How To Get Mobile Payments (mcommerce) To Work For Your Business

During Chinese New Year 2016, on Monday 8th February, WeChat, a popular Chinese social network, handled more transactions on a single day – all through smartphones – than PayPal in an entire year.

People sent 4.9 billion transactions through PayPal in 2015, with 28% through mobile devices, whereas WeChat saw 8.08 billion transfers take place over 24 hours – eight times more than 2015.wechat

Europe and the U.S. aren’t slow to adopt mobile transactions and mcommerce; some regions, particularly China & South East Asia simply skipped the browser phase and went straight tonsmartphones. Hence, the West playing catch up when it comes to mobile commerce.

European customers are starting to catch up. Shopping on smartphones is a fast growing trend, following in the wake of browsing and searching on phones and tablets. Laptops are more often seen as work items, whereas phones and tablets are seen as leisure devices, making them ideal for browsing and buying everything from suntan lotion to holidays.

Ecommerce is already the fastest growing retail market in the world, with sales expected to hit £182 billion in 2016 (up 16.7% from 2015). Mobile commerce (mcommerce) accounts for around 20% of these sales, with the UK (28.6%), Germany (27.7%) and Sweden (26.2%) ahead of the curve in 2015.

Should Your Business Accept Mobile Payments?

Businesses that sell goods and services to consumers will lose them to competitors if they aren’t equipped to take mobile payments. This is now the equivalent of still selling products through catalogues when everyone else already has a website.

Facebook IQ has found that around holiday seasons (Black Friday through to Christmas) mobile sales rise 30 percent. Interestingly, those who own a smartphone and laptop are “more likely to have higher disposable income and be tech-savvy.” These customers will feel more confident buying through a well-designed, mobile friendly online store.

Research also highlights the fact that Millennials are the future of mobile commerce since 69% already buy products through their smartphones. Businesses that invest in mcommerce now will generate more online revenue and future-proof their digital presence. Growth is set to continue, with smart retailers looking for ways to improve mobile checkouts to reduce abandonment rates and increase revenue.

How To Get Started With Mcommerce

Since 21 April 2015, Google started to penalise websites that weren’t mobile friendly. This is now a key “ranking signal” that will have “a significant impact” on where a website appears in search results. Google is already noticing a major shift in where searches are conducted: from laptops to smartphones.

Google also say that 67% more people will buy from mobile-friendly websites. Getting started in mcommerce means designing (or modifying) a website to ensure it’s as easy to use and navigate on a smartphone as a desktop. This may mean serving a different – less copy, smaller images, etc. – version when it’s clear someone is accessing it from a smartphone.

Checkouts should be simple and short on any device, but mcommerce demands a clear, simple buying process. Customers don’t want to spend longer than necessary typing details into a small screen. Cut out as many input fields as possible. Avoid duplication or confusing error messages. Both are reasons customers will abandon carts. Ensuring your search, buying and checkout process are easy-to-use will help you win and retain customers on mobile devices.

The future of ecommerce is mcommerce and those merchants who make this process easy for customers now, will build loyalty and longevity with their customers securing this revenue stream into the future.