Definition: Mcommerce or m-commerce stands for mobile commerce and is effectively ecommerce (electronic commerce) that is facilitated specifically through wireless technology on mobile devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, tablets and laptops.
As the next evolution of ecommerce, mcommerce is the buying and selling of goods and services anytime and anywhere where there is an internet connection.
Mcommerce is a subset of ecommerce that is focused on mobile devices. It is the fastest-growing part of the ecommerce sector and includes all kinds of trading. The term mcommerce has cropped up at board meetings and trade shows for many years, but it's only been in the last couple of years that the idea has become more mainstream.
Between 2011 and 2012, mcommerce activity in the USA increased by 81%. The market is now worth $24.66 billion and it is growing more quickly than traditional ecommerce. During the 2012 festive period, mcommerce traffic accounted for one third of all online purchases. The mobile market is quite clearly becoming too big to ignore.
In recent years, mobile shopping has been on the rise, with customers increasingly using their mobile devices for various online shopping activities. According to a 2015 study regarding mobile shopping penetration worldwide, 46% of internet users in the Asia Pacific region and 20% of those in North America had purchased products via a mobile device, whether smartphone or tablet computer.
When asked whether mobile phones will become the main tool for purchasing goods in the future, some 9% of respondents in an extended global survey strongly agreed. Opinions, however, differed according to region and country, where shoppers in Denmark and Belgium rather disagreed, while those in China and India agreed the most.
Mcommerce sales in India have accounted for 11% of total retail sales in 2014 and were expected to grow to 25% by 2017, while in China, mobile online retail sales have grown by some 450% between 2010 and 2011 and are expected to continue growing in the future, although at much lower rates.Why Has Mcommerce Taken Off?.
The mobile market has grown so large because mobile phones are now ubiquitous, accessing the Internet via your phone is cheap and even people without data contracts can use Wi-Fi to get online. There is an ever-increasing trend for consumers to use multiple screens and many consumers like to check social media sites on their phones while they are doing other things such as watching TV or even working.
If there's one thing that people love to do, it is show off things that they have just bought. This makes social media a great platform for organic advertising. Companies that can figure out how to take advantage of this will be in a good position to profit over the next couple of years.Where is Mcommerce Going Now?.
The Mcommerce market will continue to grow for at least a few more years and while it does we can expect to see some big winners and losers. Some companies, such as Amazon, have already found a successful formula for mcommerce, but there are others that are struggling to effectively implement mobile ecommerce, security and usability.
If you take into account the less traditional markets, such as micro-transactions and in-app purchases, mcommerce markets will be incredibly interesting over the next couple of years. There have already been some high-profile cases of consumers complaining to the press and attempting to take software companies to court over unfair billing systems, or their children running up huge bills by making in-app purchases on their mobile phones. This is something that the market, collectively, will have to work out before consumers lose faith in mobile commerce.What This Means for Brands.
Currently, customers are using their phones to research product information, look at reviews and talk to their friends. A huge percentage of users start shopping on their mobile phones only to complete the transactions at home as the mobile shopping experience is suboptimal. There is still time for those that can reprioritise the mcommerce experience to reap huge rewards.
With mcommerce forecast to reach $284 billion by 2020 (45% of the total U.S. ecommerce market) this should not be ignored.
The size of the growing retail opportunity is apparent for all to see. To capitalise on this new frontier businesses must be asking themselves what it is that they are doing to satisfy today’s consumers and also tomorrow’s?
With 70% of retailers saying that they do not have an mcommerce website or app in place, the need for an optimal mobile-first developed mcommerce experience which has been created to facilitate buying on mobile devices is paramount. Just having a mobile-responsive adaptation of your current website is now not enough.
Businesses should also be thinking about the new opportunities that mcommerce presents like location-based marketing (LBM) and marketing that takes advantage of a user's social graph to pinpoint the exact location of shoppers and send personal offers based on their proximity.
As we now have unprecedented access to information that will allow us to better focus our marketing efforts, it makes sense to harness the technology and information ethically to improve user experiences and increase user engagement for those on-the-go, thereby increasing sales.
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