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Mobile first – The driving force behind m-commerce growth in Europe

by Editorial Office

E-commerce sales in Europe continue to rise. Alas, there’s one sales channel in particular that has gained importance in this context – also fueled by the pandemic – and that’s mobile commerce: M-commerce for short. For international retailers who want to tap into the European market, the message is clear: mobile first! We explain what you need to pay attention to in order to benefit from the success of m-commerce.

Rising m-commerce rates in Europe

The pandemic has once again strongly accelerated the shift from bricks-and-mortar retail to digital shopping.

While the temporary closures of many non-daily stores have in some cases led to significant losses in non-food retailing, online commerce has benefited greatly. But there have been further developments in this area. The increased use of smartphones, for example, entailed that the trend from e-commerce went straight to mobile commerce – a shift that was also visible on the European market. We reveal the state of m-commerce in the e-commerce strongholds of the UK, Germany and France and provide tips for a successful mobile strategy.

M-Commerce sales in the UK have doubled

Even though the UK is not a strictly mobile-first market, according to the online statistics portal Statista, it was among the countries with very high mobile Internet usage in 2021 – ahead of the U.S., Germany, or Canada.

The COVID19 pandemic also played a decisive role in accelerating the mobile trend. According to estimates by Statista, m-commerce revenues will rise to more than $142 billion by 2024. By comparison, in 2019, sales via mobile devices still amounted to around USD 68 billion and thus already accounted for a third of all online purchases. Industry experts predict: M-commerce will generate more than half of all e-commerce revenues in the UK by 2024.

M-Commerce in Germany: Purchases via smartphone more popular than ever before

According to Bitkom, the industry association for the German information and telecommunications sector, German consumers preferred to purchase via smartphones for the first time in 2021. While in 2020, 54 percent still conducted their online shopping via cell phone, the number rose to 60 percent in 2021. Not surprisingly, it is primarily the young target group that uses smartphones for shopping. 81 percent of 16- to 29-year-olds used their cell phones for making purchases last year.

The share of voice commerce transactions, on the other hand, has met with little enthusiasm among German consumers. According to Bitkom, only two percent of Germans made purchases via cloud-based voice services such as Alexa, Siri or Google Home in 2020.

Growing m-commerce rates in France

Shopping via smartphone has also experienced enormous growth in France: Statista estimates that m-commerce sales in 2021 will reach approximately $3.39 billion – a year-on-year increase of 22 percent. The annual balance sheet of FEVAD (Fédération e-commerce et vente à distance) also confirms the increasing m-commerce in France: according to this report, mobile commerce has already accounted for 22 percent of e-commerce sales in France last year.

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5 tips to succeed in m-commerce

As the latest figures show, mobile-generated sales are steadily increasing in the UK, Germany and France. According to industry experts, this trend is not going to stop.

Internationally active retailers are therefore well advised to provide their target group with convenient and hassle-free shopping experiences on mobile devices. With the following tips, you can increase your sales and meet customer needs in the long term:

  • Mobile first: No customer wants to navigate through a desktop page on their cell phone using the zoom function. Users expect a mobile-optimized web store and/or app that allows them to shop without barriers. Therefore, you are well advised to design your online store directly for smartphone use.
  • Usability: Good usability is an important prerequisite in mobile commerce to provide customers with a frustration-free shopping experience. The app and/or the mobile website should therefore deliver short loading times and intuitive usability. It is also advisable to integrate a search function. For retailers with a very large assortment, a filter option for certain product features or price categories can also be useful.
  • Payment process: To avoid purchase cancellations during the check-out process, companies should adapt their payment options to the target market and target group. Offer as many payment methods as possible, such as PayPal, purchase on account or Buy Now Pay Later, in order to meet the needs of your target group.
  • Service: Provide your target audience with customer service that they can reach via the mobile website or app. A mix of support options such as contact forms, e-mails, telephone hotlines, or chatbots has proven effective – and should also be
  • Social commerce: Mobile commerce is closely linked to the topic of social commerce. To meet the growing importance of this sales channel, companies should also have a strategy for selling via social networks or Amazon Live ready – and implement it.

Mobile commerce in Europe

To meet growing customer needs, retailers should provide their customers with a good overview of their total assortment, provide a structured platform with filter options, and enable a convenient check-out process – all of which should be accessible and able to navigate via mobile. In today’s fast-paced world, a mobile strategy is essential to generate more growth and sales in the long term.

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