Mobile commerce has grown like no other form of retailing, and some retailers are even going that one step further to make buying via a smartphone or mobile a completely different experience.

In this post, I’ll explore the ways in which m-commerce is making waves, and what 2013 holds in store.

Remember when mobiles were the size of bricks and barely capable of making a phone call, let alone a purchase? While that may seem like an eon ago, in reality it’s really not that long.

The mobile commerce space is growing like no other and has quickly become a playground for innovative retailers that are implementing new technologies in order to make their store stand out from the competition.

But it’s no longer a matter of keeping up anymore; it is fast becoming a critical factor to staying in business. 

Ice age


M-commerce has dramatically changed the way brands reach customers, making it faster and easier for consumers to make purchases on the fly while avoiding the hustle and bustle of the high street.

But something fundamental is lost when you remove the human element from the shopping experience.

Web-only jewellers, tackle the on/offline bridge with a little help from augmented reality technology. The ice mobile application enables shoppers to ‘try on’ their complete range of jewellery.

When a shopper finds something they like, they can tap ‘try it on’ on the product page and the application lines up the user’s finger or wrist with the item of jewellery via the user’s camera.

This brings a whole new element of touch to the users shopping experience, which up until now has been completely missing from the world of ecommerce.

Although still in its infancy, this sort of technology offers customers a more convenient and personalised shopping experience – reminiscent of Panoplaza’s ecommerce platforms we mentioned in our blog earlier this year.

There are a few other companies that have already developed software for augmented reality dressing rooms, but they have yet to perfect them. You might remember Mary Portas’ TV show last year where we saw social media and technology being used in the dressing room in the women’s fashion store Pilot.

I’d expect to see vast improvements in the coming year.

Video killed the radio star

I predict that 2013 will finally be the year for video content in mcommerce. A few businesses have dabbled in it but with faster broadband speeds enabling retailers to use rich media content I would expect mass adoption next year.

People prefer to buy from someone rather than something, especially over faceless brands so typical on the net, and the power of video content allows merchants to use that to their advantage.

Fickle fingers

Typing on mobile phones is an ongoing problem for the everyday man who was born without styluses for fingers.

I for one have certainly played victim to an autocorrect fail or two. But in all seriousness, it is a huge deterrent for consumers, who simply don’t have the time to waste entering details.

Our own research revealed how a staggering two thirds (67%) of shoppers find it difficult to purchase from a mobile device.

This is one of the reasons why we have spent a long time developing a solution which takes out the effort of typing an address from a mobile.

In an industry where change is the only constant, predicting what lies around the corner is anyone’s guess. I share Gartner’s prediction of there being more mobile users than desktop by 2014 and expect smartphones will continue their huge consumer adoption rate.

With that in mind, we’re optimistic that 2013 will be a fascinating and innovative year for mobile commerce.

So if you’ve yet to create a mobile extension of your online store, now’s the time.