Brands Need to Embrace M-Commerce

Retailers have come to acknowledge that it’s no longer about driving footfall to a store, today it’s about optimising eCommerce for success. This is the ‘new traditional’ way to shop after all.

We live in a digital age, so it seems obvious to state that brands need to embrace m-commerce. However, the point cannot be overstated.

A report from Criteo found that in 2017, mobile apps were the largest source of online purchase. Of this nearly half (44%) of online sales took place on apps – this compares to just 23% on mobile web and 33% on desktop computers. One reason being that convenience is driving people to consume on-the-go.


Like many other countries, Ireland is reaping the rewards of e-commerce, building at a slow but confident pace. Just last year, a study by Wolfgang Digital found that Irish e-commerce sites grew by 45% for the second year in a row – nine times the rate of the country’s GDP!

That said, we might call ourselves ‘the digital economy’, but this is mainly down to the impact of international brands who have taken residency in Ireland (take a visit to Silicon Docks to see for yourself) and unfortunately, does not reflect the SME efforts of the country.

Let’s reflect on our Hubtalks event last June…Did you know that €4.5 billion worth of eCommerce revenue leaves Ireland every year? That’s money that Irish retailers could be capturing. With the value of online spending set to double between now and 2021 (from €7.5 billion to €14.1 billion) this is the most exciting time to be working in eCommerce.

Take a look at our Hubtalks video below to hear more on the event.

Opportunities for growth

The good news is that there’s huge scope for opportunity. The IEDR’s ‘dot ie Digital Health Index’ (2017), reported the following gaps in the market:

• 19% of Irish SMEs have no online presence whatsoever.
• 60% of SMEs with websites can’t take sales orders.
• 60% cannot process sales online.
• 63% do not promote their services online.
• 66% cannot process payments.

The opportunity is huge, and m-commerce is clearly an area that has more potential for growth in Ireland.

While some might dare to write this off as a ‘fad’ – the stats speak for themselves. The Centre for Economics & Business Research state that 5. 6 million people in the UK alone use their smartphones to make purchases, a figure that it set to rise to 20 million in just two years’ time – 2020. With this rise comes the value of goods and services bought on mobile devices, which nearly tripled to £14.2bn this year.

Looking to the market for inspiration, Shop Direct’s portfolio of brands ( and are leading the way. For the fifth consecutive year, they achieved record sales and underlying profits.

In the brand’s annual report, Alex Baldock, group CEO at Shop Direct, stated that the big drivers of growth were their own-brand ‘Very’ and m-commerce.

importance of mcommerce, mobile commerce, littlewoods mobile, m-commerce, smartphones, mcommerce, ecommerce, shopdirect, talenthub,

Source: ShopDirect,

The online site has healthy mobile sales indeed, where sales via smartphone made up over half (53%) of online sales for the first time, up 10% compared with 2016

It’s telling that the company has moved with the times, sending out 25 million catalogues in 2005, compared to less than one million in 2016. While Littlewoods now exists purely online with no catalogues.

User experience is everything

Of course, it’s not as simple as ‘build it and they will come’. Customer experience is just as important online as it is offline, and in this saturated and busy market, the shopping experience needs to be slick, quick and as effortless as possible to convert sales.

M-commerce cannot remain complacent, as research from Adobe shows. While smartphone web traffic and transactions on mobile have seen an uplift, page visits are becoming shorter. Showing that retailers must work harder to achieve clicks.

Shopify, one of the leading online e-commerce platforms, shares its top ‘design trends and optimisation best practices’ here:

1. Start with Ecommerce, not Mobile Design Trends
2. Use Progressive Enhancement as Your Backbone
3. Tune-Up for Fast Mobile Page Speeds
4. Anticipate Omni-Channel Shoppers
5. Factor in Local Search Behaviors
6. Offer Native Mobile Ecommerce Checkouts
7. Connect Social Marketing with Social Selling
8. Create Mobile-Only Personalized Experiences
9. Leverage Mobile Chatbots for Abandoned Carts
10. Let Your Analytics Data Be Your Guide
11. Don’t Forget About Mobile Accessibility

One brand who ticks all the above and is one of the masters in the m-commerce field is In very little time ASOS has become an international brand, achieving as much as two-thirds of sales outside the UK. Last year the online clothing company announced £1.88bn sales, an increase of more than a third.

The company responded to its young audience, by bringing the high street to mobile phones. It continued to innovate when last year it upgraded its app to include an “ASOS visual search” feature – a novel way to photograph clothes you like on other people, matched with a replica online using AI.

importance of mcommerce, mobile commerce, Visual Search, mobile, smartphones, m-commerce, ecommerce ASOS, talenthub,


It is this continual response to the market and innovation to lead the way that keeps the company fresh in the mind of consumers.

Up and coming m-commerce trends

Staying ahead of the game is essential, so what’s next for m-commerce?

Chatbots: not necessarily a new idea, but advancements in technology mean that software programmed to interact with users is getting better every day. This can be hugely beneficial when offering 24hr customer support for instance.

Augment reality: it’s already happening, travel companies for instance have taken up Optimus Prime to bring travel destinations to life for customers to ‘sample’ prior to booking, a concept that’s only set to grow.

Single click payments: already available on some websites, making it even easier to acquire sales.

Greater focus on automation tools: another example of speeding up the payment process, to help conversions.

Voice Shopping: Smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home will soon fuel e-commerce. Google highlighted that more than 20% of mobile queries are voice-based and this will only grow by 2020. Online retailers who don’t adapt to this will rapidly fall behind as more and more customers will turn to voice-optimized competitors.

Back to e-basics

Trends aside, the first step is to get Irish brands to recognise the opportunity that presents itself, and to get on board. M-commerce is a growing platform, not a fad, and with the right accessibility and forward-thinking approach Irish enterprise can benefit from the commercial opportunity that is there for the e-taking!

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morgan_cumminslAuthor: Morgan Cummins

Morgan is an experienced marketer who has been lucky enough to work in markets like Australia, the Middle East and Ireland over the last 15 years. He has experience in building new brands, running an ad agency and hiring the best talent for his clients.

Tel: +35316344885

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