As consumer shopping habits shift from the physical world to desktop and mobile devices, many brands that have only focused on brick-and-mortar sales are now struggling. The path from discovery to purchase has changed, and brands must now be able to reach customers as they travel and engage with them in those crucial moments before purchase.
What is Mobile Commerce?
Mobile Commerce, also known as m-Commerce, is the use of wireless handheld devices like cell phones and tablets to conduct commercial transactions online, including the purchase and sale of products, online banking, and paying bills. There’s more to mobile commerce than the simple evolution of eCommerce. It has also stimulated the creation of new industries and services or aided the establishment of existing ones, including:
- Mobile banking.
- Contactless payments and in-app payments.
- Mobile money transfers.
- Electronic tickets and boarding passes.
- Digital content purchases and delivery.
- Location-based services.
- Mobile marketing, coupons, and loyalty cards.
With an understanding of mobile commerce’s advantages and disadvantages, it is possible to keep real-world sales steady while growing digital ones.
Mobile commerce helps brands manage inventory, marketing, and most other aspects of their business more efficiently. For example, when consumer interest spikes, they can increase their mobile app marketing and downscale when interest wanes.
Mobile commerce opens up markets previously untapped by brands. As of February 2021, the percentage of U.S. adults who own a smartphone has more than doubled since 2011. This large user base provides potential sales leads for brands.
In a traditional retail setting, little insight is provided as to why customers make the purchase. They come into the store, make a purchase, and leave. Brands can use mCommerce to connect with these consumers from the moment of discovery all the way through the purchase, giving the brand access to valuable signals of purchase intent.
Geotracking technology and programmatic advertising help brands connect with consumers in those moments before a purchase decision, increasing the likelihood that the purchase will be completed.
Since companies have more access to consumer data, they also have a greater responsibility to protect it. Whenever brands and retailers partner with marketing partners, their terms should be clear so clients are aware of how their data is being collected and shared.
Across industries, companies are turning their attention to the mobile marketplace. In other words, while thousands of customers might use this avenue, thousands of competitors are doing the same thing. For brands to achieve a competitive advantage, they must focus on a niche or market.
Less consumer connection
Consumers view mobile commerce and online shopping as impersonal, which is why brands must work harder to build connections with them. You can remove the impersonal feel from mobile commerce by offering consumers rewards or personalizing messages.
A better way to deal with mobile commerce problems is to treat it more like an enhancement to traditional shopping than as a replacement. Mobile shopping allows brands to cater to consumers that want it without alienating established customers who favour traditional shopping.