Mobile commerce volume is expected to hit $620.97 billion by 2024. This means nearly half (42.9%) of all ecommerce purchases will be made via a mobile device. As a result, paying attention to your website's mobile purchasing process is critical for guaranteeing a stellar customer experience and reducing shopping cart abandonment in the process.
Read on to learn the top stats, trends, and best practices of mobile commerce so you can continue to increase your sales and grow your business.
What is mobile commerce?
Mobile commerce, also known as mobile ecommerce or m-commerce, is the process of completing a transaction online via a mobile device. M-commerce is a facet of ecommerce and should be a priority to ensure you’re not falling behind your competition.
Any type of online transaction done via a smartphone or tablet is considered a form of mobile commerce. The most popular type of mobile commerce is making a purchase on a mobile device, but the term expands beyond that as well.
Here are seven examples of mobile commerce that exist today:
- Making a purchase
- Social commerce
- Mobile banking
- Mobile payments/transactions
- Mobile ticketing
- In-app purchasing
- Marketplace apps
Key mobile commerce statistics
Here are some key statistics to help you understand just how important m-commerce is in 2022 and will continue to be in the future.
- 77% of US adults own a smartphone and 53% own a tablet, showcasing the number of potential m-commerce customers.
- Nearly one-third of US internet users used their mobile device to make a purchase each week in 2021.
- Mobile devices made up 58.99% of web traffic in Q2 of 2022.
- 51% of Americans downloaded at least one shopping app to their smartphone at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 21% of device users access retail shopping apps multiple times a day, and 35% access them multiple times a week.
- 49% of Americans have used a shopping app to compare prices.
Pros and cons of mobile commerce
Mobile commerce brings plenty of benefits, but there are also obstacles you’ll need to overcome for your customers. Assess these pros and cons and figure out how you can make mobile commerce work for your brand.
There are a number of benefits associated with mobile commerce and offering your customers a seamless experience across their devices.
Americans check their phone an average of 344 times per day, or around every four minutes. As a result, it’s highly convenient to be able to immediately pull up an app or website via your phone to make a purchases as soon as the mood strikes.
If you’re wondering why instant gratification is so prevalent, look no further than ecommerce giant Amazon. The “Amazon effect” is a phenomenon surrounding the frictionless shopping experience it has created. Free two-day shipping is now a possibility at the click of a button.
Not every small business will be able to compete with Amazon’s shipping rates, but having an easy-to-navigate mobile shopping experience will help customers feel like they’re able to quickly and easily order something they want.
Improved customer experience
Meeting your customers where they are—their devices—provides them with a better experience, and can lead to higher customer retention, because they’re not having to cater their shopping habits to your business.
More payment options
In addition to credit and debit cards, customers are now able to use payment services like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, PayPal Express, and Visa Checkout. Shop Pay also makes it easy to give your customers a variety of payment options.
These options make it easier for your customers to make a purchase on their device—you simply need to ensure your payment portal accepts these forms of payment.
Mobile commerce isn’t without its challenges. It’s a newer concept, so it can be tricky to ensure a seamless experience—for now.
Technologies are always evolving to better the experience for both businesses and consumers, and the same goes for mobile commerce. You will need to continually improve your mobile website or app to keep it optimized for use.
Investing in an ecommerce CMS like Shopify’s is a great way to make sure your website is always up to date with the latest optimizations.
Long load time
Your page load time majorly impacts whether or not people can access your website from their phones. ToolTester analysis on four million websites over the course of a year showed that the average desktop website loads in around 2.5 seconds. However, this number increases by 70.9% to 8.6 seconds on a mobile device. If your customers can’t load your site quickly, they’re likely to abandon it before making a purchase.
With mobile price comparison apps emerging, it’s easier than ever to compare prices when mobile shopping. Paying attention to your competition can help you overcome this.
