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mCommerce101: What It Is and Why It’s Important for Your Business

August 13, 2021 • by shall

Modern business owners saw the rise of eCommerce, especially in 1994 when the first online retail transaction was made. Technology advancements have led to online sales soaring, new payment options for consumers and the ability to purchase products and services from across the world.

Now, mCommerce is starting to become a dominating subset of eCommerce, much in the same way online sales grew in the retail market.

If you’re just hearing of mCommerce, you likely have a lot of questions. What does mCommerce stand for? How does it work? Is mCommerce important for your business? Let’s find out.

What is mCommerce?

mCommerce, or mcommerce, is short for mobile commerce. This form of commerce is one that you’re likely already well-versed in because it is a very popular subset of eCommerce. If you’re thinking that eCommerce and mCommerce are the same, here’s the difference:

  • eCommerce: This form of commerce is conducted electronically. Consumers can make purchases using any electronic device, including desktop computers and laptops.
  • mCommerce: Mobile commerce allows transactions to take place on smartphones and tablets versus computers and laptops.

If you’re a business owner, it’s important to focus on all retail areas to maximize sales. Understanding the different types of commerce and how they work will empower you to maximize sales and concentrate on mediums where your target consumers are already purchasing.

How Does mCommerce Work?

mCommerce focuses on smaller screen experiences. For a long time, business owners focused on creating websites that adhered to best practices for larger screens, i.e., desktops and mobiles. Today, your users can be on a myriad of devices:

  • Desktops
  • Laptops
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Etc.

In today’s online retail world, websites use responsive design practices to offer optimal experiences to all screen sizes. A responsive website will adjust elements to look good on smartphones, desktops and the like.

mCommerce should focus on smartphones and tablets as the main devices used to access your business’ offerings.

Consumers can go on their iPhone or Android device, type in your website address, browse your goods, or make a purchase or contact customer service. Since many consumers opt to make purchases using mobile devices, it’s an important medium for businesses to optimize.

Why mCommerce is Important for Your Business

Businesses no longer rely solely on in-store displays to make sales. Instead of swapping out displays, retailers are focusing on offering a streamlined, consistent experience across a growing list of devices.

If your business wants to maximize sales and usability, mCommerce is a critical area to focus on.

A few of the reasons to realign marketing dollars to mCommerce are:

  1. Smartphone and Mobile Users on the Rise: As of 2021, 6.4 billion people own smartphones, or over 80% of the world’s population. The accessibility of smartphones makes it one of the main ways people access the Internet, research products and enter the buyer journey.
  2. Consumers will Research Even in Stores: Almost 70% of consumers research the products they want to buy before making purchases. In fact, consumers would rather do the research on their phones than ask a store clerk for help. 
  3. Mobile Devices Dominate Online Sales: Shopping on mobile devices accounts for over 69% of all online sales. So, if you want to cater to as many consumers as possible, it’s essential to focus on the medium that generates the most sales: mobile devices.
  4. Faster Purchases: Every second it takes for your website to load, you’re losing customers because consumers don’t want to wait. Mobile sites load 1.5 faster than a traditional website. If you offer an app, the speed may be even faster.
  5. Increase Your Marketing Channels: If your business offers a mobile app, it opens up a new marketing channel to generate sales. Apps are a direct connection between your business and consumers. If a person downloads your app and accepts its permissions, you can send them updates on new products or on new sales. It’s a direct marketing channel with a high conversion rate.
  6. mCommerce Offers In-depth Data Analytics: Depending on the analytic tools chosen, you may be able to leverage mCommerce to learn about consumers, including gender, email, buying history, name and location. This information can be used to boost sales on all platforms.
  • Ease of Access: Today’s consumers can do everything from their smartphones or tablets. You can order food from the grocery store, purchase a home, airline tickets and virtually anything else that you want. Ease of access is vital to consumers, and mCommerce provides a level of access that people worldwide can use to purchase your products and services.

mCommerce caters to consumers that want to research products, compare prices, ask questions and make purchases. When you offer an accessible, easy experience for your target market, sales increase.

Your business can begin leveraging mCommerce to increase sales across all mediums by using responsive design practices. Responsive designs render your site accurately across all screen sizes so that user experience remains high.

Mobile-unfriendly Sites Lose Sales

If a potential buyer lands on your mobile site and it’s unfriendly, it can drive customers away. Google reports that:

  • 50% of people that like a business use them less often if they don’t offer a mobile-friendly website.
  • 61% of site users become frustrated and are willing to move to another website if they can’t find information rapidly on mobile sites.

Your business is at risk of losing sales and consumers engaging with your business less if you’re not focusing on mCommerce.

Final Thoughts on mCommerce

mCommerce provides maximum business visibility by catering to devices that over 80% of the worldwide population use. While your business should never cater to just one medium, mCommerce is one that you’ll want to begin focusing on today if you aren’t already.

Consumers are more educated and willing to conduct their own research before making purchases.

Smartphones, and to a lesser extent, tablets, are the primary mediums that consumers are using to research products and make purchases. With the ability to reach a wide range of consumers, small and large businesses cannot ignore the potential of mCommerce.

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