Mobile commerce, also known as m-commerce, is arguably one of the most important advancements in
e-commerce and continues to gain momentum. With consumers constantly connected to their mobile
devices, m-commerce offers the opportunity to make purchases anytime, anywhere.
Despite the growth of m-commerce, there appears to be a significant disconnect between the amount
of time and money users spend across e-commerce platforms. For example, according to comScore,
technology users spend 59 percent of their time on mobile devices, but only 15 percent of total virtual
dollars. This is compared to the roughly 41 percent of time spent on desktop computers, which brings in
85 percent of the digital profit. The disparity between the two is known as the m-commerce gap —
consumers are shopping on mobile but buying via desktop.
To gain traction in closing the m-commerce gap, one important step is to understand your customers.
Research from Worldpay’s 2015 Online Payment Journey study found that 60 percent of survey
respondents prefer to make an online account instead of using a guest login, and nearly three-quarters
feel more confident making an online payment when authentication and certificate logos are
displayed. Additionally, the research found that more than 50 percent of respondents would forego
their purchases if asked to input the same information more than once. In many cases, this seamless
customer experience is readily available for traditional desktop e-commerce, but has yet to fully reach
How can e-commerce merchants and payments providers work together in an effort to close the m-
commerce gap once and for all? Following are several approaches merchants should keep in mind.
Put the customer first
Attention to the customer experience goes beyond the store, and mobile platforms should be a clear
and consistent extension of a brand. To meet the consumer preferences outlined above, consider
making the customer experience a priority, so m-commerce can be as seamless and convenient as
traditional e-commerce. From communication alerts, to email receipts, to an intuitive layout, consumers
want dependable interactions with merchants whether they’re interacting via smartphone, tablet,
desktop or another device. One way to place an emphasis on the customer experience regardless of
platform is to collaborate with a provider who has thrown out the “one-size-fits-all” mentality and,
instead, can provide easy-to-integrate, customizable technology in-line with the needs of your mobile
Prioritize function over form
Usability and speed matter first and foremost. Mobile customers want simple, effective designs that
enable them to get in and out with their purchases as quickly as possible. The visual aesthetic is
important, but make sure your mobile app design accommodates speed and repeatability as the primary
goal. As mentioned above, more than half of customers would abandon an intended purchase if asked
to input the same information more than once — such as credit card information or billing address. To
cut down on transaction time, make a concerted effort to incorporate cutting-edge payments
technology into your mobile website or app.
Payment processing features like credit card vaulting, pre-authorization on transactions and one-touch
payment functionality have the potential to enhance the mobile experience. These options and more
accelerate and automate purchases for consumers while simultaneously helping to manage traffic on
your end. Rather than going it alone, working with a payment partner offers a gateway to these
Don’t overlook your other channels
No matter how much time you spend perfecting your m-commerce strategy, don’t overlook your other
channels. Multi-channel strategies with a strong mobile platform but weak in-store and online
touchpoints will likely fall short in meeting customer expectations. A revamp to implement or improve
the mobile experience opens the door to update other channels as well.
Solutions like a real-time, omnichannel inventory monitoring system can keep merchants ahead of the
curve on every platform. Systems that track inventory on all platforms, present real-time updates on
what’s selling best and move stock as needed, all through a simple interface, can give merchants a
better handle on purchases across touchpoints. Such a system can also lead to more satisfied customers
in the long run, as you can make sure to replenish any inventory across all channels.
Track your steps
Mobile platforms are almost never a “one-and-done” technology. Apps go through many versions and
upgrades until they find the perfect fit with consumers. Even once the app appears to be a perfect fit,
new technology is constantly developed to even further improve the customer experience. To make the
most of your mobile app and encourage customers to continue shopping via mobile device, be sure to
keep a detailed analysis of what works and what doesn’t with each new version. Also take stock of what
your consumers are saying to improve each edition of your mobile program and avoid potential
roadblocks to the customer experience.
While the m-commerce gap remains fairly wide, following these steps can help merchants encourage
increased m-commerce transactions and conversion rates. The Global Payments Report from Worldpay
projects m-commerce to continue with its steady growth, reaching nearly one-quarter (23%) of all e-
commerce spending by 2019.