Shopping, especially online shopping, has dramatically improved in recent months thanks to technological advancements. The changes haven’t only taken place to benefit consumers. Online retailers as well are able to benefit from the analysis of customer behavior, by learning more about them, their preferences, and priorities. The perks magnified once mobile commerce came to town.
Mobile commerce is an upgraded version of eCommerce, and refers to the buying/selling of products (and their transactions) through telecommunication and Internet-connected mobile devices. Just one decade ago, it was considered amazing to be able to condust electronic money transfers, Internet banking, and general online shopping. Now, it’s the mobile variant that’s taking center stage.
One of the biggest advantages mobile commerce has over eCommerce is the portability and flexibility aspect. Internet connectivity is required for eCommerce, while mobile commerce comes with its own connection to the Internet through telecommunication networks. Mobile devices are also, by nature, smaller and more portable, which allows broader usage. Physical and geographical locations are no longer a factor, which largely helps close higher sales.
Due to the increased usage and flexibility of mobile devices that come with their own batteries, electricity is not required to conduct mobile shopping, which can’t be said about eCommerce done traditionally through personal computers. Not that there is anything wrong with shopping from computers- many people enjoy shopping from the comfort of their homes and offices. However, mobile devices add the convenience of being able to shop anywhere else, such as from cafes or during the daily commute.
In addition to mobile browsing and purchases, the most common services on mobile commerce include:
- Mobile banking
- Mobile digital content purchase and delivery
- Mobile ATM
- Mobile money transfers
- Location-based services (such as local news/weather/traffic reports)
- Mobile advertising
- Mobile ticketing, vouchers, and coupons
So what is an online retailer to do to get on board? Two things. First and foremost, they must create a mobile-friendly website. Responsive design on the main site just won’t cut it, due to the smaller screens of mobile devices. This will make a big impact on purchasing decisions. Also, mobile commerce calls for mobile marketing, because the experiences of mobile users will be slightly different from that of traditional eCommerce shoppers.