Mobile commerce isn't entirely new, since consumers have been making purchases on their tablets and smartphones for a few years now. However, 2013 will see an increase in mobile purchasing in that social media will begin to be a big influence in the purchases made on tablets and other mobile devices. Here's what you need to know about the maturity of mobile social commerce space:
It's a Big Deal
Some small and medium-sized businesses may write this phenomenon, saying that it might not apply to them as a tiny local shop or that their customers don't use mobile devices or social media to make purchases. However, social commerce sales should total $9.2 billion by the end of 2012, and are expected to climb to $14.25 billion in 2013. It's a big deal because social mobile commerce is already a big deal to some of your customers. If not, it might be by the end of 2013, so include mobile social commerce as part of your overall strategy, preparing and refining it throughout the year.
Mobile Social Commerce is Many Different Things
M-commerce isn't just jumping on Amazon to buy a book, or using an app to order pizza. Mobile social commerce is also check-ins on Foursquare, reading reviews on Yelp, or receiving feedback on an outfit via text. Essentially, it's not just about the initial purchase, but also soliciting advice before making the purchasing decision. How businesses educate their target market will change, so small businesses need to manage their online presences carefully, creating content that offers advice about the purchasing decision and responding to reviews and comments.
Create a Mobile-Friendly Website
Yes, consumers are viewing your social media presence on their smartphones and tablets, but they'll also take a look at your mobile website. Consumers want instant access to information, and social media doesn't always provide the information they need. Have a mobile website that just has the information your on-the-go or multi-screening customer would need, such as hours of operation, a click-to-call feature, and a brief description of your products and services. If you don't have a mobile website, or if your mobile website is exactly the same as your normal website, then prepare for potential customers to be frustrated and disappointed (and to use social media to tell their friends about it).