By ensuring that your company offers the best customer experience and product options, you'll increase the odds that consumers will want to shop at your company regardless of price differences. Also keep an eye on the competition’s pricing, shipping options, and discounts to make sure you remain competitive and relevant in the market.
Mobile commerce trends to pay attention to
Learn more about the latest mobile commerce trends to ensure that your brand stays relevant and offers the most up-to-date shopping experiences for your customers.
The rise of mobile apps
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns led to a massive increase in online shopping—and shopping apps saw a 49% year-over-year increase in usage from Q1 2020 to Q2 2021.
This is largely due to the fact that mobile apps can create a more native shopping experience. Apps are often faster and have been built specifically for mobile usage. And since 2018, app usage has far outweighed browser usage on mobile devices.
To prove this point, clothing store SHEIN’s app saw record usage during the pandemic, generating 12% more users in Q2 of 2020, reaching a total of 40.1 million users, and increasing its monthly active users by 24% to 71 million.
Apps make the mobile experience more seamless as they are built for mobile use. Screen resolution doesn’t matter; the native app loads far quicker than a mobile website, and it’s easy to find products and complete the checkout process inside the app.
With one-click checkout—one of the newest trends in ecommerce—the website you’re shopping on gathers information you have saved to your computer or mobile device, like your name, email address, shipping address, and preferred payment method, so all you have to do is click Check Out and your order will be made.
This swiftness makes the checkout process incredibly easy—and the easier it is to buy, the more likely customers are to spend money with your store. There are a number of one-click checkout options, including Shopify’s Shop Pay.
Shopify merchants can add Shop Pay (above) to make the checkout process as easy as possible for their customers.
Social commerce involves selling your products via social media platforms. Platforms that offer social commerce include Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat, and, more recently, Twitter.
You can create online shops or catalogs on your social media profile, making it easy to tag and promote your products. Customers are then able to make a purchase without ever leaving the social media app.
By using Instagram’s Meta Commerce Manager, for example, you can set up a catalog so that your products appear on Instagram. Your store will appear on your Instagram profile for followers to tap View Shop, or you can tag products featured in posts for viewers to click on and immediately purchase. Take DressUp’s Instagram shop (pictured below) as an example:
Chatbots are commonly used to improve customer service and make website experiences better, but now they also offer shopping assistance on mobile devices. An ecommerce chatbot can make it easier to purchase on your website via mobile devices.
More than that, chatbots can also be created on certain social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to further strengthen your social commerce strategy.
Here’s an example of fashion label Michael Kors’ chatbot in action:
Following the first message, users are asked what they’re interested in hearing about and their location before the chatbot presents some options, in this instance including New Arrivals.
By selecting New Arrivals, users are able to start shopping with Michael Kors inside Facebook Messenger. Using a chatbot like this is a great way to make mobile buying a quick and simple process.
Personalization is an essential part of increasing sales in your online store. Eighty percent of consumers report that they’re more likely to buy from a business that offers personalized experiences, and 90% say personalization is highly appealing to them.
This means offering personalized recommendations to your customers is key, especially with regard to mobile commerce. If a customer is shopping on their phone, they’re less likely to browse through your entire catalog. You need to make it easy to find more product options.
For example, check out Hydro Flask’s offer of “compatible accessories” below—when a site user adds an insulated water bottle to their cart, they can also immediately add additional caps.
You should also personalize recommendations based on a customer’s purchase history. If the customer may have run out of something, you can include a Buy again? section on your website, or you can provide recommendations that would go well with products your customer has bought in the past. Shopify merchants can access a range of apps to help build a recommendation engine.
5 Ways to increase your mobile commerce sales
- Ensure your website is mobile optimized
- Shorten your checkout process
- Create your own mobile app or PWA
- Build an omnichannel customer experience
- Focus on social commerce and chatbots
Follow these five steps to deliver a mobile commerce experience that will keep customers coming back.
1. Ensure your website is mobile optimized
If you want your website to rank well in search, appeal to your customers, and increase your mobile sales, make sure it’s not just accessible but optimized for mobile users.
