Failing to provide a mobile-friendly shopping experience might just be putting you at a disadvantage, given the growing popularity of mobile Internet and mobile shopping, not to mention the multi-screen world we live in today.

Why m-commerce is important

What is mobile commerce?

Mobile commerce is the delivery of electronic commerce capabilities directly into the consumer’s hand, anywhere, via wireless technology. This simply means m-commerce is a retail outlet in your customer’s pocket. Mobile commerce is not a separate entity from e-commerce; instead, it’s a more specific sub-group of e-commerce transactions that involves the use of smartphones and tablets, instead of desktop and laptop computers. This also leads us to the conclusion that concepts such as responsive design and a mobile-friendly user experience are all important for your business’ m-commerce success.

But why is m-commerce so important?

Reason 1: Increase in smartphone and mobile internet users

The most basic reason is that more and more people now own smartphones and tablets and  are connected to the Internet using these devices.

Reason 2: Increase in mobile commerce sales

Simple stuff - as far as actual transaction amounts are concerned, the numbers are quite impressive: PayPal processed $27 billion worth of mobile transactions in 2013, while Alipay exceeded even that, claiming that it had processed $150 billion worth of mobile transactions over the same period of time.

Reason 3: Increase in traditional sales because of m-commerce

It’s important to make sure that any customers who happen to be browsing through your mobile store end up buying from your retail store anyway. And the best way to do that is to make sure your online store is mobile-friendly.For an example of a retail store profiting from having a mobile app, you need look no further than Starbucks. With the aid of their mobile app, which lets users pay for their coffees, reload their Starbucks loyalty accounts and so on, Starbucks conducted $1 billion in mobile transactions in 2013.

Reason 4: Increase in visitors because of mobile-friendly website

With so many mobile Internet users, the most important reason to have a mobile friendly website is the fact that a mobile-unfriendly website has every chance of driving potential customers away. Whereas a great mobile experience would lead the potential customer to visit the site and maybe even generate sales.

It might be a long time before m-commerce sales and revenue reaches levels that could compete with e-commerce. But even then, it’s definitely better to get in on it now and ride the wave, instead of having to play catch-up later on.