Shopping on the Go: The Advantages of Mobile Commerce
Americans are more addicted to their mobile gadgets than ever: According to the Pew Internet Center, 64 percent of American adults own a smartphone and 42 percent are the proud owners of an Internet-connected tablet. Sixty-seven percent of smartphone users check their devices even when they don’t hear an alert, and 29 percent admit that they couldn’t imagine living without their smartphone.
It’s probably not new information, but the statistics are definitely illuminating. The collective American dependence on smartphones highlights new marketing and commerce opportunities, thanks to the little device nearly everyone has stashed in their pockets. Mobile commerce highlights unparalleled and interminable opportunity for sales and growth, but it can also be a rocky road for new brands. Navigating mobile commerce begins with a basic understanding of the options available to enterprising companies that know that on the go is the way to go.
Mobile Commerce Applications
Mobile commerce applications usually fall into one of the four categories:
- The usual suspect, mobile shopping can look deceptively simple. But the truth is that a mobile shopper behaves differently than an online shopper. Mobile shoppers are looking for speed, personalization, and safety when using their phones as shopping carts. Security measures and condensed web pages (that load quickly and are optimized for small screens) make for happy mobile shoppers.
- According to the Federal Reserve, 52 percent of smartphone users have accessed mobile banking applications in the past 12 months, and why not? Mobile banking is clearly more convenient than banking with a brick-and-mortar institution, and it gives users quick access to their accounts and more control over their money.
- Many smartphone users are keen to turn their devices into entertainment machines, which means spending big bucks on things like video, music, streaming services, and other entertainment that can be enjoyed on the go and without the typical restraints of desktop- or TV-based entertainment.
- Smartphones offer new marketing opportunities based on the way users utilize features such as social media, games, and web browsing on their devices. Optimized mobile marketing makes for smarter strategy by exploiting geographical location, type of device, and other basic personalization.
Why Mobile Commerce?
Mobile commerce can extend any brand’s reach by taking advantage of the way potential customers use their phones. Whether big or small, companies must create mobile commerce strategies in order to stay competitive and increase overall impact. Besides the fact that mobile commerce can essentially create a global marketplace (even for locally-based businesses) is the idea that mobile offers a more personalized experience for shoppers. By taking into account geographical location, device, and shopping preferences, customers get to create their own experience by shopping when they want, where they want, and saving and toggling preferences along the way.
Shoppers are more likely to compare items, prices, and brands online than they are in-store, so mobile commerce offers businesses of any size the chance to be true competitors in a global arena. At the same time, custom applications and a less-invasive shopping experience means businesses benefit from all customers–even the unskilled ones. Think outside the store and you may be able to capitalize on mobile shoppers who are eager to do business with you.
Making mobile commerce quick, simple, and optimized is the name of the game when it comes to smartphone strategy, and can certainly increase your marketing ROI. By paying special attention to the way users interact with their phones, you can build out a mobile commerce plan that has the best chance of succeeding in an organic way. After all, it only makes sense to take advantage of all that time you spend staring at your phone.