In 2021, the number of mobile Internet users in this country was 82% and a full 97.6% of all households had a cell phone. And the trend is upward! We are therefore in a position to make use of the concentrated possibilities of the Internet anywhere and at any time. It therefore stands to reason that our shopping behavior is also strongly aligned with this. According to surveys (e.g. by eMarketer and CBRE), 50% of consumers worldwide now use mobile devices for shopping. And this is unlikely to change anytime soon. Store operators should therefore definitely optimize their stores for mobile users. In this article, we will tell you which options are open to you for mobile shopping for your own store and what you should pay attention to. You will also find out in which areas mobile commerce is particularly worthwhile. But let's start from the beginning: What is mobile shopping anyway?
- What is Mobile Commerce?
- What is mobile shopping?
- Mobile commerce: advantages and disadvantages
- E-commerce vs m-commerce: these are the differences
- Mobile Commerce: The technical requirements
- Components of M-Commerce
- For whom is mobile shopping worthwhile?
- Implementing mobile commerce correctly
- Mobile Commerce: Trends and Growth
- Our conclusion on mobile commerce
You would like to open your own mobile-optimized online store and could use professional support? Then feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help you with advice and support.
What is Mobile Commerce?
Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is a special form of e-commerce, as the focus here is on sales via mobile devices (e.g., smartphones or tablets).
As more and more people surf the Internet with smartphones, transactions made via mobile devices are also rising steadily. A look at the U.S. shows that with $431 billion in sales in 2022, mobile commerce is on the rise. The industry is coming to terms: websites and online stores must now be built to work flawlessly across mobile devices and provide a good user experience. Accessing a desktop computer is no longer necessary to shop on the go.
Mobile commerce includes not only buying and selling products, but also bill payment and online banking.
What is mobile shopping?
The term mobile shopping describes the purchase and sale of goods and services exclusively via mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. Mail-order companies or manufacturers offer their products on mobile-optimized websites or specially created shopping apps. Customers can browse the provider's product portfolio with their mobile device to purchase the items via the mobile Internet. Common synonyms for the term mobile shopping are mobile commerce and m-commerce.
A distinction is currently made between three types of mobile shopping, namely via:
App: Shopping apps are user programs for mobile devices dedicated to the sale and purchase of goods and services.
Website: Mobile shopping can also be done via a website. However, it must be optimized for mobile devices to be accessible from a smartphone or tablet. Responsive websites, dynamic serving and custom mobile websites are available options.
QR Code: In this type of mobile shopping, both barcodes and QR codes can be read by a mobile device. Customers receive product information or are redirected to an online offer. QR codes link stationary retail and e-commerce in a special way. If the customer is interested in an offer that he finds offline, he can call it up and order it online via his mobile device.
In addition, apps, mobile websites and QR codes can serve as inbound marketing strategies for mobile shopping. Useful information, tips or games can draw attention to offers, brands and companies. It is not about the sale of goods and services, but about the customer's need for information. The aim is to support potential buyers in their search for a specific product or service and to pick them up at this mobile touchpoint.
Reading tip: Social media marketing: These 6 steps will help you achieve a successful social media strategy.
Mobile commerce: advantages and disadvantages
Mobile commerce brings with it some advantages, but also poses challenges. We have listed the advantages and disadvantages below:
Advantages of Mobile Commerce
Convenient shopping experience: customers can shop anytime, anywhere from the comfort of their mobile devices, making it easier to access products and services.
Increased reach: mobile commerce allows businesses to reach a larger audience as more people use their smartphones to make online purchases.
Personalization: Mobile apps and websites can personalize the shopping experience by catering to customers' individual preferences and behaviors.
Faster transactions: Mobile payment options and pre-populated payment information allow transactions to be completed faster, increasing the likelihood of purchase.
Use of push notifications: Businesses can inform customers about special offers, discounts or new products through targeted push notifications, which can improve customer loyalty.
Disadvantages of mobile commerce
User interface limitations: The limited screen size of mobile devices can lead to limited usability, especially for complex purchasing processes.
