What is M-commerce?

how-is-augmented-reality-expected-to-revolutionize-some-industries-in-2021

Mobile commerce is the use of mobile phones and other mobile devices to perform transactions through mobile banking, mobile marketing, and various mobile payment methods.

Mobile commerce can refer to:

  • Point of sale (POS) systems that accept mobile payments such as Bitcoin, Apple Pay, or Google Wallet for small businesses
  • A mobile wallet that stores virtual cash in an on-phone chip such as Android Pay and Walmart Pay
  • Transactions performed via mobile applications on a smartphone such as Venmo or Cash app

Mobile commerce allows customers to access information about their accounts available on mobile platforms, pay bills, manage loyalty points and track receipts.

Before we discuss what the future of m-commerce is, let’s take a look at m-commerce stats.

Interesting Mobile Commerce Facts And Figures

Mobile commerce has experienced booming growth over the past years. More people are veering toward m-commerce, and we have some interesting facts and figures related to it.

  • In 2021, mobile commerce accounted for more than 50% of online sales
  • By the end of 2021, m-commerce sales are expected to reach $3.56 trillion
  • Payments through mobile phones are expected to grow by 24.5% by 2026
  • Half of the US consumers do product research on retail apps
  • By 2024, there will be more than 187 million people shopping online through their phones

Benefits of M-commerce

You have your mobile phone with you at all times of the day so that whenever the notification of upcoming sales pops in, you are ready for the hunt. Or perhaps you are on your way back home and are feeling too lazy to go to a restaurant, so you just order food from the app.

There will be hundreds of scenarios where you pick up your phone and make an online transaction.

What we are getting at is how easy it has become to shop from the comfort of our homes or any place or any time of the day. We have shops, educational institutions and academies, pharmacies, restaurants, etc., at the palms of our hands with easy accessibility.

Here are some of the benefits provided by m-commerce:

Convenience

Retailers save time and resources by providing customers with an easy way to complete transactions from mobile devices.

The mobile shopping experience is optimized for mobile users with an easy-to-navigate mobile shopping cart, reduced form fields, and improved payment options. In addition, mobile commerce applications are built with user convenience in mind.

Consumer Insights

Retailers have greater visibility into purchases that are completed on mobile devices rather than the traditional computer screen of desktop users.

This provides retailers with valuable data about their mobile customers, such as what products they're interested in, how frequently they make purchases, and where they like to shop.

This information can be used to build loyal customer relationships by providing targeted products and special offers throughout the year based on spending habits.

Improved Shopping Experience

Mobile payments like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay provide security for shoppers when using mobile devices to complete mobile shopping transactions. These mobile payment options allow users to pay for products without having to enter their credit card information every time they shop online.

This eliminates the risk of credit card fraud and makes mobile shopping quick and easy. Users can simply unlock their phone, open their mobile wallet app, tap their device on a mobile payment sensor at checkout, and voila.

Reward Systems

Mobile commerce apps provide customers with an incentive (such as points or discounts) for using their mobile application instead of the company's traditional mobile website when completing mobile transactions.

This provides both companies and consumers with more benefits than traditional mobile e-commerce platforms like mobile websites.

Some mobile commerce applications such as Uber, Starbucks, and Amazon offer customers a mobile rewards program that offers incentives for using mobile applications as opposed to their mobile website when they make purchases.

Retailers like Starbucks and Nordstrom use mobile coupons and special promotions, which are only available through mobile apps to encourage shoppers to download and install the app on their mobile devices.

The Future of Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce is a rapidly expanding market that has seen unprecedented growth during the last decade.

The exponential increase of mobile web traffic and smartphone adoption rates have led to an explosion in M-commerce sales, which will grow from $292 billion in 2015 to $3.2 trillion in 2020, according to Technavio.

This article will explore some of the different factors that will influence the future of mobile commerce and look at how they can be best addressed by businesses and brands:

AR

Retailers have been using mobile device apps to assist their customers in making purchasing decisions for some years now, both online and in-store. One use of mobile commerce that enables shoppers to try on products virtually is the addition of augmented reality (AR) technology.

