The following is a guest post from Andrew Gazdecki, founder and CEO of Bizness Apps.
Move over e-commerce – 2017 will be the year of m-commerce.
Mobile commerce is defined as the buying and selling of goods and services via mobile phones and tablets. As a business owner, you may be wondering, “Is that really such a big difference?” And the answer is a resounding yes! This next-generation e-commerce will change the landscape for businesses of all sizes and types.
Across the globe, there are 7.7 billion mobile connections; that’s more connections than people on the planet. In the US, 58 per cent of adults have a smartphone, and roughly 50 per cent have a tablet device. Mobile web adoption is growing six times faster than web use did during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. The learning curve isn’t nearly as steep for mobile web users as it was for early Internet adopters, and today’s users adapt to mobile with ease. According to one analyst, “Mobile users will do anything, and everything desktop users will do, provided it’s presented in a useable way”(Mobify).
M-commerce is on the verge of exploding. Marketing experts know that in 2014, m-commerce made up 11.6 per cent of total e-commerce spending; they estimate that will increase to 45 per cent by 2020 (BI Intelligence). Sixty-eight per cent of consumers expect to do more shopping via a mobile device in the next two years (Mobify). Businesses must shift into the mobile marketplace to ride this wave of growth and meet their customers’ expectations.
Understand the Mobile Shopper
To successfully make the shift to m-commerce, business owners need to understand the mobile consumer. There are three modes of mobile use.
“Boredom users” use their mobile devices to seek distractions and entertainment; they access social media platforms, read email, and watch videos. They are looking for something to engage their interest, for example, while they sit in a waiting room or carpool line.
“Urgent users” want information now for immediate use. They use search engines and directories and review sites to locate local businesses and services.
“Repetitive users” want real-time information and visit the same sites (news, sports scores, stocks) regularly.
Bottom Line About Users
88% of people agree, however, that using a mobile device makes them more spontaneous as shoppers and more open to investigating new products and sites.
Business owners need to keep these habits in mind and know their target audience to reach them effectively.
Tablet Users are Driving Growth
Tablet users are driving m-commerce sales growth. Sales on tablet devices will grow to $77 billion by 2018. Sites that are optimized to provide an efficient and engaging user experience will pay great dividends, especially when you consider tablet users tend to have a higher income and spend 50 per cent more than PC users.
Keep it Simple
Mobile users increasingly want to purchase goods and services via smartphones and tablets, but they have high expectations for the experience. Right now, 50 per cent of users expect the mobile transaction to be easier to complete than an offline or PC transaction. That expectation will only increase. In fact, 30 per cent of users will abandon a purchase if the site is not optimized for mobile (Mobify).
A business owner’s first priority when moving into m-commerce has to be making the experience engaging and simple for the client.
Optimized websites and emails make a great impression, but this is the time to investigate a custom mobile app. Use your app to create an interactive experience, build a loyalty rewards program, and introduce simplified purchasing and payments. An app is the perfect way to meet the mobile user’s expectations and build your sales. Today’s top app makers provide business owners an affordable option to build an app.
M-commerce demands a business owner reaches out to interact with their customers. Push notifications let you communicate with the local community and with your client base. Online analytics mean you can improve the user experience by personalizing your push notifications, showing you are interested in your customer as an individual, not just as someone on a mailing list.
Mobile coupons have overtaken paper coupons as a marketing strategy. Knowing that most smartphones are never more than arm’s length away from the owner, it is a safe bet your customer has that phone with them when they enter a store. In fact, 50 per cent of smartphone users report using the phone on the way to the store, and 60 per cent report checking the phone in the store (Mobify).
In 2015, an estimated 104 million shoppers in the US used a mobile coupon. Using a tool like Boomtrain to personalize your push notifications, messages, and coupons will give you the capability to reach the right users at the right times.
Mobile Display Advertising
Mobile display advertising, such as display banners and videos, is another growth area. Early mobile advertising was passive, but marketers are now using click buttons to make the ads more immediately actionable. If your marketing strategy includes mobile advertising, it is essential you consider what ads work best on what platforms; additionally, actionable ads are more powerful and produce more sales than static or passive ads.
M-commerce provides a unique opportunity for sales growth. Huge numbers of mobile device users are actively looking for products and services with which to engage. Whether checking emails and push notifications in a traffic jam, or checking a favorite site for new products while waiting at the dentist’s office, or checking for the best mobile coupon in the store, users are interacting with dedicated m-commerce platforms. The technology has caught up to the demand, and business owners can inexpensively access web analytics, build optimized websites, and create custom mobile apps using an app maker. Once a mobile user has experienced the simplicity of an m-commerce transaction, she will not only return but also look for new m-commerce options. Ease and convenience fuels the growth.
Andrew Gazdecki is the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps — making mobile apps affordable and simple for small businesses. We’re a do-it-yourself iPhone, iPad, Android & HTML5 app platform that allows any small business to simultaneously create, edit, and manage mobile apps without any programming knowledge needed. Think of us as “WordPress for mobile app creation.” Many of our customers are mobile app resellers — marketing or design agencies that use our platform to cost effectively build mobile apps for small business clients.