Technical challenges: Developing and maintaining mobile apps and websites requires technical resources and skills, which can add costs.
Security concerns: processing sensitive customer data and payment information on mobile devices can raise security concerns and requires secure data encryption.
Dependence on Internet connectivity: a reliable Internet connection is required to use mobile commerce, which can cause problems in remote areas or with poor network coverage.
Compatibility: Mobile commerce needs to work well on different devices and operating systems, which requires continuous adaptation and testing to ensure that the user experience is consistent.
E-commerce vs m-commerce: these are the differences
Even though mobile commerce is a form of e-commerce and thus they have some similarities, they differ in a few ways:
|Electronic commerce||General||Via mobile devices|
|Mobility||Trading activities via desktop PCs or laptops and thus limited mobility||Online shopping via cell phones and tablet from over all possible (mobile internet as a prerequisite)|
|Location tracking||Tracking location and providing localized offers can become cumbersome with e-commerce||Tracking the location of cell phones is easy because they have integrated GPS. Location-specific content and personalized recommendations are thus possible.|
|Security||Two-factor authentication||Two-factor authentication and additional biometric authentication possible (e.g. fingerprint or facial recognition)|
Reading tip: Do you know the current e-commerce trends? In this blog, we provide you with an overview.
Mobile Commerce: The technical requirements
In order to use mobile shopping, certain requirements must be met. On the one hand, these have to do with the infrastructure: There must be a permanent Internet connection. Ideally via WLAN, LTE, HSPA or UMTS. Online purchases can also be made from a smartphone if there is only an EDGE or GPRS connection, but websites then often take a long time to load and the risk of a disconnection is relatively high. Secondly - and this requirement is obvious - users must have a mobile device.
Reading tip: Another big trend in e-commerce at the moment is D2C. Find out here what's behind this approach, what benefits it brings, and how to implement a successful D2C sale.
Components of M-Commerce
There are several types of mobile commerce that allow consumers to shop and complete transactions through their mobile devices. Here are some important types of mobile commerce:
Companies develop dedicated mobile apps for their online stores that allow customers to browse products, make purchases, and complete transactions directly through the app. Mobile apps often offer a streamlined user interface and personalized features.
Many online stores have optimized their websites for mobile devices so that they display seamlessly on smartphones and tablets. Mobile-optimized websites automatically adjust to the screen size and provide a user-friendly experience for mobile users.
Mobile wallets are applications on mobile devices that allow consumers to securely store their payment information and make payments in stores or online stores quickly and easily. Examples of mobile wallets include Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
Mobile payment systems
Mobile payment systems allow consumers to pay for goods and services through mobile apps or websites. These systems integrate various payment methods, such as credit cards, PayPal, or other mobile payment options.
QR code scanning
QR codes are used in mobile apps or on mobile websites to display information about products or offers. Customers can scan the QR code with their smartphones to get more details or be taken directly to the purchase.
Many mobile apps, especially games and entertainment apps, offer in-app purchases where consumers can purchase digital goods or additional features directly in the app.
Mobile social commerce
Social media has taken on an important role in mobile commerce. Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook offer features such as Instagram Shopping and Facebook Marketplace that allow consumers to purchase products directly through social media.
Mobile ticketing allows consumers to purchase and store tickets for events, flights, trains, or other activities through their mobile devices.
These different types of mobile commerce provide consumers with a convenient way to purchase products and services through their mobile devices, allowing businesses to expand their reach and provide a seamless customer experience.
Reading tip: Here you can learn everything about Shopify Payments and which payment options Shopify merchants can still offer.
For whom is mobile shopping worthwhile?
Before you invest time and money in the mobile optimization of your online store, we would like to point out that some industries benefit more from mobile shopping than others. For example, the following applies to successful sales via mobile:
Items that people spontaneously feel like buying sell best via mobile devices. In the age of influencers, these include fashion, cosmetics and small electronics.
