Mobile commerce: the future of e-commerce

Mobile commerce: the future of e-commerce
Published on: Apr 22, 2017
Updated: Aug 18, 2022

M-Commerce in Germany

Even though the German market is still lagging well behind in an international comparison, more and more customers are making their online purchases on mobile devices in this country, too. While mobile commerce in Germany only recorded sales of around EUR 12.85 billion in 2015, according to a study by Emarketer, the market is expected to rise to over 30 billion by 2020 - which would make it the fastest-growing area in the retail sector. Current figures show that 39% of Germans already use their cell phones to access store pages, and 26% make purchases by smartphone. In the second quarter of 2016, more transactions were even made using smartphones than tablets for the first time. Retailers should therefore adapt accordingly - if they have not already done so - and also optimize their websites for mobile use.

If mobile, then right

If the customer visits the store via a mobile device, he expects at least an equivalent shopping experience to the desktop variant. If the design is not appealing, the view unstructured or the handling complicated, he is quickly frustrated and cancels the purchase. In addition, pages perform worse in search engine rankings if they are not optimized for mobile devices. Mobile should therefore never be the 'light version' of the existing online offering, but should offer a real alternative.Image Webby Award winners UBS with their mobile web versions of the 'Planet Art' project

Mobile commerce is all about simplicity


Mobile also means that - theoretically - everything is smaller and less accessible. This needs to be countered. The smaller screen and larger circumstance for data entry must be made up for. The following areas are therefore highly relevant and can determine the success or failure of a mobile site:

Easy navigation & operation


As a general rule, simplicity wins. Texts should be short and understandable, especially in the mobile version, and excessive scrolling should be avoided. It is also advisable to always make the store page touch-suitable. On the tablet - due to the large display - the desktop version is often displayed, so the inability to operate all fields by touch is a big no-go.

Reduce complexity

In order not to create a pure 'light version' of the website layers should not necessarily be removed, however, less important elements can be moved to sublayers mobile. Short click paths are equally relevant: The faster the customer gets to their destination, the more likely they are to complete the purchase as well. Short loading times also help here. Images should therefore definitely be optimized.Image Mobile versions of WFP's 'Share the Meal' initiative.

Intuitive Search

The mobile shopper often does not have the intention to spend a long time in the online store, but the goal to quickly find exactly what he is looking for. The search function plays an enormously important role here. It should function intuitively and have a high error tolerance - we all know how quickly a word is typed incorrectly into the smartphone. Nevertheless, the term should be recognized correctly and the desired product should be displayed instead of a 'product not found' message.

Fast check-out

Check-out is often the biggest obstacle on the way to completing a purchase. Mobile customers are even more impatient - the conversion rate is a lot lower than in desktop format - and want to complete the order without much effort. If pages and pages of data have to be entered first, this quickly deters the customer. Better are one-click options with data already stored that includes delivery address and payment information. PayPal offers a popular option here. Cross-selling is also not necessarily advisable on mobile: distracting elements are quickly perceived as complicated and 'annoying'. This can be a shopping killer, especially for procurement-oriented smartphone users.

Native app

Even better than the simple mobile version is a store's own app. Globally, apps show a three times better conversion rate than the mobile web. In particular, apps that deliver added value compared to the website are popular, such as Ikea with their augmented reality feature.Image Nike Tech Book App

Test, test, test


No matter which version you choose: Test for all it's worth - and do so at regular intervals. Take a close look at whether the page is really practical and everything is visible and understandable for the user.


M-commerce is one of the most important future markets in online retail and should definitely be taken seriously. However, a simple slimmed-down version of the 'real' store page is not enough to satisfy the customer. A bit of work is required - but it will certainly be worth it.

Written by


Create new reasons for people to love your brand. Build standout post-sales experiences tailored to your customers. Deliver personalized touch points that grab attention and spark loyalty.

Read more from parcelLab
More from the category Research