Is Mobile eCommerce the Future?

Ecommerce | 31/01/2022 | Written by Anoushka Rabin

In 2022, when your typical customer is ready to buy, it’s a safe assumption that they’ll instinctively reach for their mobile phone. Mobile eCommerce (‘mcommerce’ for short) describes this: it’s essentially the purchase of goods or services using a smartphone or tablet. 

Over the last couple of years especially, shoppers have become a lot more comfortable with shopping via mobile. They’re doing it more often, for a wider range of services, and they’re expecting more from the businesses they shop with. Understanding your customers can allow you to respond to this more effectively.

So what, you might ask, does this mean for your eCommerce business? Do you need to do anything differently? Here’s the lowdown on the mcommerce boom and on what the future has in store…

Mcommerce & Ecommerce

Ecommerce describes where customers shop. Mcommerce describes how they shop.

Ecommerce basically includes everything to do with your online presence: e.g. your website, mobile app, Amazon store, and social pages. And your eCommerce strategy covers things like making sure you’re building a presence on the right channels and getting your company in front of your target audience.

All of this stuff is obviously vital. But at the same time, you need to think about how your audience is engaging with you. This is where mcommerce comes in. It’s a kind of subset within your eCommerce strategy, and it involves two basic elements: 

  • Realising that customers are highly likely to engage with your brand and make purchases using a mobile (or tablet), and 
  • Optimising the customer experience to reflect this fact (more on this shortly)

Why has there been a shift towards mcommerce?

Like a lot of areas in digital, the pandemic created new consumer trends. It has also accelerated mcommerce trends that were there already. 

An estimated 70% of Brits now say that buying online is their preferred shopping method, up from less than half before the pandemic. Mobile is consumers’ favourite technology for connecting with businesses. It’s estimated that by the end of last year, mobile transactions made up 72.9% of the total worldwide eCommerce trade. 

These stats mirror the experience of many of the brands we work with. Shopping by mobile is seen as convenient, easy, and safe. Shoppers use it not just for everyday stuff, but also, increasingly, big-ticket items: everything from higher-end apparel to things like household electricals and even professional services.

The organic growth of mcommerce

Your customers didn’t wake up one morning and decide to do most of their shopping via mobile. It happened bit by bit, as attitudes changed and the tech got better. 

Rewind 15 years. Your customer was quite happy browsing their iPhone 3 for ideas and inspiration. But actually making a purchase was a different story. Accessing crucial product information meant pinching and zooming on clunky web pages. It felt much more comfortable switching to a laptop before clicking the buy button, phoning customer support, or popping in-store. 

Fast forward a few years, and developments such as Apple Pay made transactions easier and safer. Companies started ensuring their websites were easier to use via mobile. And right now, forward-thinking businesses pay plenty of attention to making the customer experience as mobile-friendly as possible. 

The future of Mcommerce

Mobile optimisation

Let’s say you are creating your next Instagram story. In all likelihood, you’re at your desk with a couple of large monitors in front of you. However, before going live, you’ll test your image and content layout to make sure they look good on smartphones. 

This is a simple illustration of mobile optimisation: and it’s a mindset worth adopting for all aspects of your eCommerce strategy. It may mean, for instance, more short, snappy video content (a very popular means of getting information for a lot of mobile shoppers). It could also mean refreshing your website design. 

And finally, some businesses still think that a branded app “isn’t really us”. If this applies, 2022 may be the time for a reappraisal. Creating and maintaining an app is easier than you probably think, and can massively enhance customer engagement. 

Mobile monetisation gap

Ok, so you’ve redesigned your website for mobile and you’ve maybe even launched your own app. Trouble is, despite these efforts to attract visitors, mobile revenue levels aren’t quite what you hoped. So what’s going on here? 

This is the mobile monetisation gap: where mobile visitors aren’t translating into actual mobile transactions. 

If this sounds familiar, it’s worth taking a good look at your user experience. What are the pain points stopping visitors from purchasing? What ‘nudges’ (e.g. push notifications) will help turn a one-off purchaser into a regular customer? These are definitely questions worth asking this year. 

Mcommerce vs in-person benefits

You can obviously never entirely replicate the in-store experience through mobile, but you can stress new benefits to counter the limitations of in-person shopping. Convenience and time saving are the most obvious ones. And especially while Covid is still very much an issue, there’s also the fact that mobile shopping is safer, too. 

Another way to look at it is that mcommerce enhances or complements the in-person experience. In-store collections may be one such area for your brand to optimise through mobile. For instance, how about push notifications notifying customers that their product is available to pick up, while also inviting them to check out your brand new offering while they’re there?

The benefits of mcommerce for your business

Mcommerce isn’t just a behavioural trend. It’s actually a huge opportunity. Thanks to the shift to mobile, it has never been easier not just to reach your target audience, but also to engage them with targeted, super-relevant information. Get it right – and do it better than your competitors – and it provides an incredibly valuable edge. Is your business ‘mcommerce optimised’? To see how Curated Digital helps eCommerce brands, get in touch with our consultants.  Need some extra help with your eCommerce marketing plan? Check out more of our eCommerce marketing insight articles on our blog.

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