The rise of m-commerce, how to monetise phone shoppers

Published: October 2016

M-Commerce is one of the most rapidly expanding areas in digital. Generally speaking, m-commerce covers any purchases made on websites or apps, as well as transactions made in-store using a phone’s near field communication function (NFC) or contactless payment features. The fact that m-commerce can be used as an umbrella term for different processes can prove to be problematic when it comes to quantifying its potential though, not least in terms of revenue.

If you take the widest view of m-commerce then it has been estimated to exceed a hefty $500 billion in sales by 2017 across Asia, America and Europe, whilst others are forecasting a market worth of $621 billion thanks to 450 million users by the same time next year. It’s an impressive number, especially when you consider how new m-commerce is.

It could be argued though that m-commerce is not yet managing to take full advantage of its potential userbase, especially when compared to the booming e-commerce statistics.

For all the huge projected revenue figures it has been shown that only a third of shoppers browsing via a e-commerce sites actually follow through and finalise their purchase. Meanwhile recent studies have shown that only 3% of prospective mobile purchases are actually completed, despite the fact that over half of all traffic to retail websites now comes via the use of smartphones and tablets. That’s a shockingly low conversion rate by any standard and one that would be unacceptable in physical retail

So, what can be done to boost m-commerce sales? We suspect that the answer lies in the process itself. In most cases there are simply too many steps, processes and loading screens that come between browsing and an order confirmation. If the mobile shopping experience was streamlined, with less friction and with a more efficient sales funnel taking consumers from landing to paying, then retailers would surely see a boost in sales. In fact, current thinking suggests that sales would increase by as much as 60% if the registration process alone was universally scrapped.

M-commerce is still the next big thing in terms of shopping habits, that much is for sure, but retailers must ensure that their mobile experience is optimised and up to scratch before they can start to see the benefits for themselves.

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