Mobile devices have revolutionized the way we access information, share our thoughts, network and now, even the way we do business. A research revealed that global mobile sales are expected to get $119 billion in 2015. Mobile commerce has received great consideration of businesses.
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Smartphones and smarter shoppers
E-commerce changed the way people do shopping and now mobile commerce (e-commerce integrated with mobile application) is morphing the retail environment again. Thanks to smartphones, consumers can get information to help with the purchase at a touch of button. Online shopping is three activities – browsing, researching and purchasing. Some people often spend a great deal of time on shopping.
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They browse, read reviews, compare different products and even discuss on social network to choose the most suitable ones before purchasing. Mobile devices really help users by allowing them to approach to the products’ information whenever and wherever they want. More and faster information means that it is easier for consumers to make a smarter purchase. The growth of consumer demand for speed and convenience leads to the change of retail industry.
According to research of Microsoft tag, 51% of smartphone users tend are more likely to purchase from retailers with a mobile specific website, however, only 4.8% retailers have a mobile site and the number of retailers having mobile app is small.
Mobile commerce – Future for retail
Customer relationship management: One of the advantages of mobile devices is that people can communicate everywhere. For this reason, the retailers can build relationship with their customers in an easier and more effective way. By sending regular greeting messages or helpful information, retailers would establish intimate connection with their customers and gradually make them become loyal customers.
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Potential marketing channel: Retailers can capture greater consumer attention thanks to mobile apps functions – Push notification and Personalization. Shoppers accept push notifications of retailers since they want to update new arrival or discount events. They are happy with receiving new messages from their favorite brands. Push notification would be a potential marketing channel for retailers.
Retailers can leverage on customers who downloaded their app, and capitalize on the social web, by linking up with customer Facebook account and then show them what their friends liked or keep tracking on products which they browse and offer discounts.
M-commerce & Fashion industry: Fashion retailers recently have got noticed mobile commerce. Mobile commerce is not only for low-price brands such as H&M or Zara, but also for luxury brands. Luxury Institute survey showed that 67% of wealthy smartphone users regular shop on their devices. In Zara stores, customers can always find new products—but they’re in limited supply, so they have to regularly update new products’ information. Zara’s mobile app helps them a lot by sending notifications of all new arrivals.
On the other hand, mobile commerce is still very new and it has several issues
The limits of small screen sizes: The small screen could make users annoyed. They might not get a good look and feel for products since they see too small images. As a result, customers might be hesitant to buy a product on mobile devices.
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Security and safety concerns: Users fear that their devices would be attacked by viruses or stolen personal data. A survey found that smartphone users felt exposed in public, concerned about someone peeking over their shoulder as information is keyed. This is why people felt more secure buying from sites where their buying data is already stored.
Speed & connection concern: Some users concern over slow or unstable connection, fearing they would be cut off in the middle of a transaction.
The businesses should address these problematic issues of mobile commerce and better take into account the behavior of smartphone users.
However, the technology already has several solutions:
- Making sure that Web & App design is friendly with mobile devices’ users will improve this matter significantly by enhance user experience.
- Building a native ecommerce application will: Reinforce the interaction and commitment with users & Improve the speed and security matter.
- Preventing the data from being altered, corrupted, or changed in any way during transmission by outside unauthorized parties.
- Integrating with cloud computing to increase the convenience and flexibility, manage security, allow access from everywhere, and be easier to manage and control.
- Using digital signature for transactions
It is so important that all channels, including mobile, websites, card machines etc., all link together and lead into one reporting and administration format so that businesses have a single view of your customer. Businesses need to provide customers with a truly integrated digital experience.
The mobile commerce revolution has entered its time. Those who understand it could take advantages, and for those who do not, the future commerce would be challenging.
Crave Vend, a Smart POS Solution for retail business is a successful case study for application of retail industry developed by Savvycom Software. Integrated with cloud, secured payment, and got continuous updates, the app is being used in over 50 restaurants in the USA. This could be a great example of applying M-commerce in retail industry.