Mobile commerce: Why it matters, and how to do it right

Mobile Commerce makes buying possible from everywhere
© Sebastiaan ter Burg

Shopping on the train, in the park or in bed – mobile shopping enables purchasing all types of products from everywhere. Along with a new buying behavior comes the need for shop operators to adapt – here’s why and how one should engage in mobile commerce.

Increasing impact

Mobile shopping gets more and more relevant to e-commerce businesses. As studies show, customers’ willingness to make their purchases via smartphone or tablet is growing fast: Bitcom, a society of the German information and telecommunication sector, recently found that 17 percent of smartphone users have used their device to shop online. Meanwhile, the “Q4 2015 State of Mobile Commerce Report” by tech company Criteo suggest that the share of mobile transactions rose from 26 to 32 percent within one year, from 2014 to 2015. If online shopping is the status quo, mobile shopping seems to be the future.

Reaching young customers – and many more

Especially young people tend to do their shopping via smartphone, which gives online shop operators great opportunities to reach their young target groups. As the Bitcom survey results indicate, customers between 14 and 29 are most likely to use their smartphones for shopping – 20 percent already do it today. Within the group of 30 till 49-year-olds, 17 percent are into mobile shopping. And even elderly shoppers don’t seem to shrink from this new way of making purchases: There are after all 14 percent of the 50 till 64-year-olds and  even 15 percent of customers over 65 who shop with their smartphones.

New product groups on the rise

Books, travels, shoes and fashion – those are still the goods that are most purchased online. However, experts predict new product groups to become more and more important in the world of mobile shopping as well as in e-commerce in general: Food and fast-moving consumer goods, such as toiletries, are on the rise.

Mobile commerce: Best practices

Okay, mobile commerce seems to pay off, but how is it done correctly? Here are 5 rules that marketers should consider before engaging in mobile commerce:

Keep it simple

Mobile shopping can be done via browser or app. However it’s done – Your mobile shop needs to be perfectly optimized for the small screen- Clarity, simplicity and large product images make it easy for the smartphone users to find what they are looking for and thus create a positive buyer experience. Also, refrain from annoying banner ads and other distracting content – the focus should always be on the product.

Include all relevant information

Make sure to make all relevant transaction data visible, such as size and number, delivery status, price and the correct sum total including delivery costs. The latter should be visible right from the start – hidden costs appear dubious and will make many customers quit the transaction process at some point.

Place the focus on the checkout

There should only be  one direction in your shopping cart: towards the checkout. This is why you can refrain from integrating any flashy menu button which will get your customer back to an explore and browse mode.

Slim down the checkout

The more steps your customer has to take before finally purchasing his products of interest, the more likely he will back out at some point. Include as few steps as possible and keep formulars short and simple to make it easy for your customers to shop on their phones.

Enable guest purchase

Purchase only possible for registered users? This will keep off customers who don’t have the patience to complete the registration process on a small screen. By enabling mobile shopping with a guest account, you can clear a big hurdle for potential buyers.

Include fast payment methods

People who shop via mobile device usually don’t have time or patience for browsing and also for paying – express payment methods such as PayPal meet their needs.

Create Trust

Trust is one of the key factors which will make smartphone users purchase at your mobile shop. If you can, add seals which prove trustworthiness, such as “Trusted Shops”. Also, include all relevant contact information so your customers can reach out to you in case of questions and insecurities.




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