In m-commerce, on the other hand, items that involve a larger investment quickly fall through the cracks. These include furniture or expensive electronic items, for example. In these cases, the customer's value lies in being able to test the product in advance before spending larger sums.
Reading tip: Mobile commerce is not yet for you - are you currently asking yourself whether you want an online store or a marketplace? - Then this article will tell you how to make the right decision.
Implementing mobile commerce correctly
In addition to the technical requirements for shoppers, there are also a few points to consider for you as an online retailer in order to really take off when it comes to mobile shopping. The clear focus here is on the user experience and usability of your store. Best practices include:
Offer customized deals: Mobile devices bring with them numerous features that are not possible on PCs or when shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, for example. As a merchant, you should build on these points and display your offers where they are relevant to shoppers.
Put the search function in the center: By this we mean, on the one hand, that the search function should be easy to find on each of your subpages. On the other hand, however, you should also optimize the search function in your store so that the user is offered intelligent suggestions, for example.
Optimize the checkout process: A smooth shopping experience including checkout is extremely important for customer satisfaction. So it's best to keep these steps as straightforward and short as possible. At this point, a "save" function for the shopping cart should not be missing either. This way, your customers can easily return to the store after an interruption and continue shopping.
Tip: In the case of shopping cart abandonment, you can use innovative marketing measures such as dynamic retargeting to ensure that some of your visitors return to the online store and continue shopping.
Reading tip: In this post, we reveal our conversion rate optimization tips and some relevant influencing factors.
Mobile Commerce: Trends and Growth
The future of mobile commerce promises continued evolution and innovation as consumer shopping behaviors evolve and technology becomes more powerful. Here are some trends and developments that are important to the future of mobile commerce:
Mobile payment methods: mobile payments will continue to grow in importance as consumers increasingly use mobile wallets and payment apps. The adoption of contactless payments and other secure mobile transaction methods will continue to grow.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): AR and VR will revolutionize the shopping experience on mobile devices by enabling virtual try-on, interactive product presentations, and an immersive shopping experience.
Voice-activated shopping: the proliferation of voice-activated assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant will lead to more consumers making purchases by voice command.
Mobile social commerce: social media will play an even bigger role in mobile commerce by providing seamless shopping experiences across platforms such as Instagram Shopping and Facebook Marketplace.
Personalization and AI: Artificial intelligence and machine learning will be used to deliver personalized product suggestions and tailored offers on mobile devices to increase customer satisfaction.
Mobile commerce in the B2B industry: Mobile commerce will not be limited to the B2C sector, but will also gain importance in the B2B industry as more and more companies offer mobile shopping solutions for their customers.
The future of mobile commerce will be shaped by continuous technological development and the changing needs of consumers. Companies that adapt to these trends early on and develop innovative mobile solutions will be able to achieve a competitive advantage and take advantage of the opportunities that mobile commerce offers.
Reading tip: Progressive Web Apps: We show why they are so popular and how to use them.
Our conclusion on mobile commerce
In order to keep up in the flourishing world of e-commerce, there is virtually no way around mobile shopping for online retailers these days. Purchase decisions are being made more and more spontaneously and without contact. If web stores are not designed for this, people will quickly look for another provider.
So what are you waiting for? Offer your customers the best possible shopping experience via smartphone & co. If you don't have the confidence to adapt your online store yourself, we'll be happy to support you! Contact us
Frequently asked questions about mobile commerce
What is mobile commerce?
Mobile commerce is a part of e-commerce. Here, however, the focus is on sales via mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.
Who is m-commerce suitable for?
Mobile commerce is particularly suitable if you offer products that customers spontaneously feel like buying, e.g., small electronics, fashion, or cosmetics. The likelihood that they will purchase these products directly via their smartphone is very high.
Less suitable here are products that require a larger investment, such as furniture or large electronics items.
What do I need to consider when implementing mobile commerce?
In order to get off to a successful start with mobile shopping, the user experience and usability should be at the forefront. A search function can make a decisive difference here. The checkout process should also run smoothly so that customers do not abandon their shopping carts shortly before completing their purchases.