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9 minutes read

Mobile‌ ‌Commerce‌ ‌Trends:‌ ‌Opportunities‌ ‌&‌ ‌Challenges‌ ‌

By Robert Kazmi
By Robert Kazmi
9 minutes read

Mobile commerce trends are constantly changing. With the release of each new smartphone and smart device, consumers continue to expect better shopping experiences and mobile payment solutions. Given the convenience of mobile devices and the fact that billions of people have a smartphone, mobile commerce has already started taking over website commerce as the go-to method for consumers to carry out financial transactions. 

In this post, we delve into the world of mobile commerce and explore the many ways in which mobile devices are changing the way that both businesses and consumers are engaging in financial transactions. 

However, before diving into the current and prospective mobile commerce trends, it’s important to define exactly what mobile commerce is and how it differs from eCommerce.

What Is Mobile Commerce? 

Mobile commerce, also known as mCommerce, is the term used to describe the process of conducting financial transactions online using a smartphone or smart device, such as a tablet. mCommerce transactions may include, but are not limited to, the sale and purchase of goods or services, engaging in online banking, and performing a number of financial transactions via the Web.

A significant percentage of mobile commerce transactions are carried out by both smartphone users and smart device users through the use of native applications, such as mobile shopping apps, mobile banking apps, and apps that allow users to make mobile payments. However, mCommerce transactions aren’t limited to downloadable apps. Consumers are also able to use their smart devices to carry out a variety of financial transactions by accessing an online shop or bank’s mobile-friendly web app. 

mCommerce vs eCommerce

People often confuse mCommerce with eCommerce, assuming that both of these terms are injectable. Although there are similarities between the two terms, there are also key differences. Let’s explore these further. 

Similarities Between mCommerce and eCommerce

Firstly, mCommerce is considered a subset of eCommerce, which is an umbrella term used to describe the sale and purchase of goods online, regardless of the particular electronic device that is involved in the transaction(s). As far as similarities go, both mCommerce and eCommerce involve online sales and purchases. The main difference between these concepts is primarily centered on how the sales and purchases are carried out. 

Differences Between mCommerce and eCommerce

With mCommerce, purchases are made solely through smart devices, like cell phones and tablets. However, eCommerce purchases can be made using any device that is internet-ready, including smart devices, laptops, and desktops.

mCommerce transactions provide an added benefit to users regarding mobile payment solutions. Smartphone users can quickly and simply use their mobile wallets to pay for things instead of having to input their credit or debit card information by hand as they would normally do when making a purchase through a website. Users can also engage in one-touch payment methods or tap-to-pay at many in-person stores. 

Benefits of mCommerce and eCommerce

That being said, both eCommerce and mCommerce transactions have improved over the past few years, especially with regards to user account security and the facilitation of payment processing. Smart devices are ever-evolving and thus, continue to provide users with a better Customer Experience (CX). Each new smartphone or smart device release or update offers the chance to improve the way consumers carry out their financial transactions and purchases. These nuances give way to mobile commerce trends that can prove both beneficial and challenging for users and app creators alike. 

Let’s take a look at some of the latest trends in mCommerce and potential roadblocks that app developers may face. 

Current Mobile Commerce Trends

Mobile commerce is largely based on the principle of facilitating consumer financial transactions. Naturally, mobile commerce trends will tend to focus on making things easier for smart device users to engage in the sale or purchase of goods and services. That being said, these trends tend to evolve just as quickly as new technologies are released. Below are some of the current mCommerce trends that are taking the world by storm. 

Increasing Use of Mobile Devices for Purchases and Other Financial Transactions Over Laptops and Desktops

Having a mobile-friendly or mobile responsive website is a must in this day and age. However, statistics show that this is simply not enough to entice consumers to make purchases or engage in other financial transactions, such as checking bank account information or transferring funds via websites alone. More and more consumers are choosing to perform these actions via their smartphones and tablets. Why? Convenience. 

