Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is the ability to conduct commerce using a mobile smart phone, tablet, tablet PC or any other emerging Internet-enabled technology device that supports a seamless on-the-go consumer experience. Here we examine what’s driving this explosive growth of global mobile commerce, how it is going to redefine the way business is done all over the world and how to leverage it to sell more stuff.
The Launch of M-Commerce: The Internet
Ever since the advent of social media and networking, the Internet has become one giant open level playing field that allows people to share, collaborate, refer and invite others as well as exploit opportunities from every imaginable part of the world, provided they are connected to a device that supports the Internet and m-commerce. The simpler the experience, the better the results.
Consumers worldwide want to browse and buy on-the-go. This behavior, precipitated by technology advancements, is changing the way we consume content and conduct commerce. For those companies considering an m-commerce site, it provides an opportunity to increase sales and offers a ramp to a new revenue portal.
m-Commerce Facts and Potential
M-commerce sales have quadrupled over the last two years. According to Research and Markets, mobile commerce is expected to reach U.S. $10 billion by the end of 2013, representing an annual compound growth rate of 39 percent that will continue over the next five years. Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, says companies will generate over 50 percent of web sales via their social presence and mobile applications by as early as 2015.
World Stats indicates 2.3 billion individuals access the Internet, a 33 percent penetration rate, up from 361 million, or 5 percent penetration in 2000. In the U.S. alone, there are almost 120 million smart phone users and about half as many tablet users.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) says there were just shy of 6 billion mobile subscriptions globally by the end of 2011, roughly 87% of the global population. Forrester predicts that the number of mobile Internet users will increase by 9 percent a year for the next five years. More and more individuals will turn to mobile for everything. This means you can engage users, listen to them, offer solutions and sell something on a personal 24/7 anywhere access basis provided you have the resources to cover the 24/7 span.
Along with mobile smart phones, tablets — such as the iPad, Galaxy Note, Nook and Kindle Fire — are also a driving force behind the stratospheric rise of m-commerce.
Top 3 Ways to Go Global Mobile
1. Convert your website into a mobile friendly site (e.g., dotMobi). This will engage individuals and drive participation to your company. According to a new study by CrossView, ninety percent (90%) of the top ten retailers — including Macy’s, Apple, Target and Home Depot — already have mobile sites and apps that extend a consumer’s shopping experience. Note: One bad mobile experience and people will shut down, never to return. Do it right the first time.
2. Think about ways to reach and sell to your target customers via mobile campaigns which include but are not limited to digital loyalty programs, print ads and the use of QR (Quick Response) Codes that can be placed in print ads, train stations, airports, on vehicle wraps and the like. Produce content that is appealing and engaging.
3. Offer several different m-commerce payment options. The more creative options you provide to pay for a purchase via a mobile device, the better the chance that you won’t lose a consumer — ever. Allow consumers to place their purchase on their phone bills, through PayPal, Square or via an app (e.g., Starbucks accepts mobile payments at stores nationwide via its app).
The fast-growing world of m-commerce offers a new cost-effective portal, or bridge if you will, for consumers to learn more about a company and to purchase products and services with ease from anywhere in the world. The goal of it for you is to extend your brand, increase impulse sales opportunities and continue to grow. What’s your next move to tap into it?