What is a Mobile Commerce Website?

by Oct 19, 2020Design, Development

Mobile eCommerce sites (AKA mCommerce sites) are the key to future success in the online retail industry. It’s one thing to start an online store, but your web pages need a responsive design. The platform of choice for this would be Shopify.

Whether you hire responsive web designers or do it all in house, Shopify’s eCommerce platform has mobile responsive design built in. This convenience tied together with the prevalence of mobile browsing, makes future mobile commerce growth inevitable.

What is Mobile eCommerce (mCommerce)?

There is not too much of a difference when comparing mCommerce vs eCommerce. The main thing is right in the name. mCommerce stores are responsive eCommerce websites — mobile optimized websites with layouts that adapt to the size of the screen they are viewed on for a more pleasant user experience — or apps.

mCommerce is one of a few recent offshoots of eCommerce. Since a majority of online searches and online browsing happens on smartphones and tablets, it only makes sense that responsive online stores would grow in demand over the last decade.

What’s more is that this trend hasn’t shown signs of slowing down at any point, nor does anyone expect it to. This is more evident on the transactional side of eCommerce. mCommerce does describe online shopping for mobile devices, but also the process through which the actual funds are transferred.

Examples of non-retail mCommerce services include popular mobile payment apps such as Venmo and Cash App, or even banking apps. These apps’ saturation of the financial industry push the idea of mCommerce even more so and suggest that we’re experiencing a revolution in the way online companies do business.

mCommerce is the secret to making money with Shopify, WooCommerce or any other eCommerce platform you may be using.

How Do I Make an mCommerce Store?

As stated above, mCommerce stores are online stores optimized for mobile shopping. That means having a user experience that works well for any mobile device. This involves integrating responsive design and mobile payment gateways into your digital storefront.

Stores with these features come in two styles: mobile apps and websites. Since standalone apps still don’t push as many transactions as the browsable internet, we will focus on the latter.

Responsive Design for mCommerce Stores

Online store builders and platforms such as Shopify will allow you to cater to your mobile users by offering a responsive eCommerce theme. This keeps the online shopping experience seamless, regardless of the size of users’ browser windows.

Shopify can further integrate with your existing WordPress website to build out an online store using your current theme. This involves having your WordPress development agency tie the platform into your CMS through a plugin.

WordPress, itself, is also a strong contender in the mobile browsing realm with a variety of website templates that have responsive design best practices baked in. This dream team dedicated to working with responsive design is exactly what you need to launch your mCommerce store and drive future growth.

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Payment Gateways for mCommerce Stores

Don’t have a readily accessible responsive platform like WordPress or Shopify? The second half of user experience is behind the scenes, and in this case, relates directly to the profitability of your store.

mCommerce focuses on streamlining the entire online shopping experience, including the payment processes involved therein, for mobile users. mCommerce payment gateways are the key to doing this right.

Allowing payment to your store through already established mCommerce gateways will make your store more mobile friendly even without a finely tuned responsive design. Examples of such gateways include: 

  • PayPal
  • CashApp
  • Venmo
  • Google Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • and more…

What are the Advantages to mCommerce?

Aside from its growth potential and prominence in today’s market, mCommerce comes with substantial benefits you may be lacking without one of the above mentioned systems.

Returning Customers

A pillar of mCommerce is accessibility. With an audience that is increasingly mobile, you stand a greater chance of retaining long term clients and returning customers. We’re not always in a situation where a laptop and WiFi is accessible. Sometimes a smartphone and the ever-present cellular data plan is our only way to connect to the online world.

Larger Audience

A major pain point of retail is finding the right market and successfully reaching outside audiences you may not currently cater to. Mobile friendly online shopping expands the customer pool by:

  • shrinking generation gaps.
  • increasing accessibility.
  • improving mobile user experience.

As we had discussed, commerce is becoming increasingly digital and now mobile. These changes are all about accessibility and convenience.

Commerce is becoming increasingly digital and now mobile. These changes are all about accessibility and convenience. Click To Tweet

What are the Disadvantages of mCommerce?

The most apparent disadvantages of mCommerce revolve around the requirements for an ideal mobile shopping experience and geographic limitations. Responsive design paired with a variety of mobile-friendly payment systems should be incorporated into your mCommerce website.

Pairing Mobile Payments with Responsive Design 

You can definitely get by with only having a responsive WordPress eCommerce website or by having a non-responsive site that offers streamlined payment methods. However, if you’re truly looking to build an all encompassing user experience for a mobile audience, you will need to include both sides of the coin.

A beautifully laid out site for a phone or tablet powered by the ability to pay through an already streamlined and seamless payment gateway — ideally one popular enough that a majority of your audience already has set up for themselves — is the way to go.

That’s not to say all hope is lost if you simply can’t incorporate both aspects of mCommerce, obviously. There’s nothing wrong with traditional eCommerce payment protocols such as inputting credit card numbers and linking PayPal accounts to store accounts.

However, mCommerce platforms are aware of this wrinkle. If you’re using a platform such as Shopify, this pain point is already taken care of for you as it will have integrations with these new payment methods built in. This is great news, as the more payment methods and gateways you can offer on your site, the less likely you’ll run into geographic restrictions.

Geographic Restrictions

Not all payment gateways are created equal. There are limitations in certain countries and regions that don’t allow every customer of yours to use your preferred payment method. What works in the United States or Canada, may not necessarily be available in South Africa or China.

The more options you provide to your customers to pay for the contents of their shopping cart, the more likely they are to complete their transactions.

Again, mCommerce platforms are aware of this wrinkle. They are a company too. They want to get as many people as possible using their infrastructure when it comes to online shopping and payments. Shopify, for example, strives to stay available in as many countries as possible.

mCommerce: The Next Generation of eCommerce

When it comes to online shopping, innovations are being made everyday. There are plenty of new services, systems and protocols being developed and adopted everywhere. Take a moment to audit your current eCommerce or brick and mortar operation.

Could your business benefit from simplifying sales for a mobile audience? Figure out exactly what your customer base wants and needs from you to continue their support. Spoiler alert: Accessibility will definitely come up and mCommerce will be the number one solution.

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