What it is and How to Succeed in 2021

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The way customers buy products has changed.

Instead ofآ walking into aآ brick-and-mortar store, customers are now buying what they need onlineآ â€” and increasingly, using their mobile phone toآ doآ so. This year isآ expected toآ beآ the first time that the majority ofآ ecommerce sales, nearly 54%, are made through aآ mobile device.

Source: Statista

This type ofآ purchasing isآ called m-commerceآ â€” where transactions are made solely using mobile devices. And with the number ofآ mobile phone users expected toآ grow toآ 4.3آ billion byآ 2023, m-commerce will likely remain aآ popular channel for online sales.

Online vendors need toآ recognize the distinct differences between e-commerce and m-commerce. Toآ take full advantage ofآ m-commerce, sites must beآ optimized for smartphones, set upآ toآ accept payments, and have aآ checkout process that works onآ any smartphone.

Inآ this piece, we’re going toآ discuss:

  • What isآ M-commerce?
  • M-commerceآ vs. E-commerce
  • Why isآ M-commerce Important?
  • Different Types ofآ Mobile Commerce and Their Benefits
  • 8آ Ways Businesses Can Succeed With M-commerce
  • How Omnichannel Messengers Can Improve Mobile Sales and Support
  • The Future ofآ Mobile Commerce

Let’s get started.

What isآ M-commerce?

M-commerce, otherwise known asآ mobile commerce, isآ the sale and purchase ofآ products and services via aآ mobile device like aآ tablet orآ smartphone.

Asآ m-commerce isآ aآ form ofآ e-commerce, itآ allows people toآ shop how they usually would online, using technology like mobile app payments and simple interfaces toآ streamline the checkout process. Other m-commerce examples include purchases made inآ proprietary apps, like Amazon’s mobile app, asآ well asآ online banking.

Differences Between M-commerce and E-commerce

M-commerce and e-commerce are similar, but there are some key differences.

Optimized m-commerce sites have simple user interfaces and checkouts, and they also tend toآ use images more than text. E-commerce stores may have onsite customer service chat options, while m-commerce sites can offer other more mobile-friendly ways toآ communicate like SMS and WhatsApp.

Here are some other differences:

Better reach

Shoppers can visit m-commerce sites from any location, provided they have aآ smartphone and anآ internet connection. With the right technology, companies can deliver marketing content toآ shoppers based onآ their geographic location, orآ configure their websites toآ show specific products orآ offers, based onآ the user’s location.

Increased security

Security isآ always aآ concern for any internet shopper. Customers using m-commerce toآ purchase products online will have aآ combination ofآ security, thanks toآ the controls onآ the website plus those already integrated into their mobile device. For example, many mobile devices now have added security measures like fingerprint ID, facial recognition, and two-factor authentication toآ reduce fraudulent transactions.

Simple toآ use

Sites optimized for m-commerce are streamlined toآ beآ mobile-friendly, whereas traditional e-commerce sites may have aآ lot ofآ information onآ aآ page. M-commerce shoppers use aآ smaller device screen, soآ the site must beآ simplified toآ fit it.

Why isآ M-commerce Important?

M-commerce isآ important because ofآ what isآ quickly becoming the reality ofآ online shopping: Customers prefer using their mobile devices.

With the e-commerce market asآ aآ whole expected toآ reach $845آ billion byآ 2022 and m-commerce now making upآ over half ofآ all online sales, it’s easy toآ doآ the math: M-commerce isآ onآ its way toآ becoming aآ half-trillion-dollar industry, and it’s expected toآ keep growing:

  • Mobile devices are anآ important part ofآ consumers buying journeysآ â€” one-third ofآ all buying decisions are now influenced byآ research conducted onآ aآ mobile device
  • Over half ofآ online retailers have now created aآ mobile app toآ accompany their sites, with more expected toآ follow
  • The number ofآ online shoppers using mobiles toآ make purchases isآ expected toآ reach nearly 170آ million inآ the United States alone

All ofآ these statistics highlight why it’s soآ crucial for online vendors toآ optimize their sites and get inآ onآ the action.

The good news isآ that m-commerce isآ aآ market that every vendorآ â€” big and smallآ â€” can take advantage ofآ ifآ their sites are properly optimized. With some small tweaks like aآ simpler checkout process, improved site speed, and offering more payment options, any vendor can turn their online site into anآ m-commerce success.

