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The Rise of Mobile Commerce

Heather Vacca - Monday, March 13, 2017

Mobile commerce has been on the rise for years, and it continues to get bigger. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that online sales in the United States totaled $394.86 billion in 2016. That’s a 15.6% increase from 2015, the highest growth rate since 2013. It hasn’t been until more recently, however, that mobile commerce has chipped away at desktop commerce.

Just what is mobile commerce and how does it differ from traditional eCommerce?

Mobile commerce involves shopping through a mobile device or mobile application, while eCommerce is shopping through a desktop or laptop computer. Thanks to a wide range of technological advancements, the availability of Wifi and a growing use of mobile devices and apps, more and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to shop for products and services.

Advantages and Disadvantages to Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce is becoming the more practical and preferred way to shop online. Mobile shopping can be done anytime, anywhere, making it convenient for users on the go. Commerce sites like Amazon.com have one-click buying options that allow mobile users to buy a product in a few clicks. However, the general mobile shopping experience is a nightmare.

Many users get so frustrated during the mobile shopping process that they end up abandoning their cart. Consider that in the second quarter of 2015, adults in the U.S. spent 59% of their time on mobile and 41% on desktop, but only 15% of their dollars actually go to mobile spending. Eighty-five percent of their dollars go to desktop.

Some of the most common reasons why the mobile commerce experience can be poor include:

  • Small screen sizes

  • Hard-to-enter fields of information

  • Difficult-to-read product descriptions

  • Websites that aren’t mobile optimized

  • Speed due to spotty Wifi connections

  • Less security when entering payment information

Improving the Mobile Commerce Experience

Tech companies and online retailers are addressing the issues associated with mobile commerce, such as by offering larger screen sizes, buy buttons on social channels, one-click checkouts and optimized sites.

Another route for retailers is to develop a mobile app. Mobile apps take away many of the common problems that exist with traditional websites. They’re fast, secure and designed specifically for mobile users.

Many mobile apps can be used offline and be personalized to the user’s needs. This leads to better user experiences while keeping brands connected to customers wherever they go. With the option for push notifications, users can also be alerted for things like new products, special offers and more.

Mobile commerce is not going away. To best serve the needs of your customers and not leave them feeling frustrated, consider building a mobile app and talk about your options with a trusted mobile app developer. In conjunction with a responsive website, you will be able to provide mobile shoppers with a highly intuitive and flawless experience that encourages them to complete their order - and come back again.

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