Mobile commerce, referred to as m-commerce, is a subset of e-commerce, and one that is gaining ground every day. As of the end of 2017, 82 percent of online users in the U.S. used a mobile device for online shopping, with 35 percent being mobile-only online shoppers. Overall, m-commerce accounted for 23 percent of e-commerce spend. The forecast shows that by 2021, it will account for about 54 percent of online sales. With these numbers, there’s no question that mobile commerce matters today and for the future of your online business.

Trends in M-Commerce

M-commerce is focused on the user experience. Businesses that offer an online store must make it easy, fast, and convenient to view products, select them, and checkout. If the experience is too frustrating, shoppers will abandon. To master the m-commerce experience, the site should be designed from the perspective of the shopper, not the programmer or sales team or marketing director. To enhance this experience, new trends are focused on optimization.

Some large retailers, like Target, have apps, wherein customers can search, review, look for discounts, and make purchases. IKEA has gone a step further with apps, launching an augmented reality app that allows users to place furniture in their spaces. And, m-commerce platforms are now making it easier for shoppers to get help with chatbots to answer simple questions. Retailers may also offer special deals via m-commerce, a trend that encourages customers to shop with this channel.

Another key element is speed. In the instant gratification environment, there is no time to waste. Site speed must be a consideration as 40 percent of customers will not wait longer than three seconds for a page to load before leaving, according to a Forester survey. Fine tuning page speed could make a big difference in conversions. Check your page speed with an audit to find the root cause for any drag and address it.

Payment Options Increase Complexity

M-commerce opens up even more payment options than just a credit card. There are options like Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, PayPal, Venmo, and more that may be specific to certain countries or regions.

You, of course, want to offer simple, fast checkout to counter hesitation or cart abandonment, but you still need to make sure this step is secure and accurate. An agile, smart payment process for customers can also lead to higher conversions.

Krista Fabregas, editor, e-commerce and retail expert for FitSmallBusiness, said, “Anything that makes mobile and in-app payments easier is a plus. That means that it can only bolster conversions and revenue when offered as an option.”

In the world of m-commerce, no matter the payment option used, the payment is usually linking back to a card. So, this is a card-not-present (CNP) situation, which, of course, can impact the rate of fraud and chargebacks. These are pain points for any online seller, from big to small. To be better prepared to address these payment processing woes, partner with a merchant processor that offers benefits to help you combat fraud, reduce chargebacks, analyze transactions, and mitigate risk.

What’s Next for M-Commerce?

Technology certainly doesn’t stand still so m-commerce is primed to be advanced further. The augmented reality trend is just breaking so expect that to continue to grow and evolve. M-commerce is already tied in many ways to other marketing channels like email and social media. The future will see direct purchasing inside social media, which means brands will have to work with the platforms (and possibly give them a cut of the revenue).

The overall experience of m-commerce will be shaped by progressive web apps (PWAs). These apps offer a native app experience, combining the best features of mobile web and digital apps. PWA changes offer faster loading and frictionless browsing.

M-commerce offers opportunities as well as challenges, but it cannot be ignored. If you want to compete in this environment, you must embrace it and optimize every element. Creating a seamless mobile experience could increase your sales dramatically. Remember to consider payment processing improvements as well to keep your m-commerce business rolling. If you’re seeking any advice on payments, feel free to ask PinPoint, a leader in m-commerce solutions and services.