:
1. Mobile shopping
2. Mobile banking
3. Mobile payments
M-commerce includes things like mobile money transfers, mobile banking, contactless payments, and more. Here, we’ll focus on mobile shopping and payments to show how you can use them to grow your business.
The advantages of mobile commerce
The advantages of mobile commerce include:
– Attracting new customers
– Delivering better customer experiences
– Quicker browsing and faster transactions
– Accessing rich customer data and insights
– Improved personalisation and marketing activities
There are many mobile commerce benefits, but perhaps the biggest is the ability it gives you to reach new customers. Providing a seamless experience on mobile can help attract prospective customers who prefer to use m-commerce to buy.
Another advantage is delivering better customer service and experiences. Consumers no longer have to travel to a store or even use a desktop device to shop. Instead, now they pull their smartphones out of their pockets and are immediately able to find (and buy) what they need.
Mobile devices also offer the chance to deliver quicker browsing and faster transactions. Of course, this relies on making sure you provide a genuinely mobile-friendly experience to your shoppers. That means testing and refining the customer journey, mobile website speed, and mobile checkout flow.
With brick-and-mortar retail, a customer visits a store, pays, and leaves. This provides little insight into their behaviour. With mobile shopping data, you get much more information about your visitors, including their location and the products that interest them. Use this to develop an omnichannel marketing strategy – your marketing team can then use multi-channel marketing techniques, such as personalised push notifications, to drive sales.
The disadvantages of mobile commerce
The disadvantages of mobile commerce include:
– Regular investment/optimisation needs
– Increased data and security risks
– Lots of competition
– Finding the best payment methods
Developing and optimising a mobile app or mobile online store can be challenging. Making sure you offer a user-friendly and successful customer experience requires regular testing, investment and improvements. To help, identify the best mobile commerce strategy for your business before you begin developing an app or other tech.
Another concern of using m-commerce is the increased security risk. If users allow you to access their data through a mobile device, you need to comply with the required regulations. It helps to be transparent about how you’re using and storing your customer data.
Payments can also be difficult to navigate for businesses using m-commerce. Offering the correct payment methods is crucial to optimising conversion. Unfortunately, knowing the best and most convenient mobile payment options isn’t always easy. A good payment service provider should be able to provide a responsive checkout and other features to help you do this.
Mobile payments – what to offer
There are many mobile payment options available to businesses. Deciding which ones to use isn’t easy, and offering the relevant payment methods is crucial to converting shoppers. Here, we’ll look at some of the main ones available to you and help you choose the best options for your business.
Digital wallets act as electronic cards that consumers can use for online transactions. The card connects to the individual’s bank account or credit and debit cards. The wallets store the user’s details, so they don’t have to re-enter their information every time they purchase something. They offer customers a fast and convenient way to checkout in fewer clicks.
Web-based and in-app payments
When shopping on a mobile website or app, customers are taken to a checkout page to make a payment. Here, they choose the payment method they want to use and fill in the required details. To reduce friction during the checkout process, it’s advisable to offer options that store their details – such as digital wallets and PayPal. Remember to provide a responsive checkout optimised for any device.
Consumers can use smartphones with digital wallets to make contactless payments at shops, restaurants, and other businesses. They need to place their phone near a point-of-sale device to make the payment.
Closed-loop mobile payments
Closed-loop mobile payments enable users to store their details, so they don’t have to re-enter them for each transaction. This type of payment uses an individual brand’s mobile app. The app users enter their details and load money into their account to make purchases through the app or in-store. Starbucks is a well-known example of a brand that uses closed-loop mobile payments.
Mobile commerce trends and tips
So, now you know all about mobile commerce, its benefits, the different types, and mobile payments. Here you’ll discover some mobile commerce tips and trends to grow your online business.
1. Use social commerce
Online shopping is advancing all the time. Nowadays, consumers expect seamless experiences and great customer experiences. Social commerce, or selling products on social media, can help with this.
You can use social media to engage your prospective customers and let them purchase on their favourite social media apps without ever having to visit your site. And, as fewer clicks increases conversions, it’s a great way to sell on mobile.
2. Develop an app
Developing an app is a great way to engage and retain customers if you have the resources. It allows you to deliver truly personalised customer experiences, gain rich customer insights, and increase brand loyalty by providing consistent experiences.
3. Use QR codes for multi-channel selling
When making an online purchase, many consumers like to browse on a desktop device and pay using their mobile device. You can facilitate this desktop-to-mobile flow by displaying QR codes at checkout, making online payments as effortless and convenient as possible.
4. Allow one-click ordering
One-click ordering makes purchasing goods effortless for your customers. Their information is automatically filled in your checkout page form fields using data entered during a previous purchase. Reducing the steps in their checkout flow and speeding up the process is a great way to boost conversions.
5. Use conversational commerce
Conversational commerce – or using social tools to sell products and services – is rising. Chatbot technology is now highly advanced, and you can buy it without huge capital layouts. By responding to customer inquiries quickly and efficiently, you improve brand loyalty and can quickly address customer queries. For more, see our guide on creating a personalised ecommerce experience.
6. Start thinking Meta
Joining the Metaverse seems inevitable, and it’s gaining more attention than ever. That means it’s becoming more important to think about how you can use this collective virtual space to engage and sell your goods.
Mobile devices will play a vital role in this, helping consumers access and shop in the Metaverse. It’s probably no surprise that Amazon is already doing it: users of its augmented-reality Room Decorator tool can see what furnishings look like in their homes.
A new tool to help your business thrive
Mobile commerce can be a crucial growth driver for many online businesses. But, finding the right strategy and having the capital to invest in it is vital to ensure that you can use it to your advantage. Another factor is partnering with the right tech, marketing, and payment specialists who can help you make the most of this developing ecommerce trend. By doing that, you’ll be able to convert shoppers, deliver great customer experiences, and help your business shine for years to come.
Grow your way with Mollie
At Mollie, we help businesses with an effortless payment solution. It provides a responsive checkout that is optimised for any device, including smartphones and tablets. You can easily integrate Mollie with your website and access secure, reliable payments with transparent pricing, leading and localised payment methods, and local support that’s always there for you when you need it.