If your business hasn’t made the transition to mobile e-commerce, you risk losing sales to competitors who have.

what is mobile e-commerce

Most people spend a good portion of their days on mobile devices. We answer email, scroll social media and browse our favourite retail sites, all from our smartphones and tablets.

There are 5.22 billion mobile users, representing over 66 per cent of the world’s population. Insider Intelligence predicts that mobile commerce numbers will rise to 44 per cent of e-commerce by 2024. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that mobile consumers expect to be able to shop and complete other financial transactions from their devices. Mobile commerce isn’t the next big retail trend for business owners to watch. It’s already here.

Brands need to be where their customers are. It’s likely companies you compete with are already exploring mobile commerce or using it consistently, so don’t wait to act.

How to optimize your e-commerce strategy for mobile devices

  1. Assess your current e-commerce website
  2. Identify your target audiences
  3. Set goals that align with your overall business strategy
  4. Explore established m-commerce builders and platforms
  5. Expect challenges and be ready to make changes as needed
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Mobile commerce: what is e-commerce via mobile phone?

E-commerce via mobile phone is called mobile commerce, or m-commerce. It refers to any monetary transaction consumers complete using a mobile device such as your smartphone or tablet.

Unfortunately, while many businesses have implemented e-commerce, they are often not prepared to offer mobile shoppers a convenient experience. Optimizing your business website for mobile commerce is necessary to keep up with other brands in your market.

Types of mobile commerce

When we think of mobile commerce, most of us think of online shopping. However, mobile commerce is more than just shopping for your favourite brands online. It can include mobile shopping, mobile banking and mobile payments.

Mobile commerce can include transactions like:

  • Shopping online via a brand or retail website.
  • Buying an electronic event ticket.
  • Mobile banking.
  • Making online payments.
  • Transferring money online.
  • Shopping via social media shops.
  • Using mobile wallet apps instead of credit or debit cards.

Why optimize for mobile commerce?

The convenience of mobile shopping is driving mobile commerce growth in significant ways. Reports from Dynamic Yield show that 76 per cent of customers shop via mobile because they say it saves them time. Yet 90 per cent of customers say brands could improve their mobile shopping experience. There is enormous potential for the businesses that bridge this gap.

With mobile commerce, you can convert more people to customers by making it easier for them to purchase from your business. That’s good for your business, both increasing sales today and ensuring these customers continue to purchase from you in the future.

Mobile commerce allows a browsing consumer to visit your website or interact with you on social media, and move immediately to a buying decision and completing a transaction. Removing steps from the customer journey increases the likelihood of them buying. Mobile commerce is a powerful progression from e-commerce, especially brick-and-mortar shopping.

Benefits of mobile commerce for your business

Boost sales

Customers are used to convenience and will shop where it’s easiest for them to do so. Therefore, converting more customers with seamless mobile shopping and payments can increase your sales.

Increase customer satisfaction

If you make it easy and convenient for customers to shop with you from mobile, they will likely enjoy the experience and purchase from you again.

Compete with others in your market

Mobile commerce is so common now that not having it puts you at risk of losing out on sales to your competitors.

Increase your Google ranking

Are you looking for an even greater competitive edge? Google ranks websites optimized for mobile commerce higher than ones that aren’t. If you’re selling in a competitive market, beating out other brands in search engine results can be a big win.

Create a mobile e-commerce strategy

It’s time to build out a strategy so you can start seeing the benefits of mobile commerce. Here are a few elements you should consider.

1. Assess your current e-commerce website

Test your e-commerce site from a mobile device. You’ll need a mobile-friendly design as your base, pages that load swiftly and a smooth customer experience to win at mobile commerce.

Pretend you are a customer and make a purchase by phone or tablet. Watch for slow-loading images, pages that never load, annoying pop-ups and ads that customers can’t close. Make sure text is easy to read on a mobile device and make call-to-action buttons big enough to tap or touch from a phone.

2. Identify your target audience(s)

Who are you targeting? What are their mobile habits? Review your ideal client profile or buyer personas and research their spending patterns. Then, with a bit of digging or expert advice, you should be able to find out how valuable mobile commerce could be to your business. You also can explore competitor websites to see what type of mobile experience they offer customers.

Tip: You can check your website analytics to see how much traffic comes from desktop and how much comes from mobile devices. This will show you how much traffic you’re already getting from mobile that you could convert.

3. Set goals that align with your overall business strategy

While mobile commerce is critical to sales and business growth, it’s not a race to a single finish line. Stay clear on the vision you have for your business, and then set mobile commerce goals that fit within your business plan and budget. A mobile-friendly e-commerce site may be enough for your business, even if other brands go right to app development.

Apps can be expensive to build, and your customers may not be interested in giving your app space on their mobile devices unless you offer a highly upgraded experience. Consider what you can provide to consumers before beginning any big-ticket development projects.

Keep your goals in mind as you build your strategy and focus on how you can best serve your target customers. Remember to optimize for conversions, not traffic.

4. Explore established m-commerce builders and platforms

You may already have an e-commerce site that simply needs some optimization to get the mobile version working smoothly. For example, most websites have a mobile version that is easier to navigate from a small screen, often with edited content to simplify navigation. Optimizing an e-commerce site will be similar, ensuring that financial transactions are intuitive and easy to complete from mobile.

However, if you weren’t already set up for e-commerce or need to build a new website, you could consider platforms like Shopify or Woocommerce. These companies have created platforms for business owners to develop and launch online shops that work seamlessly on mobile. In addition, they may be more affordable or user-friendly than building from scratch.

5. Expect challenges

Adopting mobile commerce may not be smooth sailing at first. Building a strategy that works to achieve your goals can help you stay steady when obstacles pop up.

The stakes are high, so make your plan and keep working at the steps you’ve laid out. Mobile commerce is a critical element in your future sales and business growth, so it’s essential to get it right. Aim for continuous improvement so customers learn they can rely on your brand for a convenient mobile experience.

Mobile e-commerce, or m-commerce, is not a channel your business can afford to ignore. When everyone from millennials to gen Z is increasing their mobile shopping, brands need to pay attention and take steps to keep up. With a bit of expert help, you can create and implement a mobile commerce strategy to keep your business in the lead.