What Is Mobile Commerce?

Mobile commerce, also known as m-commerce or mcommerce, is the use of wireless handheld devices like cellphones and tablets to conduct commercial transactions online, including the purchase and sale of products, online banking, and paying bills. The use of m-commerce activity is on the rise. According to market research company Statista, mobile commerce sales in the United States were an estimated $207.2 billion in 2017.

Key Takeaways

  • Mobile commerce refers to business or purchases conducted over mobile devices like cellphones or tablets.
  • Mobile commerce has increased rapidly as security issues have been resolved.
  • Companies like Apple and Google have introduced their own mobile commerce services.

Understanding Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce is an increasingly large subset of electronic commerce, a model where firms or individuals conduct business over the internet. The rapid growth of mobile commerce has been driven by a number of factors, including increased wireless handheld device computing power, a proliferation of m-commerce applications, and the broad resolution of security issues.

The Convenience of Mobile Commerce

The range of devices capable of mobile commerce is growing. For example, digital wallets like Apple Pay and Android Pay let customers make in-store purchases without the inconvenience of swiping cards. And during the mid-2010s, social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram launched "buy buttons" on their mobile platforms, enabling users to conveniently make purchases from other retailers, directly from these social media sites.

As content delivery over wireless devices becomes more streamlined, secure, and scalable, digital commerce transactions are likely to continue climbing.

Special Considerations

Ways to Improve Mobile Commerce

Quick-loading webpages are likely to win more sales because consumers can be impatient, and they demand instant gratification. Mobile checkouts must let buyers easily enter payment information, preferably with mobile wallets that eliminate the use of manual entry, thereby reducing human error and facilitating a smoother checkout experience.

Mobile Commerce Videos and Marketing

Mobile applications that use videos to demonstrate a product's key features are likely to generate more revenue. For example, an online foreign exchange broker who sends video links that demonstrate his new mobile trading application is likely to win more clients.

Mobile Web and Mobile Applications

Consumers typically use Google and/or social media promotions to initiate online shopping searches. Consequently, browsers tend to drive more transactions than mobile applications. For this reason, consumers often pair the use of mobile applications with mobile websites to enhance their overall shopping experience.