In a digital world where technological advances are booming and many businesses have shifted to an electronic landscape, the importance of business owners becoming savvy in the use of e-commerce is of critical importance. Taking this a step further, vendors are now expanding electronic business to mobile devices by means of m-commerce (i.e., mobile commerce, or monetary transactions completed on mobile devices). After all, recent studies suggest the average American spends 5.4 hours per day on their phone, which means branching from purely web-based transactions to business conducted through mobile mediums enables merchants to reach a wider audience while also increasing convenience and accessibility.
For those looking to optimize customer access and engagement by venturing into the realm of m-commerce, consider the following points as a primer as you navigate the world of mobile business.
Advantages of incorporating mobile commerce in your business strategy
If you have yet to be sold on the benefits of m-commerce, consider the following advantages:
- Convenience is key. As if online browsing and shopping weren’t enough, translating this principle of easy access to mobile devices places your goods and services directly at your consumers’ fingertips. It is now quicker, easier, and more convenient than ever for customers to browse, swipe, and place “one-click” orders.
- A wider range of payment options. Gone are the days of “cash, check, or money order.” Mobile applications and software simplify monetary transactions with user-friendly payment options ranging from mobile wallets to money transfers and mobile point of sale, says Kala Gibson, head of Business Banking for Fifth Third Bank.
- Enhanced shopping experience. Not only is shopping more convenient on mobile devices, but transactions are also faster because they require less data to be stored on servers. Furthermore, technological advances have allowed for the integration of chatbots in many mobile businesses, thus fostering interaction and increasing customer satisfaction.
- Customized browsing and tailored marketing. There is little doubt as to the benefits afforded by analytics, which are collected easily as prospective customers use their mobile devices. These analytics can then be used to customize and tailor the shopping experience and to target products on the basis of the demographic information and analytics collected from each person who frequents your mobile shop.
How to get started in the world of mobile commerce
Now that you are privy to the benefits of utilizing m-commerce, it is time to hone your strategy so that you can use m-commerce to increase the profitability of your business venture. The more you know about the options available to you, the more effectively you will be able to use these technologies to streamline your business, increase efficiency, and serve more customers.
As you begin to outline your strategy, the following tools are provided to help smooth your transition to the world of m-commerce.
Select user-friendly mobile point of sale (mPoS) software
As experienced merchants already know, the point of sale system is essential to running a top-notch business. Given the numerous advantages that mPoS systems offer, including affordability, user-friendly interfaces, mobility, and enhanced analytics, it is no wonder these systems are steadily taking over the marketplace. However, business owners should be cautioned that there is considerable variability among different mPoS software systems that are currently available. Notably, buyers should be sure to research whether the mPoS package they plan to purchase includes hardware such as cash drawers, barcode scanners, EMV card readers, and receipt printers that increase functionality. It is also recommended that retailers enable Near Field Communication (NFC) technology so that customers are able to use Android Pay and Apple Pay platforms to make m-Commerce transactions.
Become savvy about alternative payment options
The most effective and respected businesses provide customers with a variety of options, and a variety of convenient payment options are among the most important options you can offer.
- Mobile wallets offer the epitome of convenience, allowing users to store their credit card, shipping, and billing information safely and securely in one location. This is especially helpful in the m-commerce marketplace, as entering this information on a mobile device can be a tedious process. Mobile wallets can also make use of one-touch payment options to greatly expedite the check-out process. Contactless mobile payments enable customers to use mobile wallets to make payments at brick and mortar locations. Users simply hold their mobile device next to a terminal that is set up to accept this technology – no swiping, clicking, or entering required.
- Money transfers, such as those made popular by PayPal, are a convenient way to transfer money from one person or account to another. The software that enables money transfers does not require a mobile banking app, however many banks such as Fifth Third offer Zelle, a person-to-person payment service.
- In-app payments allow users to make purchases within mobile applications without navigating away from the app. These software packages, such as Square, allow payment to be integrated and processed quickly and Streamline your operations through the use of mobile invoicing software. For business owners, the steps involved in obtaining reimbursement for services can be one of the biggest hassles of the job. However, this process can be streamlined significantly through the use of mobile invoicing software, which can be used to generate invoices, bill customers, and monitor payments through one singular system.
Streamline your operations through the use of mobile invoicing software
For business owners, the steps involved in obtaining reimbursement for services can be one of the biggest hassles of the job. However, this process can be streamlined significantly through the use of mobile invoicing software, which can be used to generate invoices, bill customers, and monitor payments through one singular system. Quickbooks is one such software package; it allows merchants to store client information, bill for services, integrate with accounting software, and capture signatures with just a few clicks and swipes. Mobile invoicing software is an important key to increasing the efficiency and profitability of your business.
The world of m-commerce might feel overwhelming at first, but it is clear that the technological innovations it offers business owners are integral to sustaining a user-friendly marketplace for today’s generation of plugged-in consumers. Now more than ever, it is time to put your money where your market is and take the plunge into the waters of mobile commerce.