Mobile commerce has been on the rise in the past few years, with over 50% of users accessing the Internet on a mobile device, according to We Are Social. But what exactly is it?
M-commerce simply involves buying or selling online through the use of a mobile device. It is rapidly changing the way we shop by allowing users access to the internet whilst on the go. Various technological advances have made shopping on mobile devices easier for consumers. For example, the creation of mobile shopping applications.
Smartphone manufacturers are also adapting to the growth of mobile usage by enlarging their devices, to improve the user experience and make it easier for consumers to shop successfully on their mobiles.
The development of m-commerce goes hand-in-hand with social commerce, as social media users are increasingly accessing networks on mobile devices. Social commerce has been on the upsurge by the use of ‘Buy Now’ buttons and increased social media advertising.
Twitter has launched a method of social commerce, a Twitter Payments option that allows its users in France to send money to others using a single tweet. A disadvantage of this payment method is that although the social media sites can ensure payment is encrypted, weak passwords for customer’s accounts can allow access to hackers.
Instagram recently made changes to its social platform last year by allowing businesses to advertise and encourage users to take action on posts by clicking on ‘Shop Now’ and ‘Learn More’ buttons.
Messaging apps are becoming increasingly popular in e-commerce websites. Social platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp have already introduced integrated options for businesses to use to engage with their consumers.
Facebook Live Chat for businesses allows organizations to use Facebook Messenger as the live chat feature for their website. It is an effective tool to use as many consumers are already familiar with its functions. Facebook Messaging for businesses allows companies to send shipping details, order confirmations, as well as host customer support.
WhatsApp makes it easy for companies to connect with their customers via real-time chat in which they can send images and videos of products almost immediately. Snapchat have been slowly introducing its own e-commerce platform in which its users will be able to shop and view new products via video ads.
With the successful introduction of Apple Pay and Android Pay to make payments in store, mobile devices have now begun to be used online. These payment services let users pay for goods and services both online and in the physical world using their mobile phones.
This has offered the process of one-touch payments known as “touch commerce” where payment services can be accessed from any merchants’ mobile site or app to complete a payment. Companies such as innovative fashion retailers ASOS have recently introduced the Apple Pay service to their immense selection of payment options.
Google have also launched a mobile payment system known as Google Wallet. Similar to Apple Pay and Android Pay, the procedure allows users to make online as well as in-store payments. Using a Gmail account or mobile app, users can also send money to others using an email address or mobile number.
The popular online retailer, Amazon, recently announced plans to introduce methods of payment on their sites by taking selfies. This payment method would work by consumers taking a photograph of their face to confirm payment.
MasterCard have already been trialing this new method of payment known as ‘Selfie Pay’ in which users download a mobile app which uses biometrics like fingerprints or facial recognition to verify a cardholder’s identity. Taking a selfie photo with the front camera uses facial recognition technology, which can help confirm the user’s identity in order to make a payment.
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