What is 'Mobile Commerce'

Mobile commerce, also known as as m-commerce, is the use of wireless handheld devices, such as cellphones and laptops, to conduct commercial transactions online. Mobile commerce transactions, which continue to grow, include the purchase and sale of a wide range of products and services, such as online banking, bill payment and information delivery.

BREAKING DOWN 'Mobile Commerce'

Mobile commerce is based upon the increasing adoption of electronic commerce. The rapid growth of mobile commerce has been driven by a number of factors, including the demand for applications from an increasingly mobile consumer base; the rapid adoption of online commerce, thanks to the resolution of security issues; and technological advances that have given wireless handheld devices advanced capabilities and substantial computing power.

The Convenience of Mobile Commerce

The range of devices that are enabled for mobile commerce functionality is growing, having expanded in recent years to include smartphones and tablets. For example, digital wallets like Apple Pay and Android Pay allow customers to seamlessly make purchases without swiping cards at stores or via mobile commerce applications. Mobile commerce has also accelerated through social media platforms, allowing users to buy products and services through these networks. Social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram launched "buy buttons" on their mobile platforms in the mid-2010s, letting users conveniently make purchases from other retailers directly from the social media sites. Mobile commerce sales in the United States were an estimated $153 billion in 2017, according to Forrester Researcher.

Ways to Improve Mobile Commerce

It is important that mobile webpages load quickly, because customers like to make instant purchases. So webpages that load promptly are likely to result in higher sale conversions. Mobile checkouts must be enhanced to allow customers to easily enter payment information. Ideally, the customer could add the payment information using a mobile wallet that avoids the use of manual entry, reducing human error and facilitating a smooth checkout experience.

Mobile Commerce Videos and Marketing

Videos can be used on a mobile website or application to better demonstrate an item's key features. Mobile commerce is likely to generate more revenue with increased mobile-related marketing. For example, an online foreign exchange broker may send a link for a demo of its new mobile trading application. Mobile web page banners and videos can also be used for advertising.

Mobile Web and Mobile Applications

Consumers typically use Google, emails and/or social media promotions to initiate their online shopping searches, leading them to mobile browsers. As a result, traffic and purchase conversions through browsers usually outperform those through mobile applications. However, it is important that mobile applications are used in conjunction with mobile websites to enhance the overall shopping experience for consumers. For example, mobile applications can be used to facilitate customer engagement that may lead to repeat buyers.

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