The Rise of Mobile Commerce

Experts agree that mobile commerce is the wave of the ecommerce future. How is this possible? Currently, there are 4-5 billion mobile phone users around the world; the source of 8-10% of daily web traffic. Smartphones, with their multiple functionalities, are now outselling computers. Tapping this market successfully could boost sales and it’s not just for established ecommerce retailers; small online businesses with limited resources can participate as well.


Mobile commerce, or mcommerce, is not without its challenges, considering it is still in its infancy here in the US (mobile commerce adoption took off first in Europe and in Asia). For some people, the smaller screen of mobile devices hinders their experience, and accessing existing webpages on mobile browsers can be slow and, at times, downright impossible. What keeps most consumers away from mobile commerce is the issue of security, especially if they have to provide a credit card number or other sensitive data to complete a transaction.


Mobile technology is constantly developing. Many companies have started to develop software solutions to address key issues, including security and payment processing (for instance, Paypal is now offering express checkout to ensure a less complicated payment process for mobile transactions). Soon, launching and maintaining other mobile commerce apps will become much simpler and cost-effective.

Thinking of optimizing your existing site for mobile devices? Don’t. This may result in a cluttered site on a small screen. Building a separate site geared to mobile users is the best option. One of the worst experience is when the mcommerce version of retailer takes you from their haphazardly slapped together mcommerce store to their ecommerce store. This happened to me while Christmas holiday shopping and, needless to say, it was a really poor user experience. Try looking into our providers, such as Mobify, that specialize in creating mobile-friendly websites. Another, Unbound Commerce, has worked with Yahoo Store Owners.


Businesses that have already gone mobile are now enjoying its financial benefits as mobile commerce gives consumers yet another channel for making purchases. Mcommerce appeals to the youth market, which are especially keen on being untethered to a computer, and more likely to purchase online. Furthermore, it offers a number of extra benefits for merchants and customers alike. One example is the convenience of a faster transaction. If the item is downloadable, such as music, a video or other media, a customer can receive his order almost instantly, while the seller receives the payment straight away.

Aside from the obvious convenience to customers, many exciting features like location-based marketing, advertising and promotional technologies are giving merchants a variety of ways to make money via mobile commerce. In short, mobile commerce opens the opportunity to purchase and sell any time and anywhere. If you are not considering getting into mobile commerce, chances are, your competitors already have. Don’t get left behind!

By: Shirley Tan


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