M-Commerce Platforms - A Boon for Local Retailers

VARINDIA, Top Technology Trends, 21st December, 2015

For bricks-and-mortar stores, the steady growth of online sales is breathing new life into the physical stores of some retailers. These companies understand that as e-commerce thrives, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish an online sale from an offline one. Local retailers can use m-commerce as part of marketing strategy to interact with potential customers. Mobile commerce (m-commerce) allows consumers to make use of Smartphone to complete online transactions. With the steady increase in mobile tech developments in recent years, many local retailers have made mobile commerce, or m-commerce, a priority. Whether it’s using a tablet in a brick-and-mortar store or enabling sales through a mobile website, businesses across a wide range of industries are seeking solutions to help them adapt to a mobile-obsessed world.

With the swarming mobile applications and everything happening via Smartphone, we’ve seen an uptake in technology. Consumers feel as though they’re taking control of their own retail experience and retailers have been able to save money on resources. These days the e-commerce is shifting more towards m-commerce with burgeoning use of mobile devices that have access to internet and are an easy buy.

As many businesses have been focused on creating mobile-friendly sites, it is important to have an app strategy also. In a recent PayPal global mobile survey of shopping trends, 47% of those who have shopped by mobile said that they prefer to use an app over a browser, for convenience and speed. The same survey also found that a younger demographic, 18-34 year olds, accounts for 59% of mobile shoppers.

Smartphone are handy and mobile applications these days are lag-free and user-friendly, making the purchase experience swift. A high perceived value of such time-saving apps is crucial to success. Many retailers with successful apps have differentiated their apps’ functionality. For example, there is a m-commerce player M1-order that allows customers to scan QR codes available on the printed collaterals such as brochures and catalogues from the mobile devices. The scanned code automatically adds the product to the cart and there you go! This allows local retailers to connect offline store with the online audience. Mobile phones enable retailers to communicate with their customers, and QR codes provide an interactive way to do so. QR codes in print campaigns like catalogues, menu cards, business cards can help customers to directly place orders instead of taking them to website. These new additions in the m-commerce industries not only help the consumers but, mostly the local retailers to attract more customers. Right now, it is not enough for retailers to just make sure that their customers have a great in-store experience, but they also innovate to get new customers, keep their existing ones, and make them want to keep coming back. This traditional retailer may be providing excellent examples of building m-commerce successfull, which can be adopted and executed by any other brick-and-mortar business.

The most successful local retailers will give shoppers a seamless experience and be able to work with customers whether they walk into a store, order online, via mobile browser, via an app, or call on the phone. Being able to make a purchase on one channel and return to another is also important to consumers. So that could mean ordering online and picking up or making a return in-store. The most successful retailers will unify their online and in-store merchandising, meeting and recognizing shoppers wherever they choose to engage with the brand. Local retailers are clamouring to jump on the m-commerce bandwagon in an attempt to keep up with consumers’ growing trust on mobile tech. But the desire to increase your mobile offerings shouldn’t trump what matters most – your core business.

Compiled by Tejinder Oberoi, Founder Director, m1-Order

Read the article in the e-magazine: http://www.varindia.com/m-commerce-platforms-a-boon-for-local-retailers/