Adaptation and progress are fundamental to understanding the digital landscape. If they weren't, we'd still be relying on dial up modems.
Yes, Virginia. There actually was a time when neither mobile banking nor mobile shopping even existed. But there was also a time before Amazon and even Walmart, as well.
The fact that retail progresses to embrace new channels and consumer habits should come as no surprise to anyone. With retail eCommerce sales reaching $870.8 Billion in the US for 2021, the need for retail channels to adopt responsive and agile methods of delivery is more critical than ever.
That's because retail channels both dictate and are shaped by the overall customer experience.
But just how those channels ultimately dictate the customer experience is second only to just how rapidly those channels adapt to increasingly diverse consumer demands.
And not surprisingly, it's mobile eCommerce that is at the forefront of the shift in consumer demand and online shopping.
The Mobile Transformation of Online Shopping
Despite the increasing variety of delivery and payment options available for digital vendors, many seem stuck in the assumption that what was perfectly sufficient ten years ago will remain unchanged. The result is stagnation and a failure to understand the changing needs of customers.
Digital commerce means we're all plugged in all the time. Our laptops. Our tablets. Our smartphones. And yes, even those rare breeds who still rely on dial up modems for connectivity.
What's true for eCommerce development is also true for mobile app development, if not more so. If digital commerce changes in the blink of an eye, mobile apps don't seem to blink at all.
It's been estimated that global mobile commerce payments are scheduled to increase by as much as 70 percent over the next four years, with the US seeing a growth of 74 percent. In China, where m-commerce is already well-established, vendors can expect to see an additional increase of 55 percent.
But just how different is mobile commerce from eCommerce? What are its advantages? Its risks? And how can vendors better optimize it within their digital infrastructure?
The Three C's of Mobile Commerce: Convenience, Connectivity and Consumers
Very few of us can remember a time in which mobile connectivity wasn't as pervasive as it is in 2022. It's permeated the very fabric of our lives to such a degree that virtually no workplace operation can function without mobile accessibility.
But mobile connectivity isn't about mobility so much as connectivity. And that connectivity is reflected in everything from medical procedures to marketing. We want to feel connected to one another at all times, whether we're parents, employees, entrepreneurs or consumers.
Especially as consumers.
Cisco Networks have recently estimated that over 70 percent of the global population will have some form of global connectivity by 2023. To take that into perspective, that's more people than currently have active bank accounts—or, sadly, running water.
But while the vast majority of us have lives that are becoming increasingly remote from one another, the need for connectivity has never been greater. The need for communication models which can adapt to that sense of remoteness continue to develop and refine themselves.
And that need extends to both commerce as well as marketing.
Why Mobile Commerce?
While it's tempting to think of m-commerce as an entirely different model than eCommerce, the truth is there's virtually no difference whatsoever other than one critical factor: optimization.
Simply put, any form of transaction conducted from a mobile device, be it a smartphone or a tablet, is mobile commerce. Similarly, any form of digital transaction (including both mobile devices and traditional laptops and PCs) constitutes eCommerce.
But mobile commerce has developed differently from eCommerce chiefly by disrupting traditional delivery methods, including:
Location specific marketing and payment options
In-store checkout, payment and promotional coupons
Prompt and responsive digital content delivery
In-app mobile marketing and payment options
Enhanced kiosk shopping assistance
Hyperlocal marketing and services
Optimizing payment through location tracking
Contactless payment options
All of which are becoming critical to vendors now more than ever. Consumer expectations for next and two-day shipping options are no longer a luxury but a necessity in digital retail. Similarly, consumer purchases are becoming frequently predicated on instant fulfillment for both necessary and discretionary items.
As we stride into 2023 and beyond with a certain sense of precaution, the need for remote delivery in an increasingly distant world has never been greater. But mobile commerce doesn't just fulfill this need. And it doesn't only help predict future needs.
It enables an omnichannel shopping experience in the truest sense of the term, merging both the physical consumer experience with digital innovation.
By integrating mobility with the offline shopping experience, consumers can plan purchases ahead as well as gain inspiration and insight into available stock in real time.
