Mobile commerce is evolving rapidly but it is still in its infancy. In his first post Sage Business Expert Darren Bull founder of Metakinetic explained what is mCommerce and what it means for your business. In this second post, Darren discusses how you can meet the challenges of mCommerce.
One of the major challenges affecting the use of mCommerce is the cumbersome checkout process most mobile sites offer. Entering credit details and shipping addresses can be incredibly time consuming and fiddly, involving a lot of zooming in and out to select text fields and dates – it certainly isn’t a seamless transaction. I would expect to see checkout processes neatened up over the next year to make it far easier and quicker for mobile users to transact on the go.
The other challenge with mobile commerce is the smaller screen sizes of mobiles compared to a desktop computer. The reduction in screen size makes it a lot harder to communicate everything that would usually appear on your main site. Desktops and tablets are able to handle these design features perfectly well, but mobile phones still pose a problem, so if a website features several banners and offers it is extremely difficult to translate all of these onto a mobile site as they won’t physically fit on the screen. The mobile site is a far more streamlined version, and as a result a user’s brand experience would be compromised.
Who should be using mCommerce?
Mobile commerce is appropriate for every retailer, but there are certain products that are particularly suited to be purchased on a portable device. To not have a mobile offering for these industries would be a real hindrance to success and growth. TV shows, games, ebooks, music and films/videos are only a few examples of the sectors that have experienced a huge uptake in consumer purchases from mobile devices in the past 12 months and have enormous potential in the future.
If you are considering whether or not you require a mobile presence it is important to understand that mCommerce isn’t only used for purchasing on portable devices – a huge proportion of mobile visitors to your site will actually arrive with the purpose of researching your products when out and about, and completing their purchase from a desktop or laptop at a later date. Higher-priced items such as furniture, cars, and designer clothing and jewellery are rarely impulse purchases in the same way a CD or DVD is, and require careful consideration from the customer. Well designed and optimised mobile sites allow users to complete a thorough research process wherever they are so they can assess their available options before completing a transaction. In this way mCommerce acts to assist desktop transactions rather than becoming the method of purchase.
What can you expect if you do adopt a mobile site?
Retailers should not assume that by developing a mobile site they will automatically see an increase in sales, especially if the site will mainly be used for research purposes, but if you don’t provide one you may very well see a drop in sales as the use of mobile devices continues to rise in popularity. It is a development project that should be on a retailer’s horizon to have completed before the end of 2015 if you don’t want to fall behind.