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7 Things You Must Know To Get Your Business Ready For mCommerce

7 Things You Must Know To Get Your Business Ready For mCommerce

We are now well familiar with eCommerce, the on-line purchase of goods and services it has been something which we have been using since the 1980’s in some form. However today, eCommerce is now worth well over $1.3 trillion. (statista.com – eCommerce figures for 2013). From books, toys and presents to major purchases like cars and houses can all be completed securely on-line.

The next natural progression with the vast growth of mobile internet use is mCommerce – mobile commerce, the use of phones and tablets to carry out on-line transactions.

It is expected there will be over 6.5 billion smartphone users by 2020 (Tune) and 64% of users already regularly shop using their phones (Bloomreach). We will see later in this article that, at this stage, a considerable number of transactions are completed in a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ store with the mobile device being used for research, however, more and more mCommerce is being used for every part of the sales process.

Many organisations are still somewhat unprepared when it comes to presenting effective mCommerce solutions. This article will look at the important pointers to ensure your organisation is ready to support this growing trend.

1. The Mechanics of mCommerce

mCommerce is, in real terms part of your eCommerce solution, we are getting into semantics as it is difficult to pin down a totally clear definition for mCommerce. However, it is, in its most basic form, a mobile device such as a smartphone to complete eCommerce transactions. But, it does not directly follow that, if you have an eCommerce solution in place it will work effectively on mobile platforms. Your organisation may well have a solid eCommerce solution but are you sure that you are in a position to capture the massive mobile market.

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It is simple to overlook some of the potential issues with using your eCommerce system on the screen of a mobile device or tablet. If the screen layout makes it impossible to complete mandatory fields or complete transactions you run the risk of losing those sales to your competition.

The exponential growth of mobile devices means that being able to sufficiently support mCommerce is a vital part of any organisation’s future strategy. Failing to support mCommerce will leave you well behind your competitors.

2. I have an eCommerce site, do I need an mCommerce site?

A recent survey of just one eCommerce supplier showed that over 50% of the commerce traffic is now being delivered via mobile devices.  Pew Research Services show that there is a global median of 68% of adult users in advanced economies now regularly use mobile devices with 18 – 35-year-olds being the largest sector.

iPad tablet

    It is obvious, even without the sizeable numbers of statistics that use of smartphones and mobile internet is growing and will continue to do so. With the increase of the ‘Internet of things’ (everyday objects like refrigerators being connected to the internet), we can easily see a time when you will not only use your smartphone for purchases but will have your domestic appliances also interacting with eCommerce systems for self-supply.

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    Now is the perfect time to review your position as an organisation and how you build scalable and updatable systems to support this hyper-connected future.

    3. Ensuring your eCommerce has the ‘m’ factor

    The most important requirement is to ensure your eCommerce site is optimised to effectively run on mobile platforms. The first step should be to view and attempt to use your current eCommerce solution using various mobile platforms including:

    • iPhone
    • iPad
    • Android smartphones
    • Google Pixel
    • Android tablets

    This assessment must cover all aspects of the commerce process from selection of products to ensuring that you can complete purchases. You should ensure you can easily select, zoom and access all aspects of the screen layout and that there are not areas which are inaccessible due to layout or design.

    • Search for single and multiple products
    • Complete a single and multiple product purchases
    • Ensure that coupon or promotional codes work correctly
    • Ensure that images and product descriptions can be viewed correctly, for example, that you can zoom the images.

    Should you find the site does not respond effectively you should consider working with your web developer to redesign your eCommerce system to support mobile provision to ensure you are not missing out on this vital revenue stream.

    4. Mobile wallets and mobile payments

    An element which is growing is the use of mobile wallets, where a smartphone is used as a transactional tool. More and more people will be using their mobile phones with card terminals to carry out transactions, Apple Pay and Pay are two of the major methods which are used.

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    Mobile payments

      Most of this activity is going to be in-store rather than on-line (at this stage), so you need to ensure your EPOS infrastructure can cope with the new technologies. Otherwise, you will soon find you are being left behind as customers use rivals which support technologies they have come to expect as the norm.

      5. Showrooming and offline sales

      Research by Forrester Research has shown that, in 2015, more than $1 Trillion of total retail sales were influenced by smartphones. Today most sales are still completed in store, however, smartphones and browsers can be used for product research. Forrester expects web-influenced sales will exceed $1.3 billion on 2016.

      Customers are becoming to expect higher and higher levels of service. Ten years ago, you had no way of knowing if a product was in stock at a local store without picking up the telephone and calling them, now we are in an environment where a smart fridge can order food for delivery on you use! More importantly, customers are becoming more used to having an instant response, ‘click and collect’, rapid delivery or even delivery by drones which we will see in the not too distant future.

      At this stage, many customers are using their smart phones to review and research products before coming into a bricks and mortar store to collect it near instantly. However, there is a drive for the opposite in ‘showrooming’.

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      Showrooming is the process of customers visiting a physical store and then purchasing the product on-line. Many retailers see this as a threat, however, this is a natural bridging of the gap between the offline and online worlds, it is up to the retailer to make the gap as small as possible, making purchase attractive in-store rather than the customer having to wait for a product to be delivered. It is a battleground which will be fought not only on price but also by use of technology, ensuring that customers can seamlessly use their smart phones and mCommerce systems to complete the purchase.

      6. The advantages of mCommerce

      mCommerce provides a range of opportunities, customers can be connected to your brand anywhere. The increase of connectivity with 4G means that high-end content can be delivered in a personal form directly to the customer.

      The high level of data available can allow you to provide massively tailored customer offerings even down to marketing your closest branch using GPS connectivity. Customers will keep their smartphones and tablets with them almost all the time, this means, if you get your offering right, that you can be within reach of your customers whenever and wherever

      7. Put mobile first

      The time is right for organisations to put mobile first, you should look to ensure that mobile and tablet-based access is at the forefront of your on-line presentation. The growing trend for mobile internet is not diminishing and the importance of mCommerce and mobile presentation cannot be underestimated.

      Ensure you have reviewed your on-line presence across all channels, ensuring that you are effectively managing social media, mCommerce as well as more traditional web content.

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      Last Updated on May 14, 2019

      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

      Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

      1. Zoho Notebook
        If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
      2. Evernote
        The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
      3. Net Notes
        If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
      4. i-Lighter
        You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
      5. Clipmarks
        For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
      6. UberNote
        If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
      7. iLeonardo
        iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
      8. Zotero
        Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

      I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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      In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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