M-commerce is the way forward
There is a common misconception in the market regarding the difference between e-commerce and m-commerce. People in the Middle East, and the UAE in specific, have been mobile-first consumers due to the high penetration of smartphones in the country; which is now at 210.9 per cent — a record high according to recent research from Visa.
E-commerce platforms that were initially website only, have long since moved into the ‘there is an app for that’ era. This is the case not only for e-commerce businesses, but also other platforms, such as Facebook.
In their early days, there were many issues that plagued the apps, specifically because a transition from laptop/computer to the mobile platform requires a complete shift in the customer journey, and hence the user experience design.
While m-commerce is a natural transition from e-commerce, and is technically a segment of the bigger sector, it is what is giving many businesses an edge over its competition.
Melltoo, for example, is a mobile-first e-commerce platform. So is Uber and diverse apps, Careem and others. Just think about it: How often do you order from mobile apps versus your desktop?
In this age, if businesses want to gain and maintain their share of the market, they need to become mobile friendly. A growing segment of the consumer segment today are digital natives who want instant, on-demand solutions via their mobiles.
“Phone, wallet, keys — that’s all I carry to work and social events these days.”Arvind Shah, a project manager in Dubai
Moreover, the increasing penetration of mobile wallets in the country as well as the region, such as Apple Pay , Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Etisalat Wallet, Beam Wallet, and more, is strengthening the m-commerce sector. This also shows the increasing trust in digital payments sector.
Moreover, with FinTech applications giving the low-income segment access to banking, such as NOW Money, more people are having access to mobile e-commerce.
The market is only set to grow further. It is time that e-commerce players make their mobile apps friendlier for the consumers and give it the attention it deserves instead of just having it for the sake of being available on the platform.