5 Reasons to Focus on M-Commerce for the Long Term

What are you missing if you’re not optimized for mobile? A piece of the $58 billion mobile shopping pie that is expected to exceed $133 billion in just four years in the US alone.

Research firm eMarketer says that by 2018, mobile sales will account for 27% of all online sales in the US and nearly half of all web sales worldwide. If you’re not actively creating high-quality mobile shopping experiences, you’re going to get left behind.

Here are five reasons to ramp up your mobile commerce strategy to prepare for the mobile-dominated future.

1. Mobile Shopping Defines the Present…and the Future.

For the first time last year, mobile users accounted for a majority of e-commerce interactions. According to Internet Retailer, last June, 55% of all retail traffic occurred via mobile devices while only 45% occurred on desktops or laptops. Mobile has reigned supreme ever since. This is an astonishing behavioral shift in a very short time.

Positioning your business for mobile e-commerce lets you take advantage of the shift in consumer behavior. You’ll attract and potentially retain thousands of customers who prefer to shop on their mobile devices.

2. Mobile Augments the Customer Retail Experience

Syncing your mobile presence with your brick and mortar stores will allow you to increase sales and customer loyalty.

  • Connect your in-store inventory to your mobile content so customers can get more information about your products at the point of sale by clicking on your mobile website.
  • Offer discounts and promos to customers who use their mobile device inside your store. For example, provide a discount for customers who make referrals via your mobile app or who share your mobile app on social media.
  • Photos and videos are the most engaging online content. With so many smartphone plans offering unlimited data, load up your mobile content with videos that showcase your products or spotlight your customers.

Major companies like McDonald’s are executing targeted mobile customer loyalty applications with great success in attracting younger demographics. Components of these programs can help businesses of any size increase market share.

3. Mobile Payments Benefit Both Customers and Retailers


Image via Flickr by ray.k

Customers love the convenience of mobile payment solutions; as a retailer, it’s a win-win proposition. Your e-commerce site should be compatible with at least one or more of the major mobile payment platforms like Google Wallet, PayPal, Square or VeriFone in order to increase the number of completed purchases.

It’s important to consider how your customers interact with your website when developing mobile payment options. Travel giant Travelocity realized customers were frustrated by entering numerical information on their mobile devices while booking last-minute travel. The company allowed customers to auto-scan credit cards in their smartphone app, which led to a significant reduction in abandoned carts.

4. Mobile Retargeting is Extremely Effective

Google says 90% of people use more than one device to accomplish a task, so targeting your marketing to follow customers from device to device is highly effective. With mobile retargeting, a mobile ad is served up to  website.

By utilizing cross-device retargeting to its full potential, you’ll get a cost-effective and high-ROI solution that targets the most valuable audiences. In particular, mobile retargeting allows you to target your consumers selectively as they move between devices. These ads effectively create a funnel to push customers back to your mobile-optimized website. This allows them to more fully engage your brand and actively research purchases, enabling your company to remain top-of-mind throughout the sales cycle and to maximize conversions.

Click-through rates on mobile (two to five percent) far outpace the measly one percent or less on desktops and PCs. And mobile ads are paid for on a per-click basis versus per-impression, further maximizing your ad buys’ effectiveness.

5. Mobile Expands Your Word of Mouth Referrals


Image via Flickr by Jason Howie

Take advantage of your customers’ natural desire to share their experiences on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Pinterest. Add a “share” button after a customer redeems a particularly attractive coupon, for example. Offer a five percent discount to a customer who tweets a particular phrase about your business. By encouraging your customers to share your business name, products and services, you reach new customers and increase brand identity at little or no cost to you.

With the explosive growth of mobile e-commerce, your company can’t afford put off expanding your mobile presence. Creating an integrated mobile retail strategy is a long-term investment that will optimize your ability to harness this growth.

Without one, you’re putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage that will more than likely inhibit your future success.

JT Ripton is a business consultant and freelance business, marketing and technology writer out of Tampa. You can follow him on Twitter @JTRipton.

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