Pres:Digital Marketing - Mobile Commerce

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Digital Marketing - Mobile Commerce

Digital Marketing - Mobile Commerce

Title Digital Marketing - Mobile Commerce
Target group Students, Beginners
Topics Mobile Commerce
Go to slideshow Go to print version

Public summary

An overall introduction to Mobile commerce, also named m-commmerce. You will learn what mobile commerce is and its opportunities and challenges. Also several key business choices regarding mobile commerce are discussed. The presentation concludes with the future trends of mobile commerce (the rise of smart devices and intelligent agents).



This is the overall framework of the Digital Marketing couse. We will start with explaining the elements of an online marketing plan. Than we will zoom in on the different marketing aspects based on the customer journey. We start with those online media most suitable to reach consumers and slowly move down the funnel. In the end we discuss customer loyalty which has as goal to re-start the entire process from the beginning.

  • What is mobile commerce?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges?
  • Key choices around mobile commerce
    • Mobile site or mobile app?
    • Separate mobile site or responsive site?
  • How to create content for mobile devices?
  • What will the future of mobile commerce be?
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Mobile commerce, also called m-commerce or mcommerce, can be defined as the sales of goods and services, plus information delivery via mobile devices.


Mobile commerce has been around since 1997. At first, it was limited to buying ringtones and paying services through text messages. In 1999, the first browsing-like mobile applications were introduced and the most important one was i-Mode. The video below gives an impression of the, at that time, “wow” effect of i-Mode.


As the graph above shows, mobile commerce has grown rapidly over the last few years. Several factors have driven its growth:

  • The rise in popularity of apps (special applications meant for mobile devices)
  • Stronger mobile phones with larger screens
  • Higher bandwidth, moving from 3G to 4G and 5G in 2020 and beyond.


Depending on the country, mobile traffic to websites is now 50% or more. Companies no longer have a choice to support mobile phones and tablets. However, the conversion ratio of mobile traffic, and especially mobile phones, is in many countries much lower than traditional traffic via larger screens. In other words, consumers often use mobile phones to orientate themselves but the actual completion of the transaction is often done on larger devices. The graphs below show figures for the US market. While mobile traffic to websites has surpassed the 40% in the US in 2016, the ecommerce share of mobile has “only” grown to 7.6% in the same year.

  • Mobile adaptation: In many Asian countries people do not possess a laptop or PC. The mobile phone is their only access device to the Internet as it is cheaper and takes up less space in the Asian home.
  • Mobile commerce is not easy: Offering a well-designed mobile online shop is not easy. The screen is much smaller and bandwidth is limited. In addition many standard online payment methods are less well supported for mobile devices.
  • (Late) adoption of mobile by retailers: Offering a mobile commerce site is not cheap. As a result, many mobile shopping experiences are not ideal to say the least.
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The moment when people use mobile commerce also differs. Mobile seems to rule the morning. The laptop/PC is preferred during working hours and in the evening when people tend to relax on the couch.

  • Closer/longer
  • Bar code scanning
  • User identification
  • Product identification
  • Augmented reality
  • Location based services
  • Mobile wallet
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Mobile commerce is not just another screen that enables people to buy online. Mobile devices offer several interesting features that can augment ecommerce:


We carry our mobile phone with us during the entire day. According to some studies we touch our mobile 110 times a day. As a result, mobile phones allow us to be in contact with their users much more frequently than laptops or PCs.


It is easy to show a barcode or QR code on a mobile phone. This allows all kinds of new features like using the mobile phone as a ticket, voucher, coupon or gift card.


The mobile phone is quickly becoming a way to identify a user. This can be done in several ways:

  • A text message can be send to the device with a pin code
  • An RFID chip can be integrated into the mobile phone
  • Each mobile phone has a MAC address which can be used for identification


The camera of the mobile device can be used as a scanner to quickly retrieve product information. Even if no bar code or QR code is available, some apps can scan the photo and identify what product is shown.


