M-commerce: etching its own mark

By | January 31, 2018
M-commerce: etching its own mark

Needless to say – a household phenomenon in today’s time; it has literally engraved and grown over everyone’s life. With 2.3 billion Smartphone users already in 2017, the number is forecasted to reach 2.5 billion by 2019. With such staggering increase in the number of mobile users, much of our needs will be catered to suit our new life where our phones take up most of our time. Our mobiles become one of the major ways to reach the consumer in m-commerce and so it calls for a revolutionising strategy to let the consumer also reach you.

In the summer of 2015, we saw two major developments in mobile marketing: First, Google announced a major algorithm update that rewards mobile-friendly websites and penalizes those that aren’t fully optimized for mobile in mobile search results. A few weeks later, we saw the number of Google search queries on smartphones surpass the number of queries on desktop computers and tablets. Since then, the number of consumers researching and buying on their mobile devices has only increased. Global mobile commerce now makes up 34% of all e-commerce transactions around the world, and it’s predicted to grow 31% in the first quarter of 2018.

With an increased familiarity with the mobile features, statistics show that 40% of users will go to the competitor after a bad mobile experience, yet an alarming 84% have experienced difficulty completing a mobile transaction.
That is an incredibly high number, and it shows just how great the opportunity is for companies to capitalize on consumer conversion just by creating mobile responsive and user-friendly websites. The phrase ‘mobile commerce’ was coined by Kevin Duffey at the launch of the Global Mobile Commerce Forum in 1997, to mean “the delivery of electronic commerce capabilities directly into the consumer’s hand, anywhere, via wireless technology.” Mobile commerce is worth US$230 billion, with Asia representing almost half of the market, and has been forecast to reach US$700 billion in 2017. M-Commerce made up 11.6 percent of total e-commerce spending in 2014 and is forecast to increase to 45 percent by 2020, according to BI Intelligence. ComScore reported in February 2017 that mobile commerce had grown 45% in the year to December 2016.

M-commerce isn’t slowing down.

A BI Intelligence report states that by 2020, mobile commerce will make up 45 percent of total e-commerce, equaling $284 billion in sales. That’s more than three times what’s expected for 2016: BI Intelligence predicts mobile commerce will hit 20.6 percent of overall e-commerce, or $79 billion.

Let the statistics do some talking now:

  • 125 Million US consumers own smartphones. 62% of them have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months.
  • 80% of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations. E-Commerce dollars now comprise 10% of all retail revenue.
  • In 2016, 108.5 million Americans shopped online during Black Friday, and an additional 35 percent of in-store shoppers checked prices on Amazon as they shopped.
  • M-Commerce is more popular in the eastern and southern part of Europe than it is in Northern Europe or Scandinavia. In 2015, research by PayPal showed that in Turkey 53 percent of online shoppers have bought online via a Smartphone in the twelve months prior to that study, while in the Netherlands this share was just 17 percent.
  • The number of people making a purchase through a mobile platform in the UK increased by 39% in 2016, comprising 86% of UK digital shoppers. Retail m-commerce sales will total £31.42 billion in 2017. Online stores understand the importance of mobile sites, with 76% of them now providing a mobile version of their site.
  • South Korea is leading the way into a world dominated by m-commerce with over half of all digital commerce now going through mobile devices and still growing. Furthermore, 43 percent of people bought something on their smartphone in the past month alone. Japan is showing similar numbers, conversion rates on mobile are over 4 times higher than those
    in the US.
  • 32 percent of Australia’s Digital-First online shopping was done on a mobile device in the first half of 2017, using mobile data, with the remaining 68 percent on Wi-Fi – presumably at home or at work.
  • More than 70% of Indonesia’s internet traffic originated from mobile phones. The country is also attracting attention from abroad. Both e-commerce giants Alibaba and Amazon are reportedly planning to launch there. Chinese e-commerce giant JD is in talks to make a major investment in Tokopedia, one of Indonesia’s largest online
    marketplaces. China’s giant AliPay, the finance affiliate of Alibaba Group, is also extending its mobile payments empire to Indonesia.
  • Some of this growth may be due to the release of an e-wallet service by BlackBerry, called BBM Pay’s Instant Mobile Payments, in 2015. The popular BBM chat app has more than 55 million users in Indonesia and allows users to pay for goods and services with participating merchants. It was directly inspired by the ecosystem of WeChat, the leading chat app and second biggest e-wallet solution in China.
  • In India, smartphone sales continue to surge by 51 percent every three months, the mobile commerce market may grow by 55 percent from its present size of $2 billion to $19 billion by 2019. At least 9 out of 10 consumers had researched a product or service on their phone while online transactions on the smartphone platform rose between 30-50 percent in tier II and III cities. Moreover, it said 54 percent of the consumers have purchased either a product or a service from their smartphones. India’s demonetization move was a huge boost for m-
    commerce.
  • Flipkart recently made it clear that it is a ‘mobile-first’ company. Its rival Snapdeal too said it is placing mobile commerce at the center of its strategy. According to Kunal Behl, CEO, Snapdeal, “It is a very realistic scenario that within the next few years, every single day, tens of millions of mobile top-ups in India will happen online. The
    potential is absolutely stunning and it’s time to act on these opportunities.”
  • Myntra, owned by Flipkart, announced in February that 90 percent of its traffic came from mobile devices.

So, what stands in the way of Mobile Commerce Growth? PayPal’s research indicates that the top barrier to mobile commerce growth is small screen size and lack of functionality on mobile sites, which may be mobile-responsive but are often not fully optimized for mobile purchasing. This finding ties into research that found large numbers of B2B buyers doing research on mobile devices, but turning towards desktop or other channels when it was time to make a purchase.

Why?

  • Many users find the small screen of a mobile device hindering. This can be a challenge when it comes to providing a user-friendly service.
  • Another major challenge in mobile commerce is speed and reliability. An average person spends only a few seconds on a new website before making a judgment. If your website is not properly hosted, your site will not only be slow but also the chances of a transaction going wrong are high, resulting in irritated and unhappy customers.
  • Mobile commerce needs a different set of marketing strategies. Marketing in mobile commerce can mean everything.
    Whatever your campaign, it reaches your consumers no matter where they are. This can be either a challenge or a great success strategy when done right.

If marketers continue to treat mobile commerce as a miniaturized version of e-commerce, they will lose. M-commerce needs to break away from the shackles of its predecessor and execute on an entirely new mode of thinking — the millennial mindset of ultimate convenience. ” M-commerce is not about “optimizing” desktop landing pages, it’s about creative problem solving; intuitive and wholly new UX and UI that is so convenient it would be ludicrous to buy any other way. The digital marketers who accept this challenge will own the consumer landscape of the future.

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