M-commerce: how it helps the usability of your virtual store

According to the Cisco Annual Internet Report Complete Forecast Update 2018-2023, the world will see a 36% jump in the number of Internet users during this period. In 2018, there were approximately 3.9 billion users worldwide, with an expectation that it will reach 5.3 billion by 2023.

Regarding mobile devices, the report points out that in 2018 there were around 5.1 billion mobile devices in the world, and by 2023 the number should jump by 12%, while mobile connections should increase by 49%, with 8.8 billion to 13.1 billion.

M-commerce encompasses online sales via mobile devices, promoting a mobile-first concept in online retail.

Speaking in a national context, the report estimates that approximately 199.8 million Brazilians will be connected by 2023, or 92% of the country’s projected population for that year. The number of connected devices is expected to jump 48%, reaching 2023 with more than 755 million devices online. Of these, an estimated 44% will be mobile connections.

Especially with the arrival of 5G in Brazil, it cannot be denied that the era of mobile connections is here to stay and will conquer more and more space. In this article, we will talk about the concept of m-commerce and how it can contribute to the usability of the virtual store so that online retail is increasingly adapted to the concept of mobile commerce.

Mobile first: the power of mobile connections

When online shopping became popular on the Internet, virtual stores certainly developed with a focus on the most used devices at the time, i.e. desktop computers, and later laptops. With the advancement of mobile connections, however, there has been a major migration of access to mobile devices, which is beginning to require virtual stores to adapt their platform and contents, making them friendly to these new devices.

Therefore, when we talk about mobile, first of all, we are talking about the development of online stores with regard to the current context, that is, we primarily think about the appearance and shopping experience for mobile devices, and then adapt them to the desktop format. This is because the mobile phone represents a large percentage of today’s purchases, with prospects for growth in the near future.

According to ABComma (Brazilian Electronic Commerce Association), in the first quarter of 2020, 85% of Brazilians used their mobile phones to shop online, and sales through mobile devices generated a turnover of R$ 5.95 billion in the same period.

But what exactly is mobile commerce?

Mobile commerce or m-commerce emerges from this new context in which people shop through a wide variety of devices at any time of the day, whether through mobile stores, stores integrated with social networks or their own applications. In this modality access to a computer or laptop is completely unnecessary.

And given the need to differentiate yourself in order to sell online, whoever offers more ease, speed and simplicity in shopping is a deal maker. Therefore, websites that are developed from a mobile perspective, or even apps specifically developed for mobile devices, can put a brand ahead in the race for consumer preferences.

M-commerce is designed to value attributes such as speed, interactivity, ease of sharing and differentiated conditions in the purchase journey. In addition, the mobile store optimizes some virtual store concepts that can strengthen sales, such as extending the usability and facilitating the purchase process, optimizing navigation and enabling improved interactivity between the company and the consumer.

The potential of m-commerce in virtual stores

Now that you understand the importance of mobile devices and the concept of m-commerce, let’s talk about some of the improvements that this modality can promote in your virtual store.

Business visibility is much higher. That’s because people today spend a lot more time connected via mobile devices than they do on a desktop computer. According to a report by App Annie Intelligence, the Brazilian population spends an average of 5.4 hours a day on their mobile phones, which is one of the longest connection times in the world.

Therefore, considering that people spend almost six hours a day connected through these devices, it is essential that your store is present on them, with an ideal platform or website for browsing in this environment, as well as a well-structured mobile positioning strategy.

Another possible improvement is usability, which can be extended for two reasons. First, because websites are now being designed for mobile devices, and second, because of apps. These two elements make the shopping experience more satisfying and efficient.

But it’s important to understand that just having a website or app doesn’t mean having good usability. For this, it is necessary to plan a site that is friendly to the mobile environment, considering the adaptation of the content to different screen sizes and formats. For good mobile usability, some items to keep in mind are: fast loading, custom layout, short texts, bigger buttons and fast scrolling. The idea is to get the consumer to conclude the purchase with as few clicks as possible.

Last but not least is the multi-channel experience that the mobile experience can offer, such as using SMS and QR code to engage the public and promote greater engagement. SMS can be a good alternative to maintain daily contact with the customer, inform about promotions, discount coupons, etc. and direct the public to the purchase channel which can be the website or app itself, or even WhatsApp or some other social network.

A QR code, on the other hand, can contain more details about a product that would be redundant on the page or even a promotional code for purchase. In addition, QR code is widely used as a resource even in physical facilities, through on-site stickers or banners. A very common use in this scenario is to access menus in restaurants, which are no longer physical and are now only accessible via QR code.

M-commerce in numbers in online retail

Maybe for some people, contact with the concept of m-commerce is only recent, but its presence is already making a difference in e-commerce results. According to the 43rd edition of Webshoppers, mobile commerce was responsible for 53% of digital commerce sales in Brazil in 2020, an increase of 79% compared to 2010. A significant increase that showed how much the modality was just beginning to strengthen to become, perhaps, the main channel for online retail.

Following an upward trajectory, m-commerce sales generated revenues of US$359.32 billion worldwide in 2021, an increase of 15.2% compared to 2020. In the United States, m-commerce alone is estimated to be responsible for more than 44% of online sales.

For 2022, growth and revenue results are not yet available, but according to Opinion Box’s April survey of the Brazilian public, 60% of people who own smartphones have already made an in-app purchase. This result gives even greater expectations that m-commerce will make another leap this year.

Is your business already mobile friendly?

Also read: Why eCommerce must be mobile-ready

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