Augmented Reality works by overlaying digital information onto what users see via their mobile device's screen or camera. AR has already seen widespread commercial application in the mobile shopping field; many retailers are using mobile apps with built-in AR features to drive sales.

Consumers can therefore shop through mobile devices while actually seeing how certain items will look on them before buying them. For example, Gap offers an app that allows consumers to take a picture of themselves and then virtually "try on" shirts, jeans, etc., to give the person an idea of how they will look.

One web-based eyewear retailer has already added AR features into their mobile shopping web application. GlassesDirect.com uses mobile apps with built-in AR features to virtually "try on" different glasses and sunglasses so that consumers can see what they would look like before actually committing to buying them.

A customer simply takes a picture of themselves using the mobile app or selects one from their phone's photo library. It then places the glasses virtually on the customer's face through Augmented Reality technology - allowing customers to rotate the glasses 360 degrees, view them from various angles, and zoom in.

Voice Search

For mobile users, voice control is one of the most natural ways to interact with mobile devices. We already have voice search assistants like Siri, Alexa, etc.

Voice search provides mobile shoppers with a familiar and effortless interaction experience while they shop on mobile devices. Most mobile devices come equipped with microphone capabilities that allow mobile users to use their own voices for tasks such as searching or commanding apps via speech instead of typing.

On mobile devices, besides using keyboards for inputting text, other physical actions can be used to enter information into mobile apps, including tapping screens, clicking buttons, or swiping their finger across touch-screen surfaces.

With all these mobile actions, clicking or tapping mobile apps are indeed the quickest options. However, voice commands are fast becoming a mobile alternative for entering text into mobile devices.

This is not just because of mobile operating systems that support voice control but also because of mobile apps that have been designed specifically around voice commands.

In addition to mobile keyboards and physical interaction elements such as taps and clicks, mobile users can also interact with mobile apps using their own voices.

Voice search enables mobile users to search for information by speaking a query directly into their phone instead of typing it onto a screen.

Chatbots

New research from Juniper forecasts mobile commerce to be a $3.4 trillion market by 2021, with mobile devices accounting for most of the payment transactions in mobile commerce globally.

In this mobile-first environment, chatbots have an increasingly important role to play in delivering timely notifications, reminders, and offers to drive conversions and increase customer satisfaction levels.

The new research found that functionalities such as proactive suggestions, one-click reordering, and real-time shipping status updates would have the biggest impact on mobile commerce over the next five years.

Chatbots will offer an increasingly personalized approach to these functionalities by being able to track customers' purchase history, linking it with their social profiles, preferences, and other data points.

This will lead mobile shoppers to increasingly rely on mobile devices to complete transactions rather than desktops and laptops.

In 2016, mobile commerce made up nearly a third of all e-commerce, but in 2021 mobile devices will account for over 65% of all ecommerce traffic, according to the research.

This trend opens new opportunities for e-commerce businesses to boost their mobile conversion rates with chatbot functionalities that deliver a tailored shopping experience on mobile devices.

iBeacon technology

Although much focus has been put on wearable technologies such as smartwatches or glasses, one of the most promising developments for M-commerce could come from our smartphones themselves.

By adding new layers of intelligence with the use of beacon technology, made possible through Apple's iBeacon framework, retailers will be able to deliver hyper-personalized M-commerce experiences.

This technology is by no means perfect, however. Many developers are still struggling with how they can best implement it, and most analytics programs do not yet measure the full capabilities of iBeacon.

But many brands are already exploring this new frontier. For example, Macy's has recently deployed thousands of micro-location beacons that will help their customers find fitting rooms or specific departments in their stores.

Top M-Commerce App Ruling the Market

Mobile users are 24/7 connected, and mobile commerce is very much a real thing now. With a mobile-optimized website, one can easily minimize mobile shopping cart abandonment.

Let us take a look at some of the mobile apps that have been instrumental in enhancing mobile commerce:

Amazon

We can't talk about mobile commerce and mobile apps without mentioning Amazon – after all, the mobile shopping cart leader has been on a roll for quite some time now.

While the Amazon mobile website is very good itself, there's something about their mobile app that makes it an ecommerce store owner's favorite go-to option – from its extremely user-friendly interface to its slew of features like 1-click purchase and AutoRip music.

