M-Commerce App Suffering From These 4 Ailments?

The business-to-consumer market is expanding at an enormous rate, especially as more people across the globe gain Internet access every year.

Last year, eMarketer predicted that 2014 m-commerce sales would reach $56.72 billion in the United States alone, representing one-fifth of all digital purchases. Obviously, the opportunity to appeal to mobile shoppers is palpable, but there are instances of consumers being turned off by m-commerce apps for a lack of usability, perceived security issues and other reasons.

We've identified four m-commerce app problems that obstruct optimal usability and make it difficult for proprietors to learn from their releases.

1. They lack enterprise application integration
This may not seem like an essential feature. It's a back-end function that has little-to-no effect on the user experience, right? Think again. If you establish a connection between your m-commerce app and your marketing team's CRM solution through an API, a list of benefits will come to fruition. In one particular instance, the mobile app could retrieve customer service data from the CRM program and recommend products based on the user's profile. From a broader perspective, this function is a cog that allows the personalization engine to operate.

Allowing people to easily view product info is critical in a mobile app. Allowing people to easily view product info is critical in a mobile app.

2. They don't actually deliver "tailored experiences"
With personalization in mind, it's important to provide mobile customers with the freedom to search for whatever items they wish. MyCustomer spoke with Acquia Vice President of Product Marketing Jess Iandiorio, who noted that Tiffany's website allows people to browse freely while its mobile site forces its Enchant product line on visitors and then directs customers to store location data.

Overall, it's best to present m-commerce app users with a blank slate. While user data is valuable, it's best to treat it with a grain of salt and always provide customers with the ability to select content without having to overcome annoying obstacles.

"It's important to provide mobile customers with the freedom to search for whatever items they wish."

3. They don't have a simple checkout process
It's safe to say that the reason why most customers choose to shop for items via apps is because they want to be able to purchase products quickly. Gareth Mackown, mobile leader for IBM Global Business Services UK and Ireland, told MyCustomer that if a checkout process is too time-consuming, mobile shoppers could abandon virtual carts. What's "too difficult"? Entering a credit or debit card number. Give users the opportunity to enter and save payment information after the app is downloaded to avoid this costly nuisance.

"It could be that they're being taken out to another site or being taken away form the app that they're in," said Mackown, when speculating as to the reasons why customers neglect to purchase items via m-commerce apps.

4. They don't register rewards or coupons
While this has less to do with functionality, it does speak to the reasons why enterprise application integration is a much-needed component - particularly when referring to compatibility with back-end point-of-sale systems. If a person can take a picture of a physical coupon or link to one that was originally delivered via email, it will encourage him or her to continue using the m-commerce app because there's no reason for him or her not to.