Different Types ofآ Mobile Commerce and Their Benefits

Mobile shopping

Mobile shopping isآ one ofآ the major types ofآ m-commerce, allowing people toآ browse, select, and purchase items from their mobile devices.

This type ofآ m-commerce relies onآ optimized websites orآ custom apps launched byآ vendors toآ simplify and streamline customers’ shopping experiences. Mobile shopping can also beآ accessed through social mediaآ â€” all aآ vendor has toآ doآ isآ add their website link toآ social media pages orآ advertisements and drive potential customers straight toآ their store.

Mobile banking

Another growing type ofآ m-commerce isآ mobile banking, which allows customers toآ access their accounts and make aآ transaction from their phone.

Similar toآ online banking, mobile banking allows customers toآ transfer money, set upآ direct debit payments, and check their account balances. Some banks are even beginning toآ explore other options toآ make itآ easier for customers toآ bank using their mobile phones byآ adding widgets like chatbots.

Mobile app payments

Mobile app payments are aآ key part ofآ m-commerce asآ they actually facilitate the purchase ofآ aآ product from aآ mobile phone.

Thanks toآ the growing popularity ofآ app payments, there are now many options for both vendors and customers toآ choose from. They include:

  • Contactless payments: These are payments that are made inآ person using aآ mobile device instead ofآ aآ card orآ cash. Toآ make aآ payment, all aآ customer has toآ doآ isآ open their “mobile walletâ€‌ and hover aآ virtual card over the card terminal. Some ofآ the first companies toآ develop this software were Apple (Apple Pay) and Google (Google Pay).
  • Closed-loop payments: These types ofآ mobile payments use the same technology like mobile apps, but instead ofآ using anآ app like Apple Pay, you use anآ exclusive app for the brand you’re shopping with. The best-known examples ofآ closed-loop payments are major vendors like Starbucks and Walmart.
  • Mobile point-of-sale (POS) payments: Mobile POS systems are aآ solution for small businesses toآ collect card payments without the costly setup ofآ aآ traditional card reader. Aآ vendor simply uses aآ small, wireless card reader toآ process customer payments straight from their mobile wallets. Some ofآ the most popular mobile POS systems around are built byآ companies like PayPal and iZettle.
  • Peer-to-peer payments: These types ofآ mobile payments occur from customer toآ customer and give people anآ instant way toآ transfer money from one account toآ another. Early adopters ofآ peer-to-peer payments were PayPal and Google, with others like Venmo and Square launching similar products.

8آ Ways Businesses Can Succeed With M-commerce

First impressions are important for any business but are even more crucial for online retailers.

When aآ customer lands onآ your website, they can make upآ their mind inآ just aآ few seconds whether they want toآ continue browsing. Statistics show that poor user experience can lead toآ customers abandoning aآ site altogether, with 58% ofآ adults saying the experience would impact their decision toآ shop with the brand inآ the future.

The bottom line isآ sites with aآ poor interface orآ user experience can alienate potential customers and cause them toآ bounce instantly.

The good news isآ that, with aآ few adjustments, you can add features and functionality toآ your site and give potential customers the optimized experience they want.

Here are eight ways you can improve your website for m-commerce ًں‘‡

1. Optimize your mobile site speed

Site speed isآ one ofآ the most important factors for visitors when they land onآ your site.

Aآ Pingdom analysis ofآ Visitor Insights data found that the average site takes 3.21آ seconds toآ load. Sites that keep their load speeds toآ 2آ seconds orآ less only experienced, onآ average, aآ bounce rate ofآ 9%. But ifآ that load time takes 5آ seconds, the bounce rate explodes toآ nearly 40%.

Source: Pingdom

Understanding how your site performs isآ the first step inآ improving its speed. You can use aآ tool like PageSpeed Insights toآ get aآ (free!) detailed breakdown ofآ how well your site isآ performing and what you need toآ improve.

Source: PageSpeed Insights

The best way toآ improve load time and site speed isآ toآ optimize every inch ofآ your siteآ â€” from images toآ code toآ tracking snippets:

  • Minimize your code: This process isآ called “minifying, â€‌ and itآ removes all ofآ the unnecessary whitespaces from your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

  • Optimize every image: M-commerce sites are notorious for having large libraries ofآ images, one ofآ the leading causes ofآ slow page speeds. Use aآ tool like ShortPixel Image Optimizer orآ Imagify toآ compress and optimize your images inآ bulk.

