The M-Commerce Revolution, And What It Means For Your IT

M-commerce might seem like a new term, but it’s a concept that’s been around for a long time.

The only difference is, it’s going through rapid growth in popularity, and now the m-commerce industry is starting to take over from regular e-commerce.

Mobile commerce has exploded in the past year. Research reveals that 55% of consumers have contributed to e-commerce sales after spotting a desirable buy on social media.

The message to retailers is clear – consumer habits are changing dramatically, and they need to be able to change with it. It’s not just retailers who are feeling the pinch. Businesses of every industry are being affected by m-commerce and need to be ready for what that means.

What Is The M-Commerce Revolution?

If we’re looking strictly at technical definitions, m-commerce means:

Commercial transactions conducted electronically by mobile phone.

In other words, it’s business taking place over mobile. Not by desktop or even tablet – exclusively by mobile phone. While it may not sound like much of a change, the reality is that m-commerce has slowly been shifting towards mobile-everything for a long time.

For example, this holiday season, over 44.7% of all purchases were expected to take place on a mobile device. In layman’s terms, the main idea behind m-commerce is to enable buying or selling products and services online through mobile phones and tablets.

This type of commerce is a subset of e-commerce, and it is often referred to as the next generation of e-commerce. And the next generation is now.

For a long time, m-commerce has been steadily growing. But over the last year, it has truly exploded. And now, it is set to be the next big shift in both business and consumer behaviour.

How Are We Using Mobile Now?

To understand why the m-commerce revolution will make such a big impact on business, we first need to look at how we are currently using mobile, and what the next steps could be.

First, let’s look at it from the eye of the consumer:

  • 56% of the world’s population has internet access
  • The average internet users spend over 100 full days a year online
  • There are 5.1 billion unique mobile users, and 2.5 billion smartphone users
  • 8 in 10 Brits are online shoppers, with over 50% using mobile devices for shopping

From a business point of view:

  • 49% of website traffic comes from mobile devices
  • Mobile searches result in almost immediate action
  • Mobile sales accounted for nearly 40% of all retail e-commerce sales in 2018

All of these very interesting numbers serve to show us one thing – that our mobile use is on the rise, and we are very happy about it! We are more engaged with mobile as a platform. We have become accustomed to using it as our first port of call for anything from answering questions to making our next purchasing decision.

The Future Of Mobile Business

So, what can businesses do to take advantage of the m-commerce revolution?

  • Know your customers and personalise their experience

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to sales. But to have this knowledge, you need data, and the means to draw useful insights from it.

Things like where, how and what your customer base purchase, all allow you to personalise your service and reach out to your customers in more informed and relevant ways on mobile. Investing in IT systems that can assist with this element is essential in order to trigger purchases.

  • Increase interaction with your customers

Mobile devices are all about being able to communicate with anyone, anywhere, anytime. To harness this, business owners need to understand the value of consumer interaction and use these platforms to build relationships with their customers and prospects.

Apps, in particular, can provide an instant connection to consumers. They can open up channels for direct communication and inform them of new offers, products or opportunities. So if your business can use an app to improve communication, you will see real results.

  • Simplify and accelerate the experience

The rapid increase in mobile commerce is closely linked to consumers’ growing demand for speed and convenience. If customers have to spend a lot of time entering personal information for a transaction, they will be turned off and likely abandon the process altogether.

So not only do you need to focus on offering mobile solutions, but ensuring they are simple and as easy to use as possible.  

What Does That Mean For Your Business?

So, what does all of that mean for your business and your IT infrastructure? Well, depending on what you have in place already, it may mean nothing, or it may mean that you need to look at a refresh. To do so will enable you to modernise your capabilities and open up these lucrative mobile channels.

For example, if you are a business selling products, you may consider creating a mobile-friendly website to sell stock through. You may also think about developing an app for your customers, either to use as a purchasing tool or as a rewards method.

If you are a service-based business, mobile applications, portals and other supporting software can become a key driver for success. But they require a strong infrastructure behind them. The changes you need to make will vary depending on your business and your customers. This is why we recommend working with an IT expert to identify your needs and implement an appropriate solution.

What’s Next?

At Indigo IT, we are always looking for the next leap forward in technology, and how we can harness it to improve the businesses our clients run.

We are already experimenting with several different mobile solutions. We are also looking at ways we can encourage our customers to integrate mobile into their business infrastructure – with some great results. If you would like to know more, just get in touch with us today.