Today, e-commerce sets marketing and sales trends while traditional retail faces decline. Buying online is faster, cheaper, more convenient and requires fewer efforts. For companies, e-commerce allows to refuse from spending money on maintaining physical shops, collect a lot of valuable data about customers and better meet their needs. One of the most rapidly developing domains of e-commerce is mobile commerce (m-commerce). Its share in terms of revenue constitutes over one-third of the general scope of transactions conducted online and this figure continues to grow fast.
Mobile commerce is the key driver of e-commerce growth since people purchase more and more mobile devices. In 2015, the estimated number of mobile phone users in the world was around 4,15 billion. By the end of 2019, it is supposed to reach 4,68 billion. It means that more and more purchases will be done via smartphones and other mobile devices. Thus, in order to benefit from this trend companies have no other choice but to go mobile and invest in the proper design of user experience and interfaces.
E-commerce refers to transactions involving purchase and retail of goods through the Internet. Such transactions, as a rule, involve transfers of data and money and result in the purchase of goods or services. At the same time, any other financial transactions facilitated through the internet (i.e. transfer of money, payment of bills, fundraising, etc.) can be considered as e-commerce. There are four main types of e-commerce: business-to-consumer, business-to-business, consumer-to-consumer, and consumer-to-business (for example, a blogger offering his/her services to brands).
M-commerce is related to transactions of purchasing and selling products and services online using mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets. The key difference between m-commerce and e-commerce is that m-commerce transaction will always involve a mobile device, while e-commerce deals are also conducted via desktops and laptops.
There are three main types of m-commerce:
Mobile shopping – buying and selling products through websites, mobile applications, and platforms.
Mobile banking – transactions involving operations with money which are conducted through mobile devices. As a rule, such transactions foresee the use of special mobile banking applications.
Mobile payments – operations related to settling bills with the help of a smartphone using Near Field Communication technology.
The rapid development of m-commerce is driven by several trends, which ensure the increasing popularity of mobile commerce solutions among users. According to our opinion, the key four of them are:
Applications. The majority of m-commerce solutions are application-based. It’s very handy since you just need to take your smartphone and make a couple of clicks in order to get access to the required functions. You can find more information on the advantages of applications for e-commerce here.
Chatbots. A lot of contemporary m-commerce applications have chatbots which allow to interact with customers and collect their feedback 24/7. Chatbots facilitate the collection of information about users’ online behavior and thus help to better adapt products, services and m-commerce solutions to their needs.
Cloud services. Cloud technologies enable the storage massive amount of data outside devices. They already are and will continue to be one of the key drivers of cheaper mobile devices and “lighter” mobile solutions. Cloud services will further facilitate the transition of users to mobile devices.
One-Click Payments. This technology facilitates repeated purchases. It brings the number of actions you should take in order to make the purchase to the minimum.
The m-commerce is going through splitting growth forcing companies not just to go online, but to adopt their marketing and sales strategies to mobile devices. Within just 4 years, the revenue generated by m-commerce increased by more than 9 times from $50 billion in 2014 to $459 billion in 2018. By the end of 2019, the m-commerce is expected to generate over $693 billion.
Since the number of mobile devices increases very rapidly, the m-commerce represents a huge market, where the success of the company will be defined by the quality, speed, and convenience of their mobile interfaces. It’s important to understand, that this trend can’t be reversed. Neither can you neglect it if you want to get your share of the pie of new customers represented by millennials and generation Z? Developing mobile commerce solutions for your business is also important to retain already existing customers, especially the most technologically advanced ones who are actively shifting to mobile devices.
Boosted development of m-commerce is driven by technological factors (increase of processing capacity and cheapening of mobile devices, improvement of internet connection speed and coverage) as well as evolving behavior of consumers, who want to have full control over their lives at their fingertips. Today, customers won’t wait for you to develop a mobile app, or open desktop if they want to buy your product. They will just google your competitors, and if will already have a user-friendly mobile interface, they will buy from them. That’s why the design of proper UX and UI is so crucial to retain them.