  • Cut back onآ tracking snippets: Using large amounts ofآ tracking code can slow down your site, soآ use aآ tool like Google Tag Manager toآ simplify and automate your tracking snippets.

2. Simplify your checkout process

Around 70% ofآ online customers abandon their carts atآ the checkout, but you can make some small improvements toآ your checkout process toآ reduce cart abandonment.

First, simplify your checkout process. Customers doآ not like having toآ create anآ account just toآ buy aآ product from you, soآ consider adding aآ guest checkout option toآ speed upآ the process. And ifآ you’re going toآ charge your customers for shipping and taxes, beآ upfront about itآ â€” 50% ofآ shoppers will abandon carts atآ the checkout because ofآ surprise costs.

(Pro-tip: We’ve created aآ helpful guide onآ how toآ stop your customers from abandoning their carts atآ the checkoutآ â€” read itآ here!)

3. Provide multiple payment options

There are now more options than ever for customers toآ choose how toآ pay for their purchases, and channels like PayPal and Stripe are continuing toآ grow.

Over 360آ million registered users now use PayPal toآ pay for purchases online, and roughly 70آ million new accounts are opened every year.

Source: Statista

The reality isآ that when aآ customer isآ shopping onآ your site, they may want toآ pay using aآ traditional method like aآ direct debit orآ another option like Apple Pay, PayPal, orآ Stripe. Aim toآ offer asآ many payment options onآ your site asآ possible soآ that when aآ customer gets toآ the checkout, they can use the one they prefer.

4. Develop aآ native application

Online businesses are increasingly cutting out third-party providers and building their own native apps toآ improve m-commerce experiences for their customers.

Why? Simpleآ â€” customers prefer apps over online websites. 78% ofآ consumers say they would prefer toآ purchase products using anآ app rather than aآ mobile website. They say that apps are more convenient, they’re faster, and their personal information isآ already stored inآ the app.

Source: BuildFire

When you create anآ app toآ complement your online store, make sure that itآ emulates your online brand, incorporates all ofآ your current payment channels, and streamlines your customer’s buying journey. Not only will you create aآ more personalized experience for your customer, but you’ll also have another channel toآ market toآ them, thanks toآ push notifications.

5. Launch aآ mobile marketing campaign

Launching aآ mobile marketing campaign can help you target potential customers using tools only available for mobile devices, like in-app ads, push notifications, and mobile pop-ups. Marketing campaigns for existing customers might include SMS “flash saleâ€‌ orآ â€œlimited time offerâ€‌ notifications.

6. Provide omnichannel support

M-commerce isn’t just about sellingآ â€” itآ can help you improve customer support services, too.

Byآ taking anآ omnichannel approach, vendors can provide support through various mobile-friendly channels like chatbots and WhatsApp toآ talk toآ their customers inآ real-time and quickly answer questions.

Omnichannel messengers like JivoChat allow businesses toآ chat inآ real-time with visitors, personalizing their experience and, atآ the same time, boosting conversion rates. Your customer service team can use voice services, chat over email, and even integrate different CRM platforms toآ improve their responsiveness.

What aآ customer sees when they use JivoChat toآ interact with customer service.

The best part isآ that every conversation with every customer isآ kept inآ aآ single place, making itآ easier for your customer service reps toآ catch upآ onآ issues soآ they can respond appropriately.

Anآ example ofآ JivoChat’s omnichannel dashboard, where various communication channels are linked inآ aآ single screen.

7. Train agents toآ upsell and cross-sell

Investing inآ some simple omnichannel tools can boost your upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

Having important data about who isآ visiting your site and whether they are returning customers can empower your customer service team toآ offer personalized upsells. Ifآ your agents know that someone isآ anآ existing customer and has purchased aآ product from your site before, they can then recommend aآ similar product orآ anآ add-on toآ boost sales.

8. Review analytics data

Every m-commerce site will rely onآ analytics toآ see what isآ working and what needs improvement.

Combining Google Analytics data with any data pulled from your website’s live chat tool can give you aآ unique insight into your visitors’ behavior. You can analyze what calls toآ action are working best onآ your product pages and how well your customer service team deals with requests.

Integrating Google Analytics with aآ tool like JivoChat means you can break down your site’s bounce rate, track returning visitors, and uncover what isآ driving customers toآ your site.

