Whether you are looking for the latest smartphone, those trendy pair of shoes or apparels in fashion, online shopping is the easiest way out in the recent times. While you get your favorite items in no time, you also get them at super discounts most often. Moreover, online shopping has moved a step up with the introduction of Mobile Commerce in year 2000.
If we go by numbers, 41% of the total e-commerce sales in India came from the mobile phone platform in 2014 and it’s only on the rise. With over a billion smartphone users across the world, mobile phones have slowly emerged as the dominant sales channel. However, it also means that there are many who do not yet possess smartphones and hence, a huge growth is highly anticipated.
It’s not just the smartphones, but tablets are also major contributors to the m-commerce transactions. With these gadgets becoming extremely crucial in our daily lives, they indicate immense potential in the category of mobile applications. More and more people are using smartphones and in the bid to make their lives better, they shop using the mobile shopping applications.
According to the statistics by Forrester Research:
- Over 20% of online retailers already have mobile applications for their online shops and are repeatedly striving towards enhanced experience. This helps them expand their stake of the thriving market;
- Over 70% of the total online retailer base is working on the mobile commerce concept.
M-commerce is an extended and advanced form of e-commerce that gave rise to a new sales medium. It opened up an entirely new space for online retailers and their consumers. It’s an e-commerce system that offers goods and services through wireless network and mobile internet gadgets. What’s good about this is that the consumer is not constrained to a set location and can make purchases from anywhere.
While the tablets (considerably larger) are used more from the comfort of home using a fixed Wi-Fi connection, mini-tablets or phablets (phone cum tablets) can be used from anywhere. So, whether at home or any location, these devices provide a myriad of possibilities. With a customer checking his/her smartphone nearby 40 times a day, it raises the possibility of shopping 40 times!
What makes M-Commerce so successful?
In comparison to the e-commerce users, M-commerce users tend to make purchases on instinct. This helps establish demand for more product information or compels them to purchase. This buying instinct is either self-generated or due to an external motivation for example, the sms offers by Myntra or other sites that they usually keep sending to their customers. You can simply follow the short link and it takes you to the product page with the offer and the buy option. So, this is just one way to stimulate the customer to buy the product on mobile platform.
Target Age Group for M-Commerce
It’s really difficult to gauge the target age group for m-commerce, since it’s more about who appreciates the benefits; like not having to travel down to the physical store. So, basically it appeals to all age groups who understand the advantages of m-commerce. However, a smartphone and a working internet connection are essential along with zeal to shop online.
While there are 6million mobile commerce consumers in Germany already (according to German E-Commerce and Distance Selling Trade Association), the number of tablet users are also on the rise. Based on Forrester research, the number was expected to rise by one in three adults by 2015. Therefore, with increased exposure to smartphones there will be increased usage of mobile internet. Also, the user base depends on the cost factor and hence, those in the higher-income groups are more inclined to shop on mobile internet than those on strict budget.
M-commerce is much more than just buying products. While you can browse through content related to certain products and sellers, you can also use your device to process payments both online and offline. Basically, there are three key reasons why people use mobile commerce:
- Searching for information prior to purchasing a product (more than 80% of smartphone and tablet users );
- Price research is another common task carried out by consumers;
- Mobile users who search for product information, often proceed to purchase the product. It can be through any mode, mobile phone, desktop, laptop or offline store. Research says that around 80% of tablet users and 78% of mobile phone users have purchased from mobile device at least once;
- One of the most important steps for the mobile phone customer is payment using the payment methods like, PayPal, debit/credit card or “in app” payments (rarely used). PayPal makes for the easiest and safest payment modes with low chances of phishing. Mobile number and PIN is enough to authorize the payment. It offers greater payment security and is easier to incorporate in an online store.
Overall, online retailers should adapt to the needs of the users by incorporating ways to provide more product info and pricing details, focus on increasing the basket value, and offer secured payment options. This will help to boost conversion rates on mobile device platforms.
According to studies, the most commonly purchased items on mobile platform are apps, followed with physical products like, fashion apparels and electrical items, movie tickets, music, and e-books. Very few in comparison prefer buying furniture or groceries on mobile platforms.
How to gain access to m-commerce?
Users can either download the native app from the web store specific to Android, iOS or Windows phones, use the mobile version of the website or use the site as a web application. A web application does need to be downloaded with access to intuitive features. Retailers should carefully analyze which of three options to use to maximize conversions. A web application or a mobile version of the site is however suggested to avoid the downloading process, the cost involved (if any) and save mobile memory.
M-commerce carries a huge potential for the online retailers with the increasing interest from all age groups and smartphone/tablet users. Hence, make full use of this opportunity and see those conversions sky-rocketing in no time.