What is M-Commerce? 

According to Investopedia, M-Commerce is the use of wireless handheld devices such as cellular phones and tablets to conduct commercial transactions online.

Mobile commerce allows potential customers to search for products, compare prices, and make payments effortlessly from anywhere just with their smartphones.

Offering a wider reach than the internet, mobile commerce allows for easy, cheap, and fast immediate communication. It also improves the sale process, giving customers mobile options in order to have more flexibility in deciding how and when to interact. m-Commerce helps to improve operational efficiency by automating the brand’s point of customer contact, sales, distribution, and service.

Mobile Commerce Is Booming

In an article published in 2015, Forbes reported that by 2020, not only will more transactions take place via our mobile devices, whether it’s our smartphones or wearable technology leveraging near-field communication (NFC) technology, but also we will see the emergence of even more streamlined payment experiences.

According to Smart Insights, mobile commerce is expected to become a $250 billion market by 2020. The rapid smartphone growth and expansion, analytics and predictive technologies, hybrid solutions, wearable tech, and geo/location-based programming will make retailers rethink their strategies.

In order to grow the number of purchases on mobile devices, social networks, payment processors and card networks are all developing solutions that make the users’ shopping experience easier on smartphones and tablets. In an effort to convert desktop shoppers to mobile, brands are implementing features like on-site buy buttons, single-click checkout, financing services, and unified offline-to-online commerce experiences.

Tech trends set to impact the mobile commerce market

For a successful mobile commerce app, it is important to create a design with the user in mind, based on the latest internet development technologies and tools.

Regarding technologies that can be implemented in an M-Commerce app, Mobile Image Recognition and Voice Activated Search can bring the customer’s shopping experience a step further.Using Mobile Image Recognition technology, a person can receive various recommendations of similar products on sale, just by taking a snapshot of a product they like.With voice activation technology integrated into the app,  the customer will be able to speak directly to the app and create shopping lists.

Machine learning algorithms can be used for online recommendations, and to know what customers share about your brand. This helps to get a deeper insight into the customer journey, and offer a unified intuitive experience across channels.

For a next level shopping experience,  integrating AR experiences and using micro-moments will be a must in the near future. Goldman Sachs estimates VR/AR will generate at least $1.6billion in revenue from $31.5million users within the next decade.

Advertising in M-Commerce

To improve retention, keep users engaged with your app by using push notifications. Regarding the schedule your push notifications, it is important to take into account the time of past events in the app, like when your user usually opens the app and send him a link to the last product he looked at.

To drive engagement, we recommend you to implement a user-generated content (UGC) strategy. This will encourage users to interact with the brand and will add a human factor into the marketing messages.

Retargeting is also important in an M-Commerce advertising strategy as users can easily migrate from one app to another. But the lack of cookies on mobile makes it difficult to execute. When you look for a retargeting partner, it is important to take into account their ability to perform dynamic retargeting, dynamic creative building and their ability to build an automated product feed.

Next, we present you two case studies of successful M-Commerce advertising campaigns.

Flipboard Social Catalog- using micro-moments to create an easy to shop mobile ”brand magazine”

To reintroduce Levi’s brand to a younger audience, the brand partnered with Flipboard, the world’s first social magazine for iPad, iPhone, and Android, to introduce beautiful full-page ads that connected readers to the first curated, shoppable “brand magazine” on Flipboard.

The campaign employed Flipboard, a massive app with over nine million monthly users that aggregates social and professional content dynamically into a digital magazine. The high-impact imagery was inserted into nine major publications’ editorial sections on Flipboard.

The Levi’s magazine, a rich, custom digital experience, was tied to sales, allowing for full e-commerce capabilities without having to leave the Flipboard app and becoming the first-ever shoppable magazine. The content section included photos, editorial, and social content from the brand’s various owned media properties, as well as advertorials from the Fall 2012 campaign and shoppable looks, which could be added to the cart within the app experience and seamlessly purchased.

In addition to the shoppable magazine, the campaign included full-page ads with nine Flipboard publications, including Vanity Fair, Details, Glamour, ESPN, and Fast Company. Action on ads directed readers to Levi’s shoppable magazine, and readers could navigate within Levi’s section to designated shopping collections for men and women. The content was fully shareable across all social networks, and the products were shoppable via integration with the e-commerce engine.

The Levi’s and Flipboard partnership generated awareness among a younger, mobile audience, and was a hugely successful first-of-its-kind mobile execution. Engaging content generated 1.8 million flips (digital page turns) within the shoppable magazine, leading to more than 160,000 clicks to the e-commerce experience.

Metal Mulisha: utilizing machine learning and predictive analytics to create an optimized mobile commerce experience

With more than 1.6 million fans on Facebook and 76,000 followers on Twitter, alternative clothing line Metal Mulisha wanted to increase personalized engagement across all channels and e-commerce sites.

The personalized mobile commerce campaign was phase two of a project using a predictive analytics platform to personalize the brand’s online experience. The first phase of the campaign was desktop personalization, which resulted in a 67 percent increase in conversion rate. After seeing the success on desktop, Metal Mulisha extended the success with a mobile experience.

The mobile optimization app utilized both machine learning and predictive analytics to identify shoppers based on the device they used as well as a number of past and present behaviors. Responsive design technology allowed retailers to provide an optimal viewing experience for the shopper across all devices. 

Additionally, Metal Mulisha captured each user’s login from every device and learned to recognize customers, and their devices, to provide a personalized experience using real-time optimization.

For the personalized mobile commerce campaign, Metal Mulisha shifted the layout of featured and personalized products, since mobile device screen sizes vary. The resulting experience provided fewer elements on each page with selections specifically tailored to the individual, making the browsing experience faster and targeted. Product information was presented in order of importance, with clean, short-form digestible content fit for mobile. The site also minimized download lags or excessive file sizes, considering that many mobile devices accessed the site via the narrower bandwidth of cellular networks.

By identifying user trends and tailoring the experience to each customer, Metal Mulisha increased mobile device revenue four times over, with an astonishing 35 percent increase in revenue for smartphones and 25 percent increase in revenue for tablets for a total of 60 percent revenue increase for all mobile devices in just 30 days.