Ever made a purchase or payment on your phone?
You're not the only one. The Australian mCommerce market was estimated to have totalled $155 million in 2011, according to the Mobile Nation report from Deloitte Access Economics. While mCommerce includes business-specific mobile wallet facilities, it also includes the good old credit card payments we all know and … er ... love. So it's no surprise that many organisations that already allow digital payments want to expand their sales potential to mobile while mCommerce is still in its infancy.
To help you better understand what's involved, we've compiled this list of the five most common questions we're asked about mCommerce.
1. Will people really buy stuff from my store on their mobile?
If you're late to the mCommerce game, rest assured it's playing on without you.
The Mobile Nation report cites a Nielsen study from 2011 that found around 68% of surveyed Australians said they'd use mobile devices for purchases, transactions and payments in the near future.
If people can browse your store, or access their accounts on mobile devices, but you haven't given them the ability to make payments, you're missing out on a proven sales channel.
2. Is mCommerce safe?
Your mCommerce facilities will be as safe as your eCommerce facilities—if not safer.
M2M (machine-to-machine) technology can increase security for businesses that use virtual wallet facilities at physical transaction points.
But a business's existing eCommerce facilities can be easily adapted to mCommerce purposes. The Australia Post shop's responsive site offers the same secure purchasing functionality to customers using computers, tablets, and phones.
3. So I don't need a specialised app to make the most of mCommerce?
Well, that depends on your business, what you’re selling, and who your customers are.
But the short answer is: not necessarily. In the case of Australia Post, the brief was to provide a first-class experience to the growing number of mobile users. Australia Post has a really diverse audience, though, so the solution needed to be device- and platform-agnostic.
A highly usable, responsive web design for the existing shop was the ideal solution. Usability was crucial, since the Australia Post audience is so broad.
4. What if my site is too popular?
Since Australia Post had a massive—and in some cases, very passionate!—market, we expected that traffic spikes were likely… but who knew the Wills and Kate commemorative stamps would be so popular?
To make sure that users were able to purchase at all times, regardless of how many others were on the site, we used cloud infrastructure to support the store.
This way, all purchase and personal data remains accessible to customers and the business at all times.
5. Could an app hook into my internal inventory system?
It could! The Australia Post online shop is continually synchronised with backend warehouse systems, and customer records with existing support channels, to ensure the consistent, reliable delivery of purchases.
Since reliability is a cornerstone of the Australia Post brand, this API integration aspect was extremely important for this client.
Make sure your development team has the technical skills that are required to work with your existing and legacy systems before you begin.