Technology continues to shift toward mobile and it is increasingly important to establish a presence amongst mobile solutions. In 2017, tablet and smartphone usage per user was over 3 hours a day compared to just 0.3 hours a day reported in 2008. Businesses are beginning to adopt this trend by launching mobile-friendly websites and adding text communication options for their customers. In addition, businesses are now acknowledging the value of adopting e-commerce options for their products.
Mobile commerce is becoming more important in the modern marketplace as tablets and smartphones are expected to account for nearly $132.69 billion in retail sales this year- almost tripling the number from just four years prior. Consumers are benefiting from the convenience of mobile commerce which has encouraged them to use it as a primary way to shop. However, these consumers aren’t the only ones who benefit from this movement to mobile commerce. If a business is to optimize their mobile presence to better reach their customers, they can benefit from the move to e-commerce as well.
A major benefit of mobile commerce regarding customer use is its ease and simplicity. Now you can shop for products with a smartphone or mobile device at any time of day. Consumers can access and purchase almost any product sold globally with the click of a button. Whether they see a commercial on their tv, see a billboard as they are driving along the highway or are introduced to a product through a conversation with a friend, consumers now have the power to purchase in the palm of their hand.
Consumers can also look up product information, reviews and other comparable items while they are in a store. This convenience has completely changed the shopping experience in a physical store. According to a 2014 study, almost 32% of shoppers admitted to changing their mind on purchasing a product in store after checking online information. 22% of the same shoppers chose to complete the purchase online instead due to the information they researched in store (Source: MobileCommerceDaily, 2014).
It’s Growing Rapidly
Mobile commerce is here to stay and is predicted to grow dramatically over the next couple of years. EMarketer suggests projected e-commerce sales to reach $4.058 trillion by the year 2020. As of this year, projections are estimated for an already massive $2.860 trillion. These projections create a huge incentive for businesses beginning to embrace the mobile trend and can predict a massive return on investment (eMarketer, August 2016).
Although the benefits are well reflected, e-commerce is still drastically under-utilized. According to a report from November of 2017, 74% of small businesses still lack an e-commerce presence. This presents a massive opportunity for small businesses to jump ahead of the curve and build a strong e-commerce presence.
Speed & Efficiency
The increased automation of e-commerce has affected the ease of buying and selling including the increased forms of automatic, single-click payments. The days of “cash or credit” seem to be over as more companies have transitioned to touch payment apps such as Apple Pay, Pay Pal, and Amazon Pay. It makes it easy for both buyers to make payments and sellers to receive those payments.
Although an initial investment is required to get a business up to speed on these trends, the return on investment and ability to keep up with online competitors outweigh this cost. With the growth potential and ability to reach your customer whenever and wherever, the benefits of e-commerce are undeniable. As society continues to adapt and grow their reliance on technology, it seems safe to say that these trends are not going away.