A few steps to keep in mind include:
- Check any changes you make to your website on both desktop and mobile.
- Use easy-to-read fonts that are large enough to be viewed on any screen.
- Use square or vertical images that can be easily seen on smaller screens.
- See what Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test has to say about your website.
- Choose a responsive theme for your online store.
- Make sure pop-ups, ads, and other items don’t obstruct views on mobile.
Pay attention to page load speeds. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to pay close attention to your page load time and minimize it as much as possible so you can maximize your online sales.
Shopify merchants can also rely on their Shopify online store speed report, located in their admin dashboard. With this tool, you’ll get a score out of 100—the higher the number, the faster your website.There are a number of ways to improve your Shopify store speed:
- Disable any apps you’re not using.
- Disable any theme features you’re not using.
- Hire a Shopify expert to ensure you don’t have inefficient coding.
- Size your product images down for web usage.
By decreasing your load time, you’re actively increasing your conversion rate.
2. Shorten your checkout process
Implement one-click or express checkout options like Shop Pay in order to make the mobile checkout process as quick and painless as possible. For example, see Shopify merchant Rare Device’s checkout screen (below), which offers customers six quick express checkout options based on how customers prefer to make payments.
Rare Device’s users can click on Shop Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal Express, Venmo, Google Pay, or MetaPay, where they are likely to have their information saved and can check out almost instantly.
3. Create your own mobile app or PWA
We’ve covered why mobile apps are useful; however, mobile app development can often seem daunting and expensive, especially for small businesses. This is where progressive web apps (PWAs) can come into play.
PWAs are essentially mini apps that still run on a browser—however, they’re much faster than a regular web browser. They’re cheaper and quicker to develop, making this the ideal solution for many businesses to offer a native mobile shopping experience.
4. Build an omnichannel customer experience
By ensuring your brand is available and accessible on mobile devices, you’re able to build an omnichannel customer experience.
A few ways to do this are:
- Offer coupons on your mobile app that can be used online and in-store.
- Have accounts accessible on both desktop and mobile browsers/apps.
- Allow users to track purchases on both channels, regardless of where the purchase was made.
- Create a cohesive messaging strategy across desktop and mobile encounters.
5. Focus on social commerce and chatbots
Nearly every social media platform offers some kind of social commerce option, and those that don’t likely have it in their pipeline. Take full advantage of this and create an online catalog on each of your social media platforms.
Furthermore, invest in a chatbot that you can connect to your Facebook and Instagram Messengers to help your customers find exactly what they’re looking for without needing live agents to take over the conversation.
Start paying attention to mobile commerce today
Mobile commerce isn’t a passing trend—it’s a key part of ecommerce that’s only going to grow. Start learning how to increase your mobile sales, and take advantage of Shopify’s mobile tools. Manage your business from your smartphone and make it easier for customers to purchase from their smartphones all in one fell swoop.
Mobile commerce FAQ
What does mobile commerce mean?
Mobile commerce is the act of completing an online transaction from a mobile device.
What are the 3 types of mobile commerce?
The three main types of mobile commerce are:
- Mobile shopping: Browsing stores via websites or mobile apps.
- Mobile payments: Submitting payments via mobile.
- Mobile banking: Handling banking transactions from a mobile device
What are the benefits of mobile commerce?
The benefits of mobile commerce include reaching an even wider audience of customers, providing an omnichannel and highly convenient shopping experience, and ensuring checkout options are quick and seamless for all shoppers.
What are the types of mobile payments?
The different types of mobile payments include:
- Mobile wallets: Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay.
- Mobile peer-to-peer: Zelle, Venmo, CashApp.
- SMS payments: Making a payment via SMS message.
- Mobile commerce: Online shopping or online transactions via mobile.
- Mobile point of sale (mPOS): A system that can turn any tablet or smartphone into a checkout point.