BBVA API Market
Next-generation mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the online world, opening new ways for users to engage with digital content. The mobile channel is no longer a trend, but a reality, as confirmed by many reports.
For example, Cisco’s recent study “Visual Networking Index Global Forecast and Adoption Service 2013-2018” predicts that by 2018 the majority of Internet traffic will originate from devices other than PCs (mostly via mobiles) for the first time in history.
If these data are complemented with those included in a report by Forrester which forecasts that sales via the Internet in Europe will exceed 172,000 million in the next two years, we can say without fear that mobile commerce (or m-Commerce) is going to turn into something more than just a mobile version of an online store.
Therefore, companies cannot lag behind. Whether you are a startup or a large corporation, it is necessary to anticipate trends and be ready to respond to the different demands of customers.
Many traditional e-commerce shops have already adapted their websites to the mobile channel, while others have opted to launch a native application on the most popular platforms (Android, iOS or Windows Phone, among others), obtaining in most cases very good results. The reason is that m-Commerce has certain features that can greatly benefit any type of business. Telefonica’s “White Paper on Electronic Commerce” summarizes these characteristics:
It allows to improve communication with a user who is connected 24/7
Provides greater visibility to the establishment
Improves the impact of actions
Provides value and wealth to a greater number of consumers
Enables brand adoption and loyalty.
At the same time, mobile commerce has factors that attract users, such as:
Freedom: traditional businesses are limited by commercial opening hours and store location. However, with a mobile device, consumers can shop anytime, anywhere.
Save time: there is no need to go to a physical store, so consumers save on travel time and queues to pay.
Best offer: users can search instantly for the best alternatives and evaluate which ones they like best.
However, like any rising trend in its early stages, there are barriers that must be overcome before the phenomenon of m-Commerce reaches its maturity phase. Telefonica’s white book also warns us about some aspects to take into account:
Trust: the adoption of mobile technology as a new sales channel is evolving very timidly, as in many countries, and particularly in Spain, the mobile device is used to find information, but the purchase is completed in the physical store or on the computer.
Usability: the size of the device and its touchscreen, added to the fact that sometimes the user experience doesn’t receive the care it deserves, leads many consumers to reject mobiles for shopping or even for information inquiries.
Security and privacy: although less and less, there is a general distrust in the functioning of payment gateways and the storage of personal data.
Creating an m-Commerce strategy
To start creating a mobile commerce strategy the first thing you have to consider are the business goals you want to achieve. Also, it is necessary to analyze the needs of the service, the characteristics of the product or service you want to offer, the audience you are targeting, and what mobility solution can better contribute to the achievement of those objectives.
Along with all this, it is important that your e-shop is adapted and optimized for mobile devices as much as possible, always taking into account the usability of your website. To do this, if you’re still in the initial phases of the development of your website, it is important to choose carefully the platform and look for those allowing the best flexibility in case of future changes.
As it is clearly explained in this blog, there are online tools that reduce the optimization process of a website and are easy to use and require very little experience. In CMS like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla you may also find templates that already have the design and HTML5 coding for each type of screen (tablet, phone, computer, etc.).
Once your m-Commerce strategy starts working, if your brand meets the expectations of a good business for mobile devices (both in usability and in the regular update of information required by the user), your company will have converted a consumer in an influencer, who will share with his contacts the benefits of the brand.
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