How SMBs Can Keep Up With Mobile Commerce

Inplace #2

ADOTAS — It’s no secret that mobile commerce is on the upswing. According to Business Insider, as recently as 2010, mobile commerce represented only 3% of total e-commerce. According to comScore, by the 2012 holiday shopping season, it rose to 11%, translating to $18.6 billion in consumer spending (not including travel spending). With that said, m-commerce market share is expected to hit 15% of total e-commerce by the end of 2013.

Is keeping up really that complicated?

Despite the clear trend, the question remains: Why are small and medium-sized businesses yet to embrace the mobile trend?

At first glance, stepping into the mobile landscape might seem an overwhelmingly complex process, which might help explain SMB hesitation to devote budgets to building and maintaining a presence on mobile. From building a mobile website or app that supports a wide-range of devices to finding a billing solution that will enable them to sell products via mobile. And of course, the last big hurdle, effectively promoting a small business in such a densely packed environment, commonly thought to require big bucks.

The good news is that recent innovations help simplify the process to a point where even Mom & Pop businesses can create a mobile presence and successfully start promoting  products, with close to zero mobile expertise.

An app-in-a-minute

Mobile sites and apps have become a necessity for many businesses. Recent suggest over 60% of consumers use their mobile devices to conduct product or service research. With just a 25% penetration rate so far, tablets account for well over 40% of mobile traffic to e-commerce sites, making them a medium that retailers, should not ignore.

Establishing a mobile presence doesn’t mean a large design budget. Plenty of service providers create mobile sites at little to no cost, these platforms are often cookie-cutter by nature and are more than adequate for the SMB owner looking to get started.

One of the most prominent examples out there is Dudamobile, a do-it-yourself mobile website platform. If a business already has a website in place, all that needs to be done is to enter a few identification factors and Duda will do all the rest, converting it into a perfectly functional website that’s suitable for mobile.

Billing inside

Finding a billing solution has proved to be a difficult task for most e-commerce businesses, let alone SMBs that deal with credit-card processing, local regulations, strict security issues, etc.

The new industry of mobile payment processing now offers SMB-type merchants a simple comprehensive solution. One example is Zooz, which developed a unique payment approach that is focused on users’ behaviors and needs and not just on technical aspects of payments. Zooz has partnered with leading payment gateways, processors, and e-wallets in the world to ensure that both consumers and merchants enjoy full flexibility.By integrating a simple SDK, merchants are provided with ready-made payment screens, with a customizable UI that are constantly optimized and personalized, based on smart consumer insights, increasing the chances of consumers completing successful transactions.

Getting noticed – or getting sales?

The final challenge in mobile commerce is driving sales. Current mobile advertising models including cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) are not focused on what really matters to small m-commerce owners – actual sales.

Small m-commerce merchants now have an option to put their dollars into guaranteed fulfillment of their marketing goals, working with a cost-per-action (CPA) pricing model paying only for sales conversions. This unique approach reduces risk by guaranteeing a return on marketing investment. One example is MassiveImpact, which enables merchants to promote their mobile sites and apps paying only when actual consumer purchases are completed.

Real Time Performance (RTP), for example, is a new mobile advertising approach developed by MassiveImpact targeting specific users based on past purchases and mobile behavior history.

Mobile age for everyone

Small m-commerce businesses need to engage their customers in the space in which they live, work and play, and more often than not that means on mobile. With local-business search going mobile, along with a big portion of online shopping, SMBs are not able to adapt in an ever-changing digital ecosystem, where service is more personal than ever.

Yes, mobile commerce is accessible, the solutions are out there. And it doesn’t take a ton of computer skills or a mammoth budget to gain mobile visibility and start driving business.

Brick-and-mortar retailing and traditional marketing efforts are not going to disappear any time soon, but mobile now offers a low entry cost-effective approach that optimizes marketing costs.