What is 'Mobile Commerce'

Mobile commerce, also referred as m-commerce, is the use of wireless handheld devices, such as cellular phones and laptops, to conduct commercial transactions online. Mobile commerce transactions continue to grow, and the term includes 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 founded upon the increasing adoption of electronic commerce. The rapid growth of mobile commerce is being driven by a number of positive 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, both Apple Pay and Android Pay allow customers to seamlessly purchase at stores or in mobile commerce applications. Mobile commerce has also accelerated through social media platforms, allowing users to purchase products and services. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram launched "buy" bottoms on their mobile platforms in 2015. Mobile commerce sales in the United States are expected to reach $142 billion in 2016.

Ways to Improve Mobile Commerce

It is important that mobile web pages load quickly, as customers like to make instant purchases, and pages 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. In the fourth quarter of 2015, roughly 50% of video downloads were from mobile devices. 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 outperform those through mobile applications. However, it is important that mobile applications are used in conjunction with mobile websites to enhance the consumers' overall shopping experience. For example, mobile applications can be used to facilitate customer engagement that may lead to repeat buyers.

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