Mobile devices are an integral part of our everyday lives, and many modern people cannot even imagine their lives without smartphones and tablets. We use our phones to order food, get a taxi ride, talk to our friends, or read the news. Mobile devices changed the way people use the internet and purchase products online. 79% of Shopify traffic comes from mobile, so if you’re running an e-commerce store, optimizing the purchasing process for mobile is a necessity.
Most e-commerce businesses realize that mobile is crucial for their success. But some people are not sure whether or not they should break into mobile e-commerce. Usually, such business owners are simply not familiar with the mobile e-commerce concept and underestimate the importance of a good mobile experience. Besides, creating a mobile app and aligning your current processes with this new channel can look difficult and time-consuming.
No matter if you’re still hesitant or have already started working on the mobile e-commerce aspect of your business, you may have some questions.
In this article, we will consider mobile e-commerce in detail, and think of how it can boost your business, increasing profits, and giving you countless opportunities to improve the overall customer experience.
What Is Mobile e-Commerce?
Mobile e-Commerce (or m-Commerce) is a term that refers to all sales that involve mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones. Users can visit a website or use an e-commerce app to search for products, communicate with the store, and make a purchase. Mobile e-commerce allows customers to benefit from a fully mobile experience, choosing a product and paying for it with no need to use a desktop.
When creating a mobile e-commerce website or app, the main thing is to properly optimize it. Your mobile website should be easy to use, and it should look good on different kinds of devices. While mobile websites can already deliver a satisfactory customer experience, creating a mobile app is a better solution because an app can be even more convenient and much faster. Besides, as much as 78% of users prefer apps over mobile sites. Therefore, this article will mostly focus on the benefits of e-commerce apps.
Benefits of Mobile e-Commerce
- Withstanding competition
Brick-and-mortar shops are still alive even after the pandemic, and offline shopping is still a huge market. However, online shopping grows at a rapid pace, and it’s especially popular among Gen Xers, millennials, and Gen Zers. This year, global e-commerce sales are expected to reach $4.2 trillion. The fast growth of this market allows businesses that quickly adapt to trends to gain a significant advantage. Therefore, tapping into mobile eCommerce is not an option but rather a necessity.
- Boosting relationships
If you want to establish a strong connection with your customers, a well-designed mobile app will help you. Your branded app allows you to create the best experience for mobile users, and you can also use it to increase loyalty. An app is a great solution for businesses that want to develop strong relationships with their customers because apps are interactive and engaging.
If you create a convenient app that has all the necessary features and addresses the needs of your target audience, you will be able to easily build long-term relationships with your potential customers. They will rather choose to simply open your app and get something they need in just a few seconds than google some product, for example, “popular summer products“, and then choose an online store to make a purchase. If your app is good, people will use it over and over again, becoming your loyal customers.
- Creating personalized experiences
No matter what people are looking for on the internet, they always have too many options. One can easily spend hours checking out different stores that offer different types of products from the same niche. Instead of letting your customers waste their time searching for products online, you can offer personalized recommendations.
Personalization is a must for a modern e-commerce business because people are getting used to receiving personalized recommendations when using Amazon, Shopify, Spotify, Netflix, and many other websites and apps. As much as 80% of consumers expect personalization when working with retailers. However, successful personalization requires you to approach the task seriously and put some effort into data analysis. 63% of consumers are likely to stop buying from a brand if it offers a poor personalized experience.
Most often, stores offer personalized recommendations based on such parameters as customers’ location, age, gender, or profession. However, you can also improve customer experience and make recommendations even more personalized by using an app that will also consider data on users’ browsing history or in-app behavior.
- Speeding up buyer journey
Some e-commerce business owners think that offering a mobile-responsive website is basically the same thing as having a mobile app, and both these approaches provide equally good customer experiences. Unfortunately, this is a very common misconception.
The truth is that apps load search results and data 1.5 times faster than mobile websites. Therefore, if you create a proper app, your customers will browse your store and make purchases quicker. Fast customer journey is a significant advantage for a company that wants to provide the best customer experience and streamline the sales cycle, so the best solution is to find a good software development company and create your app.
- Improving accessibility and reach
Thanks to m-commerce, you can extend your reach considerably. The number of smartphone users is expected to reach 6.65 billion by 2022. Everyone who owns a smartphone is your potential customer, and this huge audience creates countless opportunities for generating leads and nurturing them. It will be much easier for people to become your customers if all they need to do is download an app. Besides, when users don’t need a desktop, they can make a purchase anytime, from virtually anywhere.
- Using new marketing opportunities
Mobile e-commerce also offers some marketing advantages. First of all, mobile apps offer scalability. You can analyze your mobile app traffic and boost marketing when consumers start to demonstrate a higher interest. Similarly, you can save costs on marketing when users are less likely to make a purchase. For instance, many businesses receive more or less traffic depending on the season, holidays, or big sales events.
A mobile app also enables you to reduce the cost of your marketing campaigns because you can reach your target audience directly. Moreover, you can integrate your app with social media platforms so that your users will be able to share their favorite products with their friends and followers, generating additional exposure. You can even earn money by placing ads on your app if it becomes popular enough.
- Improving overall customer experience
The stronger the competition in your niche, the more effort you should put into attracting and keeping customers’ attention. You need to stand out so you should provide a unique customer experience and make sure to use personalization. Mobile apps enable you to provide an outstanding user experience in different ways. First of all, users are perfectly familiar with their smartphones so you can help them find the necessary product with just a few taps on the display. All you have to do is ensure smooth, intuitive navigation.
The main purpose of mobile devices is communication, and you can use social media integration to make communication with your brand as simple as possible. Users of your app can discuss your products and share their opinions. Moreover, you can build your own community around your brand so everyone will be able to get the necessary advice or help from other users.
Simple communication is great for your brand because you need people not only to know about your brand but also to stay engaged. A mobile app allows you to stay in touch with your customers all the time, and the best way to do it is through push notifications. Push notifications and social media integration, however, are not the only features that you can add to your app to provide a better customer experience.
For instance, you can include different payment options to make purchasing from you easy for everyone. You can also use user data to offer more unique features. We’ve already mentioned the benefits of personalized recommendations, and you can use the same approach with discounts. An improved customer experience will boost your conversion rates and revenue. By making your app convenient and offering features that meet your customers’ needs, you can improve the overall purchasing process and get ahead of your competitors who underestimate the importance of mobile e-commerce.
Mobile e-commerce enables you to reach more potential customers, improve customer experience, use unique marketing opportunities, and improve the relationships with your customers, making them more likely to buy from you in the future. Mobile apps enable businesses to provide personalized experiences and to stay in touch with their customers by using push notifications and social media integration. Although some e-commerce business owners may not see a big difference between mobile responsive websites and apps, the truth is that apps offer a number of significant advantages so if you don’t have your own e-commerce app yet, it’s time to start working on it.
About the Author:
Mary Byrd is a freelance writer with a combination of analytical mind and creativity. She is currently working at the software development company VironIT and does everything to climb the career ladder of the blog.