The mobile GPS chip, the WIFI network, the mobile’s bluetooth signal and the mobile network itself can all be used to determine where the user is. While the location cannot be precisely identified, the user is usually placed within 10 - 30 meters of his actual location. This allows for several location based-services, including:

  • sending discount offers to consumers nearby to attract them to the store. However, please note that in practice few consumers seem to appreciate unsolicited promotions.
  • helping customers to find the store itself and (if the right technology is available) even a product or staff associate within the store.
  • offering additional product information based on where the consumer is within the store.

Which other kinds of location based services can you think off?

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Nowadays, there are hundreds of mobile payment methods offered which make mobile payment easier. These so-called wallets not only make online payments easier but in-store payments as well. Just holding your mobile against the POS can be enough to pay.


With the rise of mobile as preferred shopping device and all the new opportunities mobile commerce offers retailers, many retailers have adopted a “mobile-first strategy”. This means that the retailer first develops new features for his mobile website and apps before he copies them to the web, making them accessible for PCs and laptops.

  • Screen size
  • No keyboard
  • Bandwidth
  • Payment
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  • Hardware (Samsung, Apple, HTC, …)
  • Operating system (iOS, Android, Microsoft)
  • Browers (Explorer, Opera, Chrome, Firefox…)
  • Screen sizes (tablet, fablet, mobile, smartwatch)
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The consumer shops across multiple devices. He expects that what he does on the mobile app of a retailer is remembered when he accesses the company’s website. In other words, he expects, a seamless experience. Likewise, the company likes to create one overview of what the customer is doing across all devices.

The traditional cookie used to identify revisiting customers cannot be used across devices. The cookie is set by the browser of an application of the device itself and is not communicated across devices.

If you are an e-commerce manager, would you develop a mobile app, mobile (HTML) site or both if you worked for:

  • Walmart
  • Zara
  • A local pure player
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Should a retailer offer a mobile app, mobile site or both? The answer to the question is that it depends. If you have a frequent interaction with your customers (or can create one with unique content or features) or your customer base is very large, there is a business case for a mobile shopping app. In all other cases a mobile website may be enough.

However, offering a mobile site is a must-have. Not only does 50% or more of online retail traffic take place through a mobile device, a mobile site is also essential for being found by search engines on mobile device. Google even gives a penalty if the retailer does not offer a mobile site.

While not a perfect solution, an app can still be offered at low costs. A very small app that links to the mobile site of the retailer can be created. This, of course, does not give the customer a real app experience but is always better than a closed door.  

Select three retailers:

  • Do they have a mobile site and app?
  • What is your opinion on the choice they made?
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  • Adapt the content & functionality for mobile devices
  • Change the writing style for mobile devices
    • Start with the key message
    • Keep it short & concrete
    • Keep bandwidth in mind
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Editors do not like to write the same article twice (mobile, web) or even three times (tablet). A clear content structure and a good content management system can help:

  • Articles are broken down to elements (header, sub-title, images, captions, etc).
  • For each screen size the template is determined (which elements to show, hide or not offer at all).

Editors still have to keep text short and concrete but the other writing style elements (starting with the key message, keeping bandwidth in mind) can be managed by the CMS.

  • 64% of all people will have a phone in 2019
  • Traffic and commerce per user will continue to increase sharply
  • Mobile commerce will become bigger than ‘traditional’ commerce.
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Artificial agents have been around since the 1990s. However, only recently we are reaching a point where the processing power and bandwidth is available to make them work (although maybe not yet up to the level most consumers would like). Some examples of intelligent agents: [2] Apple’s Siri Amazon’s Alexa Facebook’s M Google Now Microsoft Cortana

  • M-Commerce: sales of goods and services via mobile devices
  • Advantages: intensive usage, bar code scanning, user/product identification, augmented reality, location based services, payment
  • Disadvantages: screen size, bandwidth, payment, no keyboard, too many devices & user recognition.
  • Key choices: Always mobile site, but app depends, mobile versus responsive site no clear winner
  • M-Commerce Future: will be bigger than e-comerce and mobile will be everywhere with smart devices & intelligent agents.
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The End.jpg
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