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using mobile for ecommerce


by Kenneth Rudich

Mobile ecommerce, also known as M-commerce and mcommerce, is a potentially powerful strategy in mobile marketing.

Though all of mobile marketing is still in the midst of gradually maturing, executing transactions with mobile devices is presently among the least developed areas.  This lag is partially due to the guarded acceptance consumers have shown for it thus far, much as they did in the early days of making online transactions over a pc.

Nonetheless, it is gaining traction.  The reinvention of mobile phones and devices as a touch sensitive handheld computer has greatly improved the feasibility of it.  ABI Research predicts mobile ecommerce will reach $119 billion worth of goods and services by 2015.

Meanwhile, there other ways that mobile can currently contribute to an ecommerce initiative.  Some examples include:

  • mobile storefront (with a mobile website)
  • mobile ticketing
  • mobile brokerage
  • mobile content delivery

One can also view this from the vantage point of how the activities of mobile users often help nudge them toward a transaction.  According to eMarketer, the following smartphone activities were performed during the December 2010 holidays (by percent of respondents):

  • found a store location: 51.6%
  • researched specific products they were thinking of purchasing: 47.6%
  • browsed for products: 44.1%
  • did comparison pricing: 40.4%
  • looked for discounts, deals, coupons or discount codes: 35.3%
  • checked product availability at stores or websites: 33.9%
  • emailed or texted someone to tell them about an experience at a store (e.g., finding a great deal or a great product, etc.): 33.0%
  • while at a store looking at a product, tried to find a better deal elsewhere on their phone: 29.8%
  • purchased products or services: 21.0%
  • posted something on a social site to tell people about an experience at a store: 18.7%
  • scanned something with a smartphone, such as a barcode, to get more information about it: 14.7%
  • used a mobile coupon by showing it on a mobile phone: 13.6%

As you can see from the graphic at the start of this post, both Amazon and eBay hit the B-word in mobile sales during 2010…as in, a billion dollars. 

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, this type of outcome is likely to kick start a greater interest for using mobile ecommerce to perform customer transactions.  


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  5. […] earlier posts, “Mobile Marketing Expands Reach and Scope,” and “Using Mobile for eCommerce,” we explored how mobile marketing can boost business sales on two key […]

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