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Reality Check for Common Mobile Commerce Myths



Image source: AHIP Coverage

We admit that most of us are smartphone addicts among the fast reaching billion club in India and are among the 2 billion (approx.) other smartphone users in the world. Whether we are travelling, out for some work or even in the mid of something, we can order our favourite stuff in just a few clicks using our smartphone! Now come on! Life couldn’t have been easier than this, ain’t it?

According to IDC (International Data Corporation), 2016 will see a surge in mobile phone internet users with numbers reaching to more than 2 billion out of the 3.2 billion internet users across the globe, which is 44 percent of the world population. Now among all this, India alone will witness an upsurge in the mobile phone internet user base, rising to a whopping number of 371 million by June 2016.

So, what does this mean for the mobile commerce scenario? In a statement issued to CNBC in November last year, Flipkart’s chief product officer, Punit Soni said that their 70% of online sales were now coming from mobile transactions and which is a great news for all those retailers who have been skeptical about the potential of mobile commerce.

But that’s not all, as it seems that nearly 40% of the online sales were coming through multiple devices. So, let’s go myth-busting that will help you to unravel any misconceptions related to mobile commerce.

Myth: Mobile is an Independent Medium

As consumers, all we are interested in is the web, rather than concentrating on the medium used.We use multiple devices while purchasing our favourite products online that includes, mobile phones, tablets and desktops of which mobile phone usage is almost equal or sometimes even higher than the desktop.  

In fact, mobile phones play a vital role in connecting the consumers to the digital world of content, pricing or discounts that trigger an interest to purchase. What the retailers are missing out on is that the mobile commerce transactions are growing at a rapid rate and are anticipated to touch the $142billion club in 2016 with 35% of it accounting for ecommerce.

So, overlooking the mobile commerce aspect may end up not only isolating the technology, people and funds, but also lead to dissatisfactory user experience and poor mobile site designs due to insufficient funds.

Myth: Mobile and Ecommerce are Same Things

What should be clear to all marketers is that mobile and ecommerce are two different things and hence, even though you can view a website on your mobile platform too, it will not generate the same experience as on a desktop, unless the website is specifically designed for a mobile device. It may give you a workable experience viewing the desktop site on your mobile, but it will lack the specific navigations, miss certain details for instance – any latest update to the desktop may not be immediately available on the mobile device, and any functions required for a mobile phone.

So, as a marketer if you are not deploying the right people for the job like the mobile and web developers you may end up with disintegrated user experience.  

Myth: Mobile is only for the Young Generation

Contrary to the common notion, mobile phone devices do not just represent the young generation. It is natural to believe that, since they have grown up with the technology and are more app driven they understand it better, but that does not make them the only online shoppers or web browsers. So, if you are a smart marketer you would target all age groups that include even the middle aged and the senior citizens.

Myth: Tablets are Same as Mobile Platform

Tablets are one of the most ignored devices when it comes to design and optimization of the site. They are considered to be something similar to a smartphone and a desktop and hence, retailers pay less attention to the site designing details specific to these devices, which is again miscalculated step.

According to a Criteo (global performance marketing technology company), while online shopping on tablets for fashion/luxury items have exceeded that of desktop across the globe, the Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly Report says that the online sales conversion rate for tablets is 2.51% compared to 2.71% on desktop which is almost equal. When the user experience is enhanced on the tablets, the results are found to be even better.

So, as a marker all you need to do is to focus on applying an auto-downsizing the desktop site version or develop a tablet version for the mobile device site leading to optimized user experience, customer satisfaction and sales.  

Myth: Delay in Investment is OK

If you are still under the perception that you will earn through only desktop transactions, then you are bound to lose on substantial amount of conversions. What’s worst is nearly 49% of the businesses still claim that they do not understand the connection of a mobile phone with the customer experience!  

Look at the figures, realize the potential of mobile commerce and invest now to make the most of it for your business. Get over the common myths, do some reality check and you will know how mobile strategy can benefit your online business blending customer experience with digital experience.

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Reality Check for Common Mobile Commerce Myths