M-Commerce is Here, Is Your Business Ready?
While the phrase
m-commerce (Mobile Commerce) has been in use since 1997, its adoption has only
been growing in recent years—and the global pandemic has shifted mobile
shopping into overdrive. While m-commerce provides new opportunities for small
businesses to increase sales and revenue, customer experience is crucial. Ensuring
that the process is easy, convenient, and secure by incorporating the latest
technologies is essential.
All integrated marketers should either be on the
m-commerce bandwagon or readying their business to join because m-commerce is
not the future—it's here now. And apps, AI/ automation, voice control, and
custom ads will separate the successful m-commerce endeavors from those that
App Annie reported that during the pandemic
smartphone users spent 20% more time in apps, creating plenty of new chances
for visitors to shop. More sales are completed on mobile because apps are fully
optimized for smartphone use and load faster, with smaller fonts and simpler
designs than traditional e-commerce. They can also have geo-location technology
integrated into the application, allowing businesses to easily target customers
near their physical store locations, delivering targeted ads, and pushing
apps retain customer data, eliminating the need to regularly log in and fill
out a form each time they want to check out. Storing their information,
including name, address, and payment details, allows fields to be automatically
filled and expedites the purchasing process.
There are a wide
variety of advertising options available for integrated marketers to reach
m-commerce consumers. The primary advantage of m-commerce over e-commerce and
brick & mortar shopping is that advertising gets
to consumers quickly and directly because most of us have our smartphones
with us at all times. Whether pursuing native ads, social media ads, search
engine ads, overlays, pop-ups, in-app ads, or SMS, mobile advertising allows
SMBs to deliver their targeted messages to users at the right time and place.
The purpose of
the various advertising options is to allow SMBs to interact with their target
audiences using custom campaigns, real-time engagement, tailored messages to
match circumstances (weather, proximity to a physical store, location, etc. The
more localized data is, the more personalized to the user, the more likely that
consumers will want to engage with businesses.
AI/Voice Control & Search/AR
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is
another way to expedite the sales process and enhance the customer experience.
Self-learning algorithms take in all the data users
create when on their phones—location, who and what they like, which social
media channels they frequent, where consumers shop and what they shop for—and
use that information to provide personalized product recommendations or to send
tailored messages. AI is effective on smartphones because they come equipped
with GPS, a camera, Bluetooth, and WIFI connectivity in ways that other devices
Some SMBs take
the technology even further and offer Augmented Reality (AR) for virtually
seeing furniture in a home, trying on makeup, or other similar applications. The
data gathered can be used to run voice-controlled chatbots or virtual
assistants to search for goods and services when the user’s hands are full or
occupied. Voice control allows for a 24/7 customer service option that manages
customer needs when a business is closed or busy.
The future of
retail lies with innovative technologies, and with m-commerce growing faster
than ever before, there are a host of new business prospects on the horizon.
Many customers who have found convenience and delight with the m-commerce
solution will continue to demand even more technological advancements,
continually making their experiences easy and secure, even when shopping
returns to normal.