As more and more people make purchases on their smartphones, here’s how your brand can get in on the rising m-commerce trend.

Here, you’ll find:

  • What defines mobile or m-commerce
  • The latest data around this trend
  • Best practices for brands leveraging m-commerce
  • Pro tips to keep you competitive

The mobile commerce (or m-commerce) trend continues to rise as searching and shopping via smartphone becomes more common. In fact, Forbes predicts mobile commerce will grow a whopping 68% by 2022.

Let’s dig into what m-commerce is, why it matters, and how to make it work for you.

What is m-commerce?

Mobile commerce aka m-commerce is commerce that is conducted via a mobile device, such as a smartphone. In other words, m-commerce can refer to shopping, payment transactions, and other money management practices.

G2 explains that while e-commerce refers to any buying and selling done over the internet, m-commerce is strictly done on mobile. As smartphones become increasingly sophisticated, it’s no surprise that these devices become evermore entwined in our daily lives. We use them for everything from creating to-do lists and accessing our bank accounts to managing email inboxes and making purchases. 

girl outside on her phone

It’s clear that m-commerce is an effective way to meet your audience where they already spend their time. (Image via Rawpixel)

Why should digital marketers care about m-commerce?

As our collective reliance on smartphones grows, m-commerce is poised to grow as well. M-commerce should pique digital marketers’ interest in particular because of how this commerce type offers direct access to a brand’s potential target audience. 

In a survey HawkSEM conducted in 2020 of more than 500 smartphone users, 68% said they’ve purchased something they discovered through a mobile ad on their smartphone.

What are the benefits of leveraging m-commerce?

It’s clear that e-commerce is an effective way to meet your audience where they already spend their time. And the nature of m-commerce marketing makes it easy, seamless, and less obtrusive to serving relevant ads to your target audience.

Business Insider reports that mobile is predicted to “inch closer to becoming consumers’ preferred channel for online shopping within the next five years.” What’s more, social media platforms in particular continue to roll out new features that make mobile transactions increasingly convenient. These include things like “buy buttons” and in-app purchase options, for instance.

The more convenient the experience, the better chances brands have of turning a window shopper into a buyer. 

Need help with your e-commerce marketing? Let’s talk.

What are the latest m-commerce statistics?

The data is clear: m-commerce isn’t slated to be falling in popularity anytime soon. 

Here are some stats about m-commerce:

  • Currently, mobile buyers account for nearly 61% of the U.S. population. (Statista)
  • M-commerce volume is predicted to hit $488 billion, or 44% of e-commerce, by 2024. (Business Insider)
  • 75% of 2019 e-commerce shopping took place on a mobile device. (Forbes)
  • About 76% of large fashion retailers’ website visits are from mobile devices. (RetailDive)
  • One-third of our decision to purchase is influenced by looking up additional information on a product via our mobile device. (BigCommerce)
  • In 2020, U.S. mobile retail revenues were expected to amount to more than $339 billion, up from more than $207 billion in 2018. (Statista)

Pro tip: If you decide to create an app to enhance your m-commerce experience, keep it simple. The most successful commerce apps are clean, visual-heavy, and don’t require a ton of heavy lifting in terms of maintenance. 

navy paper shopping bag

Leveraging mobile payments that are already connected to someone’s bank account eliminates a huge barrier when it comes to making m-commerce purchases. (Image via Unsplash)

What are the top m-commerce success secrets?

Once you’ve decided to prioritize m-commerce, there are a few key actions you can take to set yourself and your brand up for success.

Have a speedy website

The last thing you want is to catch a consumer’s eye, have them click your m-commerce ad, then ultimately bounce because your mobile page takes too long to load.

As Investopedia explains, “quick-loading webpages are likely to win more sales because consumers can be impatient, and they demand instant gratification.” Plus, making speed a high priority is also a good way to boost your overall SEO.

Keep inventory up to date

Another fact we uncovered from our m-commerce survey: 20% of potential buyers started but failed to complete a mobile purchase because an item was out of stock or not in their size. 

Running e-commerce search ads through Google Merchant Center? If you have a lot of products and are using an e-commerce platform like BigCommerce or Shopify, you can easily integrate them to help ensure you’re submitting the most updated info to GMC on a regular basis. This helps keep your product data fresh. While you can’t exactly control an item being sold out in a certain size or color, you can work to only show products that are actually in stock.

Make payment a breeze

Forget making buyers search for their credit card to close the deal. Leveraging mobile payments that are already connected to someone’s bank account eliminates a huge barrier when it comes to making m-commerce purchases. 

“With new mobile payment solutions emerging, it is now possible to offer customers a truly diverse range of payment options,” reports BigCommerce. These mobile payment options include:

  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • PayPal One-Touch
  • Samsung Pay
  • Amazon Pay
  • Visa Checkout

Prioritize a mobile UX

If you’re dipping a toe into the m-commerce space, chances are you’ve taken the time to make sure your site looks great on mobile as well as desktop. The same should be said of your m-commerce ads.

Keep your audience top of mind while also thinking about what visuals, product pages, and ads resonate with you when you’re scrolling on your smartphone. Images with white backgrounds may do better than those with busy backdrops. Lastly, bigger images are easier to see without having to try to zoom in. 

The takeaway

Smartphones aren’t the future of shopping — they’re the present. Focusing on m-commerce makes it easy for people to purchase from you. Not only that, but it also keeps you competitive with other brands. 

Once you know the value m-commerce can have on your business, you can implement the action items above to create a mobile shopping experience that is seamless, in line with your business, and leads to increased sales. 

This article has been updated and was originally published in April 2020.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's senior content marketing manager. Through more than a decade of professional writing and editing experience, she creates SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of reading, yoga, new vegetarian recipes, and paper planners.