Mobile commerce is still in a Demand-Supply Imbalance

The value of commerce transactions conducted via mobile handsets/tablets will exceed US $120 Billion by 2017 with 150 Million users. Mobile commerce growth is driven by increasing convenience, value & security available to the consumers via smart devices. But most of the retailers are still not able to figure out the best mobile experience with respect to their mobile websites and mobile apps. Mobile commerce has become more of a buyer’s market.

“Merchants are still in 1st baby steps with Mobile and Mobile Data,” says Kristina Yee, Analyst, Gigaom Research.

A report by UniteU shows measurement of mCommerce site speeds and capabilities for a broad range of retailers. The report reveals that 22 out of 27 sites surveyed showed a load time of longer than 13 seconds for the home page over a 3G network connection. The average home page load time was 25.75 seconds. For product pages, the worst load time recorded was 50.41 seconds and that too came from a multi-billion dollar company. The average product page load time was 29.83 seconds.

According to Aberdeen Group, a 1 second delay in website page load can lead to 7% loss in conversions. Even some mCommerce mobile apps have been showing certain lags in performance. A BankInnovation article cites an example of the McDonald’s mobile app which has shown quite some issues from customer experience perspective. Firstly, it doesn’t give a location map like UI depicting nearest outlets based on GPS location. This makes it ineffective for those not familiar with their area. The McD app talks about “order ahead” feature but upon payment of the order, it asks the user to get the QR code, generated by the app, scanned at the outlet in order to submit the order. Now that doesn’t suffice much as “order ahead”. The app may also give error in sending the order post QR code scan in certain cases.

Seems retailers lack the punch in fulfilling the demand and really need to step up. M-commerce accounted for 15 – 17 percent of retail ecommerce sales in 2013. There is huge scope of m- commerce, in both online and in-store. Retailers and merchants should make effective use of devices for discovery, payment, deals & offers. Other important aspects include improving channels pertaining to direct traffic and others like email extend lead over social media. Proximity marketing and contextual offer will take off and pose a big opportunity if deployed effectively through partnerships.


Ray has keen interest in the area of devices, OS and wireless technologies. He is a Mobile Technology enthusiast and believes that Mobility is going to completely change the way we do Payments and Commerce. He wishes to share this belief with the world by providing such content through LetsTalkPayments. Ray has done his engineering as well as MBA.

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