Mobile commerce (m-commerce) has gone from being a niche market to a global phenomenon in just a few years. And per a BanklessTimes.com projection, the sector is primed for massive growth. The site has presented data showing that m-commerce worldwide sales will exceed the $710B mark by 2025.
According to BanklessTimes CEO Jonathan Merry, m-commerce is no longer a luxury. Rather, it’s necessary for businesses that want to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace. Merry avers:
What Are the Factors Driving Global M-commerce Growth?
Many factors contribute to this phenomenon, but the chief among them is technological advances. Smartphones and tablets have become ubiquitous tools that provide an easy and secure way to conduct business transactions on the go.
Additionally, many retailers now offer a dedicated mobile app that provides customers with an optimized shopping experience for their screens. These apps pack features like one-click checkout and product recommendations based on past purchases.
Another factor driving the growth of m-commerce is consumer demand. An increasing number of people are living busy lives, looking for hustle-free purchases. Consequently, m-commerce has become an attractive proposition for them.
Finally, another key factor driving m-commerce growth is cost efficiency. Retailers can reduce costs by utilizing m-commerce platforms due to lower overhead expenses related to setting up physical stores or hiring human personnel.
Significance of a Growing M-commerce Sector
The growth of m-commerce has considerable implications for both consumers and retailers. From a consumer perspective, m-commerce offers convenience. It allows shoppers to buy items anytime and anywhere via their phones or tablets without leaving their homes or standing in line at a physical store.
Consumers can also access an unprecedented range of products at their fingertips, often at reduced prices. Further, shopping on a mobile device allows customers to compare prices easily and find discounts, increasing customer loyalty.
For retailers, adopting m-commerce provides additional opportunities to reach new customers. They can tap into new markets across geographies without needing physical stores or huge upfront investments. And they can do so while retaining a direct relationship with their customers.
Moreover, retailers can benefit from m-commerce by utilizing features like location targeting, personalized recommendations, instant notifications about sales events and discounts, etc. These allow them to better engage with customers and offer them bespoke shopping experiences.
What Are the Downsides to M-commerce?
Although there are numerous benefits associated with m-commerce, there are also some downsides to it. Security remains a major concern for many shoppers using these platforms. Despite advancements in securing user experiences on these platforms, there’s a wariness regarding storing their confidential information.
There’s also the uneasiness that comes with users knowing that the platforms may invade their privacy. As stated before, Mobile commerce sites use location data and one’s online activity to tailor-make their shopping. The apprehension is that some sites are mining user data while pretending to find insights into their behaviors to better their experiences.
Additionally, some shoppers may prefer shopping in physical stores as they can get a better feel for the product before making a purchase decision. That may not be possible while online shopping. However, with VR technology, some outlets are enabling their customers to have a lifelike interaction with some products.
Moreover, customers may encounter decision paralysis or impulse buying while mobile shopping. The sheer quantity of products on offer may be too overwhelming for some users leading to indecision or poor choices. Finally, a “digital divide” still prevents everyone from enjoying the benefits of m-commerce equally.