Mobile commerce is a continually evolving process, with the popularity of voice activated commerce being just one example of innumerable developments over the past ten years.
But despite its embrace of innovation, mobile commerce is n't without its own drawbacks.
The Risks and Benefits of Mobile Commerce
Any form of digital commerce is open to fraud and security breaches. And it's certainly no different with mobile commerce. But just how vulnerable mobile commerce is to risk can be more than a little alarming.
According to a recent report from LexisNexis Risk Solutions, m-commerce experienced a volume of fraud well in excess of 200 percent between 2018 and 2019 alone, with reported incidents reaching as high as 3,085 among mid-to-large sized retailers in just twelve months.
In fact, it's been estimated that mobile merchants can experience a year-over-year increase in fraud as high as twelve percent compared to three percent among solely physical retailers.
Potential fraud has always been a risk of online shopping. But the susceptibility of mobile phones to identity theft and other security risks is an acutely high one, with an estimated 59.4 million Americans reporting some form of mobile phone fraud in 2020.
While both mobile payment providers and m-commerce vendors have addressed the rise of 5G networks by developing more sophisticated forms of fraud detection and security across mobile devices, heightened security risks should be taken by merchants with extreme caution and scrutiny.
But these security risks have also enabled new payment methods such as in-app mobile payments and mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
The rise towards mass retail acceptance of mobile wallets should come as no surprise. They can actually be safer than traditional credit cards thanks to multilayered methods of authentication, including facial scans, 2-step verification and fingerprint identification outside of PIN numbers.
At the same time, the cost of adopting these technologies as well as the relative unfamiliarity and privacy risks associated with the concept has prohibited some merchants from integrating them fully.
But do the risks of relying on mobile payments outweigh the performance of m-commerce?
Mobile Commerce Performance Statistics
An estimated 15 percent of all Americans consider themselves mobile device-only owners
A 2018 report from Criteo estimated that conversion rates for mobile apps were up to 3 times higher than traditional web based eCommerce
A 2019 survey from RetailMeNot indicated that over two-thirds of respondents preferred reviewing product information on a mobile device compared to speaking with an in-store sales associate, with 65 percent stating they viewed redeemable coupons on mobile devices as influencing their purchasing decisions
Mobile web traffic has increased by 30.6 percent between 2017 and 2019, with the top 100 most visited mobile websites receiving traffic of 223 billion monthly visits, while research from Forrester indicated that 47 percent of US web traffic for online retailers came from mobile apps as early as 2016
In a 2017 study published in the Harvard Business Review, some 73 percent of 46,000 respondents interviewed used multiple channels during the whole of their shopping experience—including mobile devices and mobile platforms
Tips on Optimizing Mobile Commerce Payments
Simplify the checkout process
It's simple logic. Convenience is what drives most mobile shoppers. And mobile users simply don't want to take the time to enter their payment information manually. Using a one-page checkout process on your mobile site and enabling auto-fill and digital wallet purchases reduces friction on the user end, providing a much faster and effective overall customer experience.
Don't require customers to register before their purchase
Mobile accessibility means having to adapt to smaller screens and keys. And very few smartphone users will have the patience to fill out endless forms to make a single purchase on mobile sites. If you accept payments through digital wallets, a seamless transaction can help convert one-time customers into returning customers.
Keep your mobile content informative but brief
Pop-up ads can be effective on a desktop computer. But on a mobile device, they're not just irritating. They can be downright confusing and only serve to decrease your checkout conversion rates. Ensure your content is aligned with your mobile design, using an easily navigable layout and just enough information for your customers to make an educated purchase.
Is the Future of Mobile Commerce Already Behind Us?
Not any more than traditional web based eCommerce is dead. There's room enough in the digital realm for both to not only coexist, but complement one another.
But with newer developments, such as the prevalence of 5G networks, voice-activated commerce and AR-enhanced marketing, come new challenges.
Consumers demand choice as much as they demand connectivity. To limit either is to limit your customer base as well as your own development as a business.
And in 2023, limitations are a risk you can no longer afford.
Maximizing your digital commerce growth means adaptation. Color More Lines makes the process easier. Find out more atColor More Lines.