M-Commerce: What Is It And What Do You Need To Know?
Generally speaking, any type of commerce conducted using a mobile device can be classed as m-commerce (short for mobile commerce). Primarily then, that means purchases and purchase-related activity made via apps and websites. Paying for travel? Yes. Paying for events or bills? Yes. Redeeming a coupon? All yes.
But, more specifically, what is m-commerce? Why’s it so important? Quite simply because, thanks to the ever increasing influence of mobile technology over our lives, smartphones have become impossible to ignore for the commercial world, so it’s been obliged to fully embrace m-commerce. Don’t doubt it, year on year, its influence is growing at an exponential rate and shows no signs of abating – in September 2014, it was estimated to be worth $230 billion globally; by 2017 that figure’s expected to more than triple, reaching $700 billion.
So ubiquitous is m-commerce then, it’s one of those things many of us are very familiar with but might find hard to pin down. The following list, detailing several major areas involved in m-commerce, may highlight this:
- browsing and purchasing – just as they would at home on their PC, users are able to browse websites and make online purchases via their mobile devices
- information – the dissemination of information relevant and beneficial to a user often via apps they will have downloaded, such as news, sport scores, traffic reports and alerts of different kinds
- content – as smartphones and their contemporary devices have become ever more capable as audio and video players, the purchase, delivery and playing of content such as music tracks and full-length video is becoming increasingly common – not least because 4G network speeds enable users to download a full feature-film to their device in mere seconds
- location – being aware of a user’s location can enable a business to target them with location-based services such as local discount offers, local weather information and tracking capabilities
- tickets, coupons, vouchers and loyalty cards – essentially digital (or virtual) tokens sent by a business to a mobile device and redeemed at point of sale simply via the user presenting the device; note that location-based services merge here, as a retailer may send a customer a discount voucher or coupon when they’re in the vicinity of its outlet, as an incentive to visit (this tends to be referred to as ‘geofencing’).
Something else that all the above areas touch on and plays a critical role in m-commerce is mobile marketing and advertising. Exploiting the possibility – often seemingly proved true by statistics – that people’s decision-making is faster when targeted by marketing via mobile devices as opposed to other marketing channels (so encouraging them to respond more spontaneously), mobile marketing has naturally reaped the benefits offered by app technology.
Indeed, often location-based services and discount coupons and the like available on devices are accessed via apps. So, with an expert in the field such as Appstrue to guide you through the m-commerce waters, your business too can flourish thanks to the app revolution. So why not contact us to find out more?