Mobile commerce: What it is and why it can’t be ignored in 2021

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Stay ahead of the curve

Within the last decade, we, as consumers, were introduced to purchasing items online or by mobile commerce instead of going to a physical store.

43% of mobile commerce purchases are made from the comfort of the consumer’s bed; 20% from the privacy of their bathroom.

I bet you recall the emotions you felt as you made your very first purchase on the internet. For me, the emotions were somewhere between wondering if the product was going to show up and if someone was going to steal my credit card information.

But today, I make most of my purchases online by mobile device. If you do the same, then you are a mobile commerce user. And, if you are using it, chances are that many of the people you know are using mobile commerce as well.

What is mobile commerce, and why is it important?

With mobile commerce rapidly rising, it’s essential to understand how it works and the added benefits it brings to your business.

Mobile commerce, or mobile eCommerce, gives businesses the ability to sell their products and services via the devices that most people now surf the internet on.

Within Canada, over 31 million people own a mobile device and, according to the 2019 Canada’s Internet Factbook, over 46% of those surveyed made a purchase using their mobile device. This is up from 12% in 2014.

In the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, the number of users purchasing items using their mobile device is expected to increase. According to statista.ca, there was a major spike in eCommerce sales in 2020, rising from 1.591 billion in February to 3.913 billion in May.

If a business’s website is not mobile-friendly, chances are it’s losing online sales in a big way.

Related: 5 tips for adding an eCommerce shop to your brick-and-mortar business

How to plan for a mobile commerce website

Person with design plans on desk with cell phone

The first thing to do is to make sure your business website can function on any mobile device. Depending on how old your website is and when it was built, this could be an easy or heavily-involved process that may require help from a web developer.

If you plan on working with a web developer, you’ll want to discuss ways to optimize your mobile commerce website for the best user-friendly experience.

Need to rebuild an outdated web store from scratch? GoDaddy’s Online Store is an easy way to get a shopping site that automatically resizes to fit the device it’s opened on.

With the GoDaddy Online Store, you can:

  • Sell up to 5,000 items with up to 10 images per item.
  • Offer mobile-friendly checkout like PayPal and Apple Pay.
  • Promote your store everywhere that matters — social, search, email

It’s an easy site builder to use and eliminates the stress of not knowing how to create a mobile commerce sales platform. All you have to do is create your product or service listings, select the shipping options you’d like to offer and build from there.

Key tips and strategies to keep in mind

User scrolling through shopping site on cell phone

Along with planning, you’ll need to consider some key strategies before getting started. Read on to see how you can implement these successful practices to help jumpstart your mobile commerce business.

Ensure your website’s response time is fast

Consider checking your website’s response time and user-friendly capabilities to ensure your customer’s experience is quick and convenient. Quick responding webpages have a higher conversion rating for sales, so you’ll want to make sure this is top priority.

Tools like Pingdom can tell you how long your site takes to load.

GoDaddy has a great article on how to create a mobile-friendly website. Here you will learn how to check your website response time and how to make a WordPress website responsive (aka mobile-friendly).

Create a quick and easy checkout process

Your mobile commerce website must make it easy for users to enter their payment information. People are far less willing to wade through a complex checkout process on their mobile devices than on their computers.

Having a website that accepts mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Shop Pay will increase the rate of completed sales.

These options will also decrease the number of input errors, making the buying process smoother on a smaller screen. The easier and faster the checkout process, the more likely the user will return to complete the process.

Include engaging videos of your product

Adding videos that demonstrate how to use your product will help you sell more. People want to see how the item they are thinking of purchasing works.

Here again, you’ll need to make sure the videos on your website are mobile-friendly so that they are easy to view on a mobile device.

A user should not have to adjust or flip their device to watch a video. Any minor annoyance can make them leave your website without making a purchase.

Add customer reviews to seal the deal

If possible, you should have as many testimonies and reviews on your site as possible. This helps consumers decide to click the “Buy Now” button.

You’ll also want to make sure the testimonies are short and render in a mobile-friendly way — it’s annoying to have to scroll left and right to read a review. The review should fit nicely within the screen of a cell phone, iPad or tablet.

Get noticed on Google

A consumer will likely use a search engine, such as Google, to find the product they are looking to purchase.

Making sure that your mobile commerce website shows ranks properly on search engines is important for getting traffic to your website. Keep the description lite and to the point, so that it showcases well on a mobile device.

Related: 6 SEO optimization tips anyone (yes, even you!) can use

Create a plan for social media ads

According to Kinsta.com, 74% of consumers rely on social media platforms — like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest — to shop online.

In fact, 56% follow the profiles of their favourite brands, which they often view and purchase from their mobile devices.

 

For an online business, reaching a niche market <niche or target market> through targeted social media ads is vital for online sales.

Bonus tip: Aim to set a budget for social media ads since fees can quickly add up.

Avoid leaving money on the table

Global coins spread out on table
Image: by Unsplash

As small businesses move online, most are happy to see that they have a website that functions and looks great. However, having a good-looking, easy-to-use website isn’t enough in today’s modern society.

It’s important to start optimising for mobile viewing to stay competitive and maintain a successful business model.

 

For businesses looking to grow in the next decade, they’ll need to make sure the process of purchasing their products and services is quick and easy on a mobile device.

If not, they risk leaving money on the table by ignoring the need for convenience and allowing space for the consumer to take their business elsewhere.

Conclusion

If a business is going to succeed in the coming years, it’s vital for them to host a mobile-friendly online store. This allows customers to make purchases from their cell phones, iPads, and tablets with ease.

Mobile commerce is going to become the way of purchasing in the coming years.

It’s predicted that by 2040 95% of purchases will be made online.

 

Now is the time for businesses to invest their resources in a mobile-friendly website and enjoy a piece of the mobile commerce pie.

Sara Clarke
Sara Clarke is a multiple business owner, speaker, author and columnist. She has over 20 years’ experience in business consulting and accounting. Sara founded Martin Clarke & Associates in 2001, where she now oversees the operations. She is also Chief Operating Officer of Mompreneurs(R), an international organization that supports, educates and celebrates female entrepreneurs. Sara speaks throughout North America on time management, money mindset, business development, bookkeeping and Mompreneurs. As a wife of 17 years and a mom of four boys, Sara has a passion to help entrepreneurs to be their own boss, set their own hours, travel their own journey and be there for their families. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.