If you are on the go and need to double-check your bank account to ensure you have adequate funds to pay a bill or find yourself in an emergency situation where you need to send funds to a loved one, would you rather spend extra time going home or to a place that provides access to a desktop or laptop or make the transaction on the spot wherever you are using your cell phone or tablet? Chances are, you’ll choose the latter option. 

There is no question that it is far easier to use a smartphone than a laptop or desktop computer, especially for handling time-sensitive financial matters. And with over 3 billion smartphone users worldwide, the trend of using mobile phones and tablets to carry out these transactions is only going to continue with each passing year. 

Using Mobile Phones for Shopping Cart Checkouts

As we just explained, the vast majority of consumers currently have a smartphone in their possession. Smartphones can not only be used to perform individual financial transactions like money transfers and bill pay, but they can also be used to make purchases from online stores quickly and conveniently. 

Using a mobile app to make a shopping purchase saves users a lot of time. Often, users have already created unique accounts for their favorite stores on their respective apps and have saved their personal data. This makes it much easier for purchases to be made. Smartphones recognize previous login information, which enables mobile users to access their accounts fast. Once logged in, users are often directed to their shopping carts if they have any items left unpurchased. Because their mobile devices store their payment information (if they so choose), all a user has to do to make the purchase is to tap a single button. 

Mobile shopping cart abandonment has also proven to be far less than desktop shopping cart abandonment. The reason being that users receive deal alerts on their mobile devices from the stores through which they have saved items reminding them of their pending purchases, current sales, and item inventory. These alerts are sent throughout the day, the frequency of which depends on the store. However, receiving these alerts lets customers know that they have these items and should make a purchase soon before the item goes out of stock. 

As opposed to receiving these alerts on the spot through their mobile devices, should the consumer rely solely on desktop notifications, they would have to wait until they get home or gain access to a desktop or laptop to receive these same notifications. Many desktop and laptop users don’t even use their devices for days on end. By the time they log in, it might be too late to benefit from a sale or the items they were interested in might be sold out.

Using Virtual Reality to Simulate and Improve Shopping Experiences

Virtual Reality (VR) solutions are an integral part of mobile commerce. Many shopping apps allow users to virtually try on different outfits and accessories, making it easier for consumers to determine whether or not the item will suit them. The convenience of doing this straight from their mobile apps is immense. Given the way the pandemic has prevented many people from shopping in-person, mobile VR shopping experiences bring the stores right to the consumer. 

The way the VR solutions work is simple. The smartphone user can upload their picture and then browse the shop’s mobile app for different items and see how they would look on them. The result is a much faster and enhanced shopping experience, where consumers don’t have to spend time going into the store to try on the items they are interested in. 

Special In-App Perks

Many retailers are offering unique in-app shopping experiences for mobile users, including unique discounts and products that are only available when shopping via a mobile application. A recent example of this mobile commerce trend is Chipotle’s new digital-only quesadilla entree

The restaurant chain has been enticing patrons with both televised and digital advertisements, hyping up the entree by focusing on its exclusivity. Consumers love getting exclusive access to items and deals, which makes this a perfect demonstration of how mCommerce is evolving and how it can tap into the specific needs and desires of consumers. 

Mobile Commerce Challenges and How to Overcome Them

One of the largest drawbacks that many retailers face regarding mobile commerce is not knowing how to properly market their goods and services to consumers. Not all businesses have a full grasp of who their target audience is, nor how to address their unique needs. If a company doesn’t know who they are selling to, there’s a big chance they won’t become successful.

A target market includes a specific demographic that a company intends to sell its products and services to and that will find said products and services beneficial. Depending on the product or service in question, the demographic may be children, teens, adults, parents, or others. Any company considering developing an mCommerce app needs to understand what their target audience is before marketing their application. When in doubt, an experienced mobile app development company can help guide the process. 

All in all, if you are thinking about capitalizing on current mobile commerce trends, be sure to fully understand what’s at play. Having a firm grasp on how mCommerce is evolving, the in-app perks you can offer to users, and what your target audience is looking for can help improve the chances of your mCommerce app becoming successful.

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