Mobile Commerce Solutions: What to Look For

By
Sarah Leung
March 14, 2016

Mobile commerce solutions are the next frontier for companies who’ve prioritized their B2B eCommerce strategies. As buyers grow accustomed to making B2B purchases online and increasingly make a habit of shopping on their mobile devices in their consumer lives, having a strong mobile commerce platform that allows customers to place B2B orders anytime, anywhere is going to be a key differentiator for manufacturers and distributors across a wide variety of industries. Here are a few key features to look for in a mobile commerce platform.

What to Look for in Mobile Commerce Solutions

1. Integration

Great mobile commerce solutions are able to integrate with your ERP or other back office systems for fast fulfillment. You may also want to find a solution that can integrate with any field sales applications your sales reps are using to place in-person orders, so that you can have full visibility on your customers’ ordering activity.

2. A “mobile-first” user experience

Whether or not customers will actually use your mobile commerce platform is dependent upon the user experience you’re able to provide. Mobile commerce solutions should be designed specifically for use on smaller screens while delivering both function and performance.

3. Key information for fast decision-making

Think about what you can do to help your customers make faster purchase decisions. Providing information like order history, favorites, best-selling items, and real-time inventory updates can help buyers make more informed, quick ordering decisions on the go.

4. Offline access

To enhance that “anytime, anywhere” experience, make sure your mobile commerce platform is available to your customers even when their Internet connections are spotty. They should be able to log into the application and draft an order offline. That order can then be submitted for processing once their device is reconnected to the Internet.

5. An approval workflow

In general, B2B purchasing is much more complex than B2C, requiring multiple decision-makers. Having an approval workflow can help ensure that while purchases are easy to complete on a mobile device, they can also be monitored. For instance, if a store clerk places a reorder, their manager might want to review the purchase before it’s submitted. Then the manufacturer’s sales rep can review that order, answer any questions, upsell new products before it’s finalized.

6. Push notifications

Push notifications can be a great way for brands to stay in constant contact with their customers via a mobile commerce platform. Imagine equipping all of your customers with mobile commerce applications on their devices. You can then send them notifications when their orders ship, when you’re running a new promotion, or when you’d like to highlight a new product.

7. Barcode scanning capabilities

Giving your customers the ability to scan barcodes with their mobile device’s camera or a bluetooth scanner to add products to an order can be another great way to make the reorder process easier.

8. Features to help your retailers sell to end consumers.

Think about ways in which your mobile commerce platform can also function as a sales tool for your retailers. If you have relatively technical products, will they be able to pull up product specs? Can they showcase product videos and other forms of your brand’s marketing collateral? Can they scroll through high resolution images of all the colors that a product is available in, while hiding your wholesale pricing? Having all of this information available on an iPad that store clerks can use when interacting with end consumers can increase sell-through and help your retailers become better ambassadors for your brand. Questions about mobile commerce solutions, or any of the ideas we’ve covered here? Let us know in the comments!