Monday, 20 may 2019 | Redacción CEU
They fit in the palm of our hands, accompany us everywhere and enable us to be always connected. Definitely, mobile phones are transforming our lives. We attend meetings by video call, use apps to improve our language skills, manage our finances through online banking and stay in touch with our family and friends via instant messaging. The more we change our behavior patterns, the safer we feel with the use of these devices. In some way, we are losing our fear and increasingly relying on them to perform different tasks such as, for example, buying.
E-commerce has revolutionized the way we sell and buy. Stores do not need to be big or move to another country to sell in foreign markets. Customers no longer have to go to stores to buy, they can access millions of products with just a click. In fact, with the development of mobile commerce, e-commerce has managed to go one step further: customers apart from buying at any time, can also do it anywhere. In other words, smartphones have become mobile shopping malls that never close their doors.
According to eMarketer, one third of online purchases will be made through mobile phones in 2019 in the United States. If its prediction is right, m-commerce will reach the figure of 203.940 million dollars this year. Although this is a significant growth, desktop purchases would still exceed the ones on mobile devices. However, it should be noted that while conventional e-commerce is growing at an annual rate of 5% in this country, m-commerce grew by 43.7%. last year. The calculations made by eMarketer suggest that in 2019 mobile commerce will grow by 37.7%.
It is not the only report that points out this trend. The Annual E-commerce Study of IAB Spain of 2018 also mentions the growth of m-commerce compared with e-commerce (in this case, in Spain). Although computers still appear in this report as the main online purchase devices (87% of claim making online purchases through it), they lose eight points compared to the previous edition. These points are the ones that cell phones have won in 2018 (45% of users use them in their online purchases). The IAB Spain report also lists the main barriers to purchases via smartphones. Most users agree on convenience as the main factor behind their decision to rule out mobile shopping. They consider more practical to make purchases through computers than through smartphones. They also indicate other obstacles such as the size of the screen and security.
There is a need to work on the optimization and development of mobile commerce. This is the reason why it is not the main online shopping alternative. However, as the figures support, users increasingly rely on mobile phones and the new features they offer. For example, they use smartphones’ apps to make transfers, something completely unthinkable just a few years ago. On the other hand, the relationship between users and cell phones is increasingly close (sometimes it even becomes an addiction), and the use of smartphones has extended to a larger proportion of the population (the age gap has been reduced).
Although many users still think it is impractical, buying through a mobile phone might be more simple and quicker than doing it through a computer. Of course, to achieve this, brands have to optimize their service and work on user experience. This necessarily implies making an effort to improve web usability: structures must be clean, payment processes simple and content concise and timely. The design should also be at the service of the different characteristics of these devices (touch screens, geolocation systems, etc.). The goal is that users may find and buy what they are looking for with the least effort and in the shortest possible time.
Most mobile purchases are made spontaneously, in just a few minutes. Cell phones are normally used during downtime, as a pastime. Then, not only should a website's structure be simple, but also its navigation. Users do not trust or spend time on websites that do not load quickly. Furthermore, customers need to feel protected when filling out forms and making purchases. Of course, they will rely more on online stores that offer secure payment methods and have a "secure site" certification.
Mobile commerce is a new way of doing business which also works as a complementary channel. Those brands that know how to take advantage of its favorable elements may multiply their business opportunities. They will always have an open window to consumers, regardless of where they are. With the rise of m-commerce, a new range of marketing strategies opens up: information about nearby establishments, picking up in-store, exclusive offers for customers who share posts on social media, personalized promotions via notifications, mobile payment, etc.
The CEU IAM Business School offers a Master's Degree in Digital Marketing which addresses marketing management through digital media in a transversal way. Thanks to this program, participants will acquire the skills and knowledge they need in such important aspects like marketing plan, digital marketing channels, the use of social networks as a strategy, media management, web positioning and e-commerce. Ask for further information!