One of the most profound paradigm shifts that the retail industry is facing in current times is the gradual but steady transition from retail to e-commerce and now finally m-commerce. Analysis of the retail sector from the past 5 years suggests that e-commerce is the current game changer which currently has a growth rate twice as that of retail. This shift hardly comes as a surprise given the fact that a number of companies and established brands have already shifted all or part of their businesses online in an effort to capture greater market share and to increase their brand presence.
- electronic commerce conducted on cellular phones.
The realm of e-commerce has once again been hit by a major trend, m-commerce. With more than 20% of total online sales coming from hand held devices, businesses are now doubling their efforts towards creating mobile optimized websites and e-stores to cater to the customers on-the-go. Businesses these days are dedicating a large portion of their research and development efforts on how mobile devices play a role in shaping consumer behavior and their buying patterns. Analysts suggest that the growth of m-commerce in the coming five years will triple, implying that the impact of mobile phones on our day to day activities is significant.
What is more surprising is that the trend of m-commerce is not shifting the focus of sales away from e-tail but rather adding more value to it. Surveys suggest that almost 90% of customers use their smart phones in order to inquire about a product, its specifications and prices. The on-the-go ease and benefit allows customers to compare and contrast different products easily. In addition, apart from pre-shopping activities, customers also make use of smart phones while shopping in stores. The truth is that m-commerce is enhancing the overall in-store experience and allowing companies to relate to their customers more closely. In turn, this is driving sales.
Given these facts, the main question that now arises is whether companies are paying sufficient attention to their mobile websites or not? According to a survey a number of small businesses do not have a plan to launch their business online. What’s more is that mobile commercialization is not a part of their strategy either, as they feel their businesses and resources are not large enough to qualify for such an expansion.
The crux of this discussion is that no matter what the size of your business may be, integrating mobile commerce into your business will give your customers a multichannel experience thus enhancing your customer services and increasing your overall touch points. Mobile commerce offers even more opportunities in the coming years. Apart from reducing the costs associated with staffing, mobile commerce will also allow companies to track their customer locations and to offer them the inventory that is most readily available in that area.
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