How Omnichannel Messengers Can Improve Mobile Sales and Support

Omnichannel messengers support your m-commerce site.

Not only are they optimized for mobile devices, but they also allow you toآ chat with site visitors inآ real-time, improve customer experience, and boost your conversion rates.

Here’s how:

Omnichannel messengers encourage proactivity

When you walk into aآ brick-and-mortar store, you may beآ greeted byآ aآ staff member and asked ifآ you need assistance. Omnichannel messengers allow you toآ provide the same experience for m-commerce customers, using proactive chat.

The idea isآ simple: You engage with new visitors asآ soon asآ they land onآ your site and ask ifآ they need any help before they reach out toآ you.

Our motto atآ JivoChat isآ that it’s always better toآ beآ proactive when itآ comes toآ customer service than reactive. And the studies back usآ up. Businesses that use proactive chat average anآ incremental 105% return-on-investment, soآ itآ pays toآ engage with new visitors asآ soon asآ they land onآ your site.

Reduce response times with canned messages

When aآ customer engages with your live chat, they expect aآ quick answer. Anآ analysis ofآ over 50آ million live chats found that the average time aآ customer waits for anآ answer isآ just 46آ seconds. This isآ aآ tough objective for m-commerce sites toآ reach, especially smaller vendors who can’t monitor their online chats 24/7.

The answer? Canned messages.

Canned messages give vendors aآ way toآ respond toآ common customer queries without writing each one from scratch. These messages can also beآ integrated with chatbots, soآ that chatbots can respond toآ inquiries when your agents aren’t available.

Aآ canned response can beآ added directly toآ your customer response inآ JivoChat’s omnichannel messaging tool:

Source: JivoChat

Use preset messages for m-commerce customers

Preset messages help guide your customers and connect them with the right member ofآ your customer service team.

Preset messages are tied toآ aآ playbook within anآ onsite chatآ app. Each time aآ customer answers aآ question, orآ chooses from aآ list ofآ multiple choice options, the chat app will automatically guide them toآ anآ appropriate response inآ your knowledge base orآ connect them with aآ customer service rep:

Source: JivoChat

Set action-based triggers

Action-based triggers are consumer actions (orآ inaction) that trigger anآ automated response.

Let’s say aآ visitor has spent aآ bit ofآ time onآ your checkout page, but they haven’t completed their purchase. Inside JivoChat, you previously created anآ action-based trigger toآ automatically send aآ follow-up email toآ this type ofآ visitor toآ try and guide them back toآ the checkout:

Source: JivoChat

Action-based triggers are aآ great way toآ increase conversions and personalize automated messages for visitors. And the best part isآ that it’s all done automaticallyآ â€” after you establish the initial triggers, this feature runs independently.

The Future ofآ Mobile Commerce

There are strong indications that the popularity ofآ m-commerce will continue toآ grow with both vendors and customers.

55% ofآ tablet owners already use tablets toآ shop online, and mobile phone users are now reaching for their devices when they are shopping inآ brick-and-mortar stores. Nearly 60% ofآ smartphone users inآ the US have used their mobiles toآ compare deals and look upآ prices when they’re inآ aآ store, proving that mobile devices are now anآ important part ofآ aآ customer’s buying journey.

With 73% ofآ customers now shopping across multiple channels, and the number ofآ people signing upآ for mobile payment options like PayPal experiencing steady growth, the M-commerce industry isn’t going anywhere.

Our advice toآ vendors isآ simple: prepare your sites for customers who are shopping onآ their mobile devices, and doآ your best toآ optimize their experience.

Are You Ready toآ Master M-commerce?

M-commerce isآ now the fastest-growing channel for online sales.

For vendors who are already online, optimizing existing sites for m-commerce isآ aآ worthwhile endeavor. Byآ reformatting images toآ load quickly, updating code toآ improve site speed, and simplifying the checkout process, you can create aآ better customer experience. And aآ better experience isآ likely toآ result inآ more returning customers.

Toآ take m-commerce toآ the next level, you need toآ look further atآ omnichannel messaging and live chat solutions. Customers using mobile devices toآ shop expect quick answers toآ questions and aآ smooth buying experience. Live chat and chatbots can help you meetآ â€” and exceedآ â€” customer expectations.

Interested inآ reading more about how you can improve your m-commerce experience with anآ omnichannel tool? Click here toآ learn about JivoChat!

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