What Is Mobile Commerce (and Why It’s a Strategy You Should Care About)?

What Is Mobile Commerce (and Why It’s a Strategy You Should Care About)?
What better place is there to meet your customers than on their mobile devices?
by Tiffany Walden Oct 26, 2022 — 5 min read
What Is Mobile Commerce (and Why It’s a Strategy You Should Care About)?

If you’re not yet aboard the mobile commerce train, now is the time to hop on. As a business owner, it’s important to meet your consumers wherever they are. And what better place is there to meet your customers than on their mobile devices?

In a technological world with apps and games galore, we’re becoming more and more attached to our cell phones and tablets. Our devices go wherever we go, which is why mobile commerce is an excellent way for business owners to increase sales. In 2017, nearly one-third of online retail sales worldwide were generated through mobile apps. So what exactly is mobile commerce?

What is mobile commerce?

Mobile commerce, also known as mCommerce, is any kind of monetary transaction that occurs through a mobile device. It’s a fancy term for the routine things we do almost daily, such as sending our half of the restaurant bill to our friend through an app on our phones, or ordering a new book through the bookstore on our tablets.

What are the differences between mCommerce and eCommerce?

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard the term “eCommerce.” You also may be wondering what the difference is between eCommerce and mCommerce. Think of eCommerce as a tree with mCommerce extending from it like a branch. eCommerce is any monetary transaction done over the internet. mCommerce specifically refers to monetary transactions conducted through mobile devices.

3 different types of mobile commerce

Within the mobile commerce world, there are three types of mobile transactions:

What are the advantages and drawbacks of mCommerce?

One of the greatest advantages of mCommerce is the convenience it provides consumers. Consumers can shop whenever and wherever they want, which puts them in control and creates a better experience.

Here are the six biggest benefits of mobile commerce for business owners:

As with anything, though, there are challenges to mCommerce:

What are different mobile payment options?

Mobile payments are one type of mobile commerce. But even within that category there are different types of payment options.

Mobile wallets: A mobile wallet is a digital version of the wallet you keep in your purse or back pocket. It’s a convenient way to make purchases on your mobile device without physically swiping a card or handing over cash. Apple Pay and Google Pay are both examples of mobile wallets.

Mobile transfers: Mobile transfers are the services you usually receive through mobile banking apps, where you’re able to transfer money from one bank account to another with the push of a button on your mobile device. But you can also do this through peer-to-peer apps.

In-app payments: In-app payments occur through the convenient mobile apps of your favorite retailers. An in-app payment allows you to make purchases through an app you’ve downloaded to your mobile phone, smart watch, or tablet.

How to design an amazing mobile experience

When coming up with a mobile commerce strategy for your business, here are a few things you should consider:

Creating an app: When you create an app, you’re opening up a 24/7 relationship with your customers. You’re allowing them access to products and purchases at any time, and in any place. Rarely will you miss a sale if your customer can pull out their smartphone, log in to an app, and browse around until they’re ready to buy the items in their shopping cart.

That is, unless, your app experience is totally different from your eCommerce experience or just confusing. So when you create an app, think of it as an extension of your other purchasing channels. Use mobile best practices, but ensure that the look and feel matches your other experiences.

Integrating in-app payments: In-app payments make for a smooth, efficient, and speedy monetary transaction. Even if your customer is in your store, they can save time with the option to make a payment through an app on their phone versus waiting in a long line.

Remember, the customer experience should always come first. The overall shopping experience improves when customers can quickly purchase their items without waiting for acknowledgement or help from staff.

Load times: A lengthy load time on a mobile device is just as inconvenient as waiting in line at a store. We love using our smart devices because they are speedy. If a consumer has to wait around for your mobile app to load or process their payment, it creates a bad customer experience — and they’ll most likely leave the app without making the purchase.

What’s the future of mobile commerce?

The future of mobile commerce technology is endless. If you take a look at social media platforms such as Instagram, business owners are finding ways to advertise to their customers and encourage purchases while on social media apps.

And the ability to personalise notifications going straight to customers’ smart devices creates an intimacy between the customer and business owner. When business owners know exactly what their customers like, there’s increasing opportunity to make a sale. The only thing needed is the speed and convenience of mCommerce, which allows customers to make the purchase wherever they are.

Tiffany Walden
Tiffany Walden is a contributor at Square where she covers everything from the importance of mentorship for minority entrepreneurs to how business owners can use technology to combat challenges within their respective industries.


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