We are experiencing unparalleled changes in one of the oldest industries, commerce. The basic principles of commerce have remained unchanged for centuries but the digital age has come with new ideas and new approaches to commerce.
We have seen how brick-and-mortar stores are being replaced by online shops. Now we witness how mobile commerce is replacing the “traditional” online store. We move from desktop purchases to mobile ones, which is not an easy process but is inevitable. Let’s start with defining what actually m-commerce is and why the transition to mobile purchases is important.
We can basically say that m-commerce is the use of handheld devices to purchase goods and services on the go. If we consult Investopedia, we will learn that mobile commerce includes also commerce transactions such as online banking and bill payments. One should also know that information delivery and information services are also part of the M-Commerce ecosystem.
Electronic commerce is growing all over the world. After the average customer got accustomed to purchasing online, the mobile phone has become more and more sophisticated allowing the average Joe and Jane to shop not only online but also on the go. Mobile sales are growing rapidly and adapting to this trend is important. Why miss leads and deals just because you do not want to adapt to the new realities.
As you can see in the chart above, currently more than 50 percent of all online sales are made through mobile devices. Furthermore, the share of m-commerce will grow to more than 70 percent within a few years, which is a clear sign that m-commerce is important for anyone who wants to sell goods or services online.
It was impossible to purchase from home before the telephone and later the computer arrived. Actually, the phone was the first device allowing consumers to purchase from the comfort of their home. Telemarketing was an important part of the commerce industry before the 1980s and 1990s. When the personal computer entered the home of the average household, purchasing online has become even easier as you can check what actually you purchase online.
The start was not easy since the interface was non-intuitive and the online transactions were not secure. Now we have secure online and mobile transactions and devices that are made to be used in the easiest way possible.
As you see above, there is still a great differentiation between the goods and services we purchase on mobile. It is a natural process that will take time to complete. It is easy to buy a movie on mobile because usually, you know what you are buying. We can also see that only 22 percent of all book sales are through mobile devices. This is also natural, as we all want to touch a book before we buy it, or we want to read a page or two before the purchase, which in turn is not so comfortable to make on a small mobile screen.
We have witnessed a large increase in the share of mobile sales once the operating systems have allowed users to enlarge images of products and make one-click purchases. It is actually not really easy to make a service to allow one-click purchases as you have to make security checks and not connect a bank card directly to the service. There are many aspects of the m-commerce that is still to evolve before we have a totally secure and easy-to-use service.
It is easy to put a buy button on your website. But, how actually the buy button works. It needs to open a connection to a payment service. Then, it needs to verify your credentials. It might ask for some info to be entered before the actual purchase is made. This is a three- or four-step process, which is not quite convenient, especially on a small device with a small screen.
Let’s look at the stats below.
You can still see that most of the shoppers in North America are using their smartphones to get locations and compare prices. Why is that? The answer is very simple – we still have overwhelming interfaces and applications that require a lot of effort to complete a purchase.
We need to make it simple for the m-commerce to gain pace.
Simplification is a key component of any business activity, including merchandising. That is why modern e-commerce evolves to become mobile. We now have simple and easy-to-use interfaces that allow us to buy a service or a product with a single click.
The content we see and use on mobile is adjusted for a smaller screen and hen still be readable. We have options to pay bills online and connect our debit or credit card to an online service of our choice.
You can sit anywhere you want and then purchase virtually any product using a mobile device. The most important characteristic of the m-commerce is that you can use it at any place where you have access to an online network. We started purchasing online at the comfort of our homes but now we can sit down in the park and buy a book to read, which will be delivered right to the bench we are sitting on.
Any business that wants to be successful should realize that a growing number of their customers will make purchases online and through their mobile devices. The convenience of the mobile commerce to make purchases on the go is a factor you should consider even when you sell industrial equipment.
We are still to see how the m-commerce will evolve but we must agree that purchases on mobile are growing steadily and it is a trend that we should always have in mind if we are to be a successful business in the expanding digital economy.