It’s no surprise that mobile commerce has been on the rise since smartphones took over the market. Whether it’s shopping, selling, or transferring money, mobile commerce, also known as m-commerce, makes the process quick and convenient! Mobile commerce is a fairly broad term that includes multiple technologies and services, so let’s dive into answering two questions: What does it encompass, and why is it so popular these days?
What is mobile commerce?
Mobile commerce is the ultimate buying-selling experience that's just a swipe away! It's essentially any transaction of goods or services through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. M-commerce allows the buyer to shop online anytime and anywhere, without being tethered to a desktop computer. On the go, lounging on the couch, or even waiting in line, you can easily browse and purchase products with a few taps on your mobile device. It's fast, it's convenient, and it's becoming the new norm in the world of e-commerce!
Here are a few types of mobile commerce that benefit everyone involved in the buying/selling process:
Sales-focused apps. There are a few types of mobile apps solely set up for sales:
Multi-vendor marketplaces: These marketplaces allow businesses or individual sellers to list products for sale. Examples of multi-vendor mobile commerce options include Etsy, Depop, and Amazon.
Dedicated apps: These function primarily to sell, support, or promote one company’s products or services.
Social commerce: Social media is now more than just personal updates and thought sharing! Nowadays, many social media applications have added a tab dedicated to sales or direct links to shops on business account pages.
Apps such as Instagram and Facebook have added a “shopping” feature to their applications and websites in recent years. Now, even TikTok gives sellers the ability to upload their products for purchase! While these are not the same nor as popularly visited as a storefront or dedicated website, they do help boost sales by making it easier for potential customers to view your product(s).
Money transferring apps: Applications such as Venmo, Cash App, and PayPal are popular for money transfers. Many small businesses and vendors will take advantage of the convenience of these money transfer apps in situations such as flea markets, festivals, and similar circumstances.
Digital wallets: Apple Pay and Google Pay are two well-known examples of digital wallets, which are used to make payments both online and in store! To learn more about digital wallets, check out our recent article on the topic.
E-marketing: an additional benefit
Mobile devices provide greater advantages to the business world than just mobile sales; m-commerce can be promoted through e-marketing as well!
SMS marketing: Marketing through text or SMS to a group of subscribed individuals can be great for driving sales! Many customers may want updates on sales, new releases, or on the company in general; they can have access to this information quickly and easily through their mobile devices.
QR codes: QR codes are an incredible augmented reality (“AR”) technology that can take the viewer anywhere with just a phone camera! We talk more about QR codes alongside other AR possibilities in this article. Check it out!
In-app advertisements: Mobile applications such as games and social networks typically invite companies to promote their products through in-app advertisements. Working with apps that your target audience is likely to use can increase your visibility and sales opportunities.
Entertainment: While not technically bound solely to mobile devices, mobile marketing can be conducted through ads via entertainment channels such as podcasts, video clips, and streaming services.
Why does mobile commerce matter?
As smart devices become increasingly integrated into our daily lives, more people are embracing the conveniences that come along with them! As of today, reports show that 79% of all smartphone users have, at some point, used a mobile device to transfer money or make a purchase. The rapidly growing U.S. m-commerce market has seen an increase in revenue from $360 billion per year in 2021 to $431 billion in 2022! While the overall 2023 numbers are still in the making, further growth in this area has been predicted; Forbes Advisor expects revenue to surpass $1.1 trillion by the end of the year.
With a market growing at this rate, it’s a no-brainer that businesses should take advantage of mobile commerce!