M-commerce Is The New E-commerce

M-commerce Is The New E-commerce
Just when you thought you had the e commerce nut cracked, along comes m-commerce with over 70 million users and even higher demands for lightning speed responsiveness and relevance.

Although many mobile device users are using the technology primarily for checking the weather and reading the news, there are more and more indications that consumers are willing to purchase through mobile devices.

Two interesting surveys provide differing views of purchase behavior. A Harris Interactive poll of mobile users suggests that consumers are most likely to make low cost impulse buys from their mobile devices.

58%Movie tix
43% Hotel rooms
42% Fast food
40% Tickets for travel
34% Games
24%Mobile video/TV content
Source: Harris Interactive 2009

A much smaller (n=157) PriceGrabber poll shows that some consumers are willing to make larger ticket purchases.

58%Digital content
51%Consumer electronics
37%Computers, etc
36% Books

The question is, are online retailers ready to move into this new venue? An April 2009 survey by RIS News suggests that retailers are taking a cautious approach partly because they have budget constraints and individual privacy concerns but also because the area is so new.

Many retailers cite the lack of established application vendors makes it more difficult as well as the lack of standardization among mobile device manufacturers. Finally, retailers are beginning to understand that the mobile marketplace is different and needs to be approached differently.

Common Problems in M-Commerce Marketing
There are a number of problems that online retailers are facing when they attempt to extend their marketing into the mobile arena.

Shrinking is not the answer
It turns out that you cannot just move your e commerce templates onto mobile devices and expect them to look or function in the same way. The screens are much smaller so either the material becomes too small to effectively use or large portions of the content are cut off on the bottom or sides. Materials need to be redesigned for mobile application.

Buying Habits are Different
The research so far shows that the mobile buyer is impulsive. They do not want to look for many varieties of a product. They want fast access to a product that will work for them. This means reducing the number of items shown to the specific items that will work for the specific consumer.

Immediacy is a baseline requirement
Mobile users are functioning on the move and they want their vendors to appreciate and support that mentality and lifestyle.

Ease of transaction
Ease of transaction is all part of the speed with which mobile shoppers want to conduct business. According to eMarketer, Mobile buyers tend to be repeat purchasers with a higher order value than average consumers, and it can be important for them to complete transactions with ease even if it means spending more.

Websites have gotten into a lot of animation and glitzy rich media. Mobile users want style but simplicity. Too much glitz is hard to download and fit onto the screen.

If you have not developed your mobile strategy yet, you are not alone. But do not wait too long.

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