Mobile commerce seems all the rage these days. If experts are to be believed, e-commerce businesses now have an opportunity to open the floodgates of revenue by making their stores mobile-friendly.
However, developing mobile apps, web apps and mobile version of e-stores require a considerable amount of investment. Although it’s easy to get swept away by the excitement, the wise thing to do is to conduct some background investigation.
So below, I will provide some much-needed perspective on the growth of mobile commerce.
Let’s dig in.
Mobile Users Are Growing but there’s a Catch
Without a doubt, mobile usage is growing at a rapid pace. According to Statista, the number of mobile users around the world will reach 4.68 billion in 2019, a number that should not surprise anyone.
But at the same time, 50% of people access the internet from desktop computers while mobile users are only closing up on this number. Not to forget, desktop and mobile users heavily overlap. This means that almost all mobile users have access to desktop devices but not every desktop owner has a mobile device.
While the growing usage of mobile devices is indeed exciting, let’s take a step back to investigate who’s really impacting the trend. Stats show most mobile traffic generated in 2018 was by Asians. And who’s leading this region? You guessed it: China. And everyone knows that China is perhaps the most closed-off digital market in the world. It has a self-sufficient infrastructure and a governance model which leaves no room for outsiders. Any e-commerce venture targeting the Chinese market will have to jump through an infinite number of hoops and hurdles. But let’s shift our original point.
Mobile Ecommerce: What the Numbers Say
When it comes to the potential of mobile e-commerce, there are plenty of stats that should rouse the interest of businesses looking to expand.
Here are some numbers by OuterBox.
- 79% of Smartphone users have made an online purchase in the last 6 months
- 40% of all e-commerce purchases during in 2018 holiday season were made through smartphones.
- 80% of shoppers use mobile phones inside a retail store to look up product reviews and compare prices.
Although the mobile commerce trend seems to be on the up, the desktop is still pretty much a factor. As it happens, business insider has reported that 33% of a consumer made their purchase through a desktop device in Q4 of 2017.
Interestingly, 44% of shopper made their purchase through apps while 23% utilized the web app. This shows that perhaps developing mobile apps should take priority over making your website mobile-friendly. But simple apps are not just going to suffice as the same Business Insider report mentions that 69% of consumers expect retail apps to have augmented reality tools.
Mobile phones will continue to play a big role in the transformation of e-commerce. And businesses understand this as 48% of retailers in the USA are using the mobile coupon as a marketing strategy.
However, businesses should not ditch or ignore desktop traffic to focus on the money that comes through mobile. Ecommerce is much more complicated.
Go Mobile or Die?
All said and done, mobile commerce should not be considered as a substitute for desktop. Instead, it should be treated as a separate channel supporting the entire distribution network of the business.
By creating a proper mix of processes and channels, e-commerce companies can continue to grow and expand. Customers can see a commercial on TV and make the purchase through the app. They can land themselves on a mobile ad and travel to the brick-and-mortar store. Desktop and mobile are not competing for a place in the eCommerce world rather they are both playing a vital role in taking the industry forward.