In fact, given how seamlessly Amazon works across devices – desktop PCs as well as mobile phones – we would recommend it even more to be used by online shoppers.

Uber Eats App

The food delivery segment has evolved dramatically of late, and with so many food aggregators on board, it's hard to pick one. Of all the options available out there, we would go ahead and recommend Uber Eats – if only for their simple interface and prompt service.

The app works across multiple categories – whether you're looking for fresh groceries or even home supplies and also uses geolocation to find the nearest restaurant. From a mobile user's perspective, Uber Eats is a delight – easy navigation and a small list of options make it an online shopper's favorite.

Tax Cloud

Mobile commerce has been on the rise for quite some time now, and mobile shoppers have been looking out for ways to cut mobile shopping cart abandonment by streamlining mobile checkout processes.

In such a mobile commerce ecosystem, mobile tax is becoming more and more important – so much so that in case you don't collect your customer's mobile tax at the right time, they can reject your business altogether.

This is where TaxCloud becomes relevant as it allows mobile merchants to securely share their sales tax collection responsibility with a trusted third-party service provider like Avalara or Vertex (the primary company). All of this works from mobile and on-the-go, without needing any mobile app download.

ShopStyle

Another mobile shopping cart that can do wonders if used rightly is the ShopStyle mobile app. This mobile app helps you find the right kind of mobile products and apps to match your business needs and preferences.

It's a great mobile solution for not only online shoppers but also for ecommerce store owners who want to add new items to their site or expand their selection.

HotelsCombined

If websites like Dara are the ones facilitating mobile commerce, there are others like HotelsCombined mobile app, which help users get exactly what they want in case they need it at the last minute.

HotelsCombined mobile app covers almost all categories of hotels worldwide – from luxurious resorts to rock-bottom economy ones – and helps you find the best mobile deals for your hotel stay.

What's more, is that it also lets mobile users compare hotel rates from various mobile websites and mobile apps to save time and money.

Todoist

A mobile task manager for busy ecommerce store owners, the Todoist mobile app is a god-send as far as staying on top of things goes.

With all your tasks right there in front of you with their details, progress status, and due dates, etc., this mobile app effectively turns any ordinary mobile device into a business productivity powerhouse – especially if you're someone who doesn't like using conventional methods to manage their work.

It even works offline once installed, ensuring mobile business continuity even when mobile network connectivity is a problem.

Toggl Track

Another mobile task manager for mobile commerce owners, Toggl mobile app, helps you track time and monitor productivity – both of which are extremely important if you want to retain worker productivity and efficiency.

It's a great mobile solution because it lets team members use their own mobile devices to track time from anywhere as well as submit reports on the go. So in case you're looking for a mobile workforce management system that can help you monitor your store employees effectively, this one is it.

ShopHero

In case your retail business is looking for a mobile marketing automation platform that would let them engage with mobile customers, try ShopHero mobile app.

This mobile app lets you build mobile landing pages, mobile-friendly websites for your mobile commerce site, mobile coupons, etc., and right from the convenience of your mobile device.

It also has an in-built A/B testing tool that can help you optimize your mobile website and mobile ad campaigns to increase conversions significantly.

OneSignal

Another great marketing automation platform, OneSignal mobile app, helps ecommerce store owners reach out to their existing customers as well as potential ones by sending them push notifications via email or cellular network.

You can use this one for sending promotional offers and deals along with newsletters to keep your users engaged with your website all the time.

BigBasket

Last but certainly not least, mobile commerce entrepreneurs should try mobile apps like BigBasket mobile app for delivering mobile orders to their customers at regular intervals.

This mobile app lets you create custom notifications to let your mobile users know when to expect orders. It also has features like advanced routing and geofencing, which can be used effectively by businesses operating in rural areas where courier deliveries are hard.

There are several other mobile shopping carts out there that may suit your business needs – both as ecommerce store owners or mobile app developers.

Conclusion

Mobile shopping is not going anywhere anytime soon. A majority of consumers (millennial and Gen Z) prefer mobile shopping compared to traditional computer screens.

The benefits associated with mobile shopping include convenience, time savings, security, and data collection, and consumer incentives such as points or discounts for using mobile applications over mobile websites.

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