mcommerce is about to finally blast off. Here’s why.

mcommerce pentetration

Mobile is a juggernaut. It’s an unstoppable force. Globally, we now get online through our mobile devices more than desktop. In emerging markets where millions, well billions really, are coming online, they’re doing it not mobile first but mobile only. In established markets consumers have multiple internet access points, but generally only one that’s always on, always an arm length away- their mobile devices.

With more users accessing the internet on mobile it would be natural to assume that the mcommerce / ecommerce transaction volume split would parallel internet access by device type. And yet the data tells a different story- globally mcommerce only accounts for 34% of online transactions.

Global Mobile Users

From the excellent Criteo White Paper.

The question is why. If people buy things online, and people get online from their mobile devices why aren’t we seeing people buy things online from their mobile decive? There’s a couple of factors.

  1. The behaviour is new. Just like it took people a while to be casual about shopping online, shopping from mobile is a different experience and it takes time for a behaviour to become internalized.
  2. The limits of app stores. Product links didn’t exist (until deep links came about.) Without links to specific products, the friction on mcommerce transactions slows the buying process to a near halt.
  3. The mobile experience is stunted. Filling out registration forms, window shopping, comparing products, checkouts- all of these cornerstones of desktop ecommerce shopping are hard to do well on mobile.

So what does it take to get mcommerce to it’s fair share of online transactions? Tapstream’s architecture processes billions of events a month and our Onboarding Links are beginning to make a serious dent in points three and four. Here’s five no brainer use cases to help you level up your mcommerce revenue.

When a user has an account and downloads your app for the first time
As you start moving your desktop customers into your app environment, one of the most frustrating things can be signing in. Mobile is great for a lot of thinks but detailed form submissions is not one of them. Using Onboarding Links you could send a user an email with a link to download the app, and when they open it for the first time the registration forms will be prefilled- waiting for the user to review and hit submit.

When you have recommended items for a user
Using Onboarding Links you can send a user an email with a recommended product and when they open that link on their mobile device, be taken directly to the product within the app. Great examples are items a customers was price tracking or looking for something in a different size or colour.

When a user shares on social
When you connect a user to a product they love they’re often inclined to share that through their social channels. Assuming a person’s friends often have similar tastes it’s easy to see why this kind of social sharing can meaningfully impact revenue. Use Onboarding Links so that when a new user sees a shared product which drives them to download the app for the first time, they see that same product as soon as they launch your app for the first time.

When a user finds a product for a friend
Shopping is historically a social experience. The mall is a place many people go together. A friend’s opinion is usually worth ten times that of a sales associate, on top of the general pleasure of spending time in each other’s company. This aspect of shopping isn’t a core part of the ecommerce/mcommerce experience, but people still want to share and when a customer takes the time to share a product from your app with a friend you want to make that experience as painless as possible. Use Onboarding Links so that when the receiving friend opens the app to see check out the suggestion, it’s the first thing they find regardless of whether or not it’s their first time opening the app.

Many mcommerce apps have a wish list feature. A place where customers can store their favourite products they haven’t bought yet. Making the wish list highly sharable is an obvious choice for you as a marketer. It’s the equivalent of a spouse taping their christmas list to the fridge by cutting out a certain page of a catalogue and circling a particular item in bright red marker- to leave a subtle hint. If you have a wish list feature, use Onboarding Links to drive higher conversions by allowing the gift buyer to easily access the list of products when they open the app, and prepopulate the shipping address to remove another step.


mcommerce will never achieve it’s rightful share of revenue dominance so long as mobile shopping is significantly harder than desktop transactions. To increase your app’s engagement, virality and shopping cart conversion rates get started with Onboarding Links sign up for Tapstream’s Marketing Pro account or request a demo.