According to eMarketer, U.S. retail mobile commerce sales are estimated to approach $77 billion in 2015, up 32.2% from 2014. Not only is that a significant jump, it explains why this e-everything world is about to become everything m. Now that mobile commerce, also referred to as mCommerce, has maintained a solid stride among early adopting consumers, companies with a footing in the eCommerce world (as well as those just gaining entry into the online market) are focused on optimizing their online shopping experiences for this very profitable mobile technology trend.
Wasn’t being optimized for eCommerce good enough?
Optimizing for an online “e-shopping” experience is now old hat. eCommerce has been around for a long time—twenty years if you mark its beginnings by the launch of Amazon.com. Plenty of eCommerce best practices exist (including those for retail personalization solutions), and are continually updated as technologies advance and consumer behavior shifts. But mCommerce is different from eCommerce altogether. Shoppers are no longer sitting still while making purchases online. They are moving platform to platform, traveling across town, waiting at the doctor’s office and standing in line at the supermarket while they price-compare, feature-match and ultimately buy. Goals related to optimizing for an engaging, profitable and mobile-ready e-commerce experience are similarly unique.
Where’s the push for mCommerce coming from?
As we all continue to adjust to a world that is constantly being made “faster, smaller, better” by rapidly progressing technologies (including digital anything, cross-platform capabilities and the increasing role of digital analytics) mobile has become mainstream. Being able to buy from a mobile device was once acceptable just in itself but not anymore.
- People are spending a lot of time looking at their phones (nearly three hours a day).
- Having a smart phone is more the norm than the exception.
- Consumers are beginning to spend as much money from their phones and other mobile devices as their
People are used to using their phones to make purchases and now judge retailers on just how comfortable, easy and intuitive the mobile buying (mCommerce) experience is.
What makes for the best mCommerce experience?
- Be sure your site is really mobile-ready. There are a lot of reasons why you can’t just expect people to find their way through your eCommerce site on their mobile device and be satisfied. One obvious reason is due to the differing sizes of device screens. Ecommerce displays must be optimized to adjust accordingly.
- Mobile users are partial to simple. Because displays are smaller on mobile devices, users expect the screen not to be crowded with extra buttons, graphics and messages they might be ok with on a desktop.
- They expect you to be savvy enough to ensure that critical functionality remains in tact.
- mCommerce shoppers expect usability to remain high. Advanced merchandising solutions made for eCommerce, must therefore meet mCommerce usability expectations.
- Optimizing the checkout experience for mobile commerce is also gaining ground and is an idea that already includes several specific best-practices approaches. Most of the best practices have to do with the way we engage when we are on-the-go. Consumers making mCommerce purchases when they are in line for lunch, for example, expect a fast checkout with as few steps as possible. Otherwise, when it’s time for them to place a physical order at the lunch counter, they’ll abandon their cart and move on to something else.
mCommerce optimization means acknowledging that the audience has shifted.
Consumers buying on mobile devices are different in many ways from those who shop only from their desktop. For example, this techcrunch.com article identifies moms, millenials and multinationals as key audiences to take note of. Recognizing that these different audiences (with different lifestyles, levels of patience, shopping habits, personal drivers etc.) exist, enables privy companies to take cues from relevant demographic insight and optimize for usability, visual appeal and platform preference. mCommerce optimization can also include the actual messaging displayed for a certain user on a certain device.
mCommerce is definitely where it’s in terms of where online commerce experts are spending optimization dollars. If you’re still unsure at just how fast you need to make the jump from “e” to “m,” or need some stats to back your mCommerce proposal, you’ll find new facts and figures in this report and accompanying infographic 10 Mind-Boggling Stats About Mobile Ecommerce.
If you’re interested in finding out how Strands can help you ready your business for the predicted rise in mCommerce engagement and profitability: