June 22, 2020

Mobile Commerce (mCommerce) in the Age of Social Distancing


First spoken in 1997 by Kevin Duffey at the launch of the Global Mobile Commerce Forum, the term mobile commerce was coined to mean “the delivery of electronic commerce capabilities directly into the consumer’s hand, anywhere, via wireless technology.” Mobile commerce, also known as m-commerce or mCommerce, is the use of wireless handheld devices like cell phones and tablets to conduct commercial transactions online, including the purchase and sale of products, online banking, and paying bills. Let’s take a look at mobile commerce in the age of social distancing.

Where is mCommerce headed in today’s world?

Mobile commerce is expected to experience a surge in demand; the increasing use of social networks is further accelerating the demand of online purchasing of various products and services. The market is expected to witness a high growth over the forecast period mainly due to growing digital dependency and convenience of shopping on online platforms. It has evolved through busy lifestyles and an abundance of options available to shop from the comfort of home.

And, mobile commerce is quickly becoming our new normal during the pandemic and its social distancing. Amid the COVID-19 crisis—and in spite of the looming economic recession—the mCommerce market worldwide is projected to grow by US $5.1 trillion, and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9% from 2020 to 2027.

Americans collectively check their smartphones upwards of 8 billion times per day. Mobile usage over the past decade has skyrocketed, and is likely to continue rising. Mobile technology continues to advance in functionality and sophistication, along with the value that this can provide to users. A mobile app marketing strategy can complement a brand’s offline experience, drive eCommerce, and help connect a brand with its loyal customers.

Mobile commerce and contactless payments for social distancing

Mobile payments are regulated transactions that take place digitally through your mobile device. Mobile payments are an increasingly popular way to accept in-person payments because they’re secure, fast, and convenient. In fact, mobile pay volume is predicted to increase to $503 billion by the end of 2020.

A survey of 361 companies released in April by the Strawhecker Group and the Electronic Transactions Association indicates 27% of U.S. small businesses have seen an increase in customers using services like Apple Pay. Publix Super Markets Inc. sped up its transition to contactless terminals because of COVID-19, according to the company. Starting in early April, shoppers at all Publix stores have been able to use services like Apple Pay and Google Pay to check out.

Other retailers, including JCPenney, Target, and Amazon, have been investing in contactless payments with varying levels of success. Going contactless within five years may sound like a stretch to some, but a report from London-based research firm RBR predicts that global payments will grow to $45.2 trillion by 2023, in part thanks to the popularity of contactless payments. After all, even once the pandemic is over, consumers will be used to social distancing and may have come to prefer shopping options that limit or eliminate contact with others.

share this article