Last Updated on
July 11, 2024

Mobile Commerce: How to Choose the Best Platform For Your Needs

Published in
Key takeaways:
  • Most major eCommerce platforms double as mobile commerce platforms, allowing you to build beautiful, mobile-optimized, responsive websites.
  • Your website is only half of a complete mobile commerce strategy, though. The other half is a mobile app.
  • MobiLoud allows you to use any popular eCommerce platform, such as Shopify or WooCommerce, and build an amazing app that's fully integrated with your site.

Mobile commerce is a trillion dollar industry, which is only trending up. Smartphones are a fixture in our lives, and we’re using mobile devices more and more to buy things online, thanks to the added convenience and improved customer experience.

If you’re running an online or brick-and-mortar store, you need to adopt mobile commerce, or risk getting left behind as more consumers become mobile-first. That starts with picking the right software to form the foundation of your mobile commerce business.

Read on and we’ll explain why mobile commerce should be a priority in 2024, and the best mobile commerce platforms for your business to use.

What is Mobile Commerce?

Mobile commerce, aka m-commerce or mCommerce, is the practice of buying and selling goods and services using mobile devices.

Technically, it can cover a broad range of applications - including mobile banking, mobile payments and more - but the term “mobile commerce” is most commonly used for mobile shopping - aka eCommerce transactions that happen on mobile phones.

This includes mobile eCommerce websites, as well as online shopping apps and social media platforms where users buy products on their mobile device.

Why Mobile Commerce is the Future of Retail

The mobile commerce market is worth more than $2 trillion worldwide, and is still growing.

Statista estimates global mobile eCommerce revenue at $2.07 trillion, a 57% share of all retail eCommerce sales - and projects the mobile commerce market to grow by an addition 60% by 2028.

Yet in the US, mCommerce makes up only 7.6% of all eCommerce sales.

This indicates significant room to grow still for mobile eCommerce, as one of the world’s biggest eCommerce markets grows closer to the worldwide average.

We’ve already seen indications that US consumers are ready to make mobile their number one way to shop, with mobile overtaking desktop recently to serve a higher share of online sales during Cyber Week.

As the capabilities of mobile devices increase, and it becomes increasingly easier for people to shop on mobile, it only stands to reason that mobile commerce will continue to grow.

We’ll see an increasing number of online stores who build mobile-first, rather than building a desktop site and half-heartedly making sure it works for mobile shoppers, almost as an afterthought.

Top Mobile Commerce Platforms in 2024

Now let’s help you choose a mobile commerce platform to power your online store, and ensure you have the right technology to stay relevant as mobile commerce continues to gain steam.

Here are seven mobile commerce platforms to consider to build a mobile-friendly and mobile-optimized eCommerce store.

Shopify

Shopify powers more than 4.8 million websites, which is approximately 1 in 4 eCommerce sites on the web.

The platform processes over $500 billion in GMV each year, and serves 561 million unique customers.

As an eCommerce business, it’s hard to go wrong choosing Shopify to power your online store. And if mobile commerce is your focus, Shopify is the perfect choice, as it comes with all the tools to build a mobile-friendly eCommerce site, without requiring any significant technical expertise.

Shopify might not be considered an end-to-end mobile commerce platform, as it doesn’t come with the ability to build mobile apps - only mobile-friendly, responsive websites. But there are supplementary tools you can use to bridge this gap, as we’ll discuss shortly.

Adobe Commerce (Magento)

Magento has long been one of the most popular open-source eCommerce platforms, which offers extensive potential for customization and mobile optimization.

Acquired by Adobe in 2018 and rebranded as Adobe Commerce, it’s still a great mobile commerce platform.

It’s flexible, scalable, and suitable for a wide variety of businesses, including B2B, B2C and enterprise. 

It can also work as a composable, headless platform, allowing you to build a custom front-end for mobile that links via API to the same backend of your website, making it an ideal mobile commerce solution.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud

One of the 20 most valuable tech companies in the world, Salesforce branched out into eCommerce in 2016 when it acquired Demandware, and built it into their own eCommerce product, Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

Today, it’s one of the top eCommerce platforms for high-revenue websites, fifth in market share among the top million eCommerce websites in the world.

It’s immensely scalable, built to fit businesses with high-level needs, while also featuring ready-made templates for B2C, D2C, and B2B businesses to cut down the time it takes to launch a website.

In addition to these features, it’s built on Progressive Web App technology for fast, mobile-friendly performance, and has headless APIs that are ideal for linking with custom mobile commerce apps.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is another trusted name in eCommerce, powering tens of thousands of B2C and B2B eCommerce sites, and providing nearly the complete set of tools for businesses to build and run their online store.

While their messaging leans heavily towards their enterprise offering, BigCommerce essentials does everything Shopify does (perhaps more, with easy integration with other sales channels like eBay, Amazon, Walmart, Facebook and Instagram, as well as point of sale integrations).

Their product is also built with mobile commerce in mind, as any good eCommerce platform is today, enabling you to build fast and responsive eCommerce websites out of the box.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce trails only Shopify in global eCommerce market share, powering a little over 20% of all eCommerce websites.

WooCommerce is an extension of WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system, and gives you all the benefits of WordPress alongside robust eCommerce capabilities.

WordPress (and, by extension, WooCommerce) is extremely easy for beginners to use, with a massive ecosystem of plugins and tools available to expand functionality without writing code. Yet it’s also a great platform for developers, as it can be easily modified and customized in order to create powerful, unique eCommerce websites.

If you’re used to WordPress, WooCommerce will do just fine as your mobile commerce platform, with nothing preventing you from deploying an amazing mobile experience for your customers.

Squarespace

Squarespace has grown from a beginner-focused website builder, to one of the top eCommerce platforms in the world, powering more than two million eCommerce stores in the US alone, and rivaling WooCommerce as the second most popular eCommerce platform in both the US and the world.

It has ready-to-go templates and side building tools to let you go live with mobile-optimized websites extremely quickly, and without needing any web development expertise.

And while Squarespace has a reputation as a site builder for beginners, it’s still one of the top 10 eCommerce platforms among the world’s top 100k and top 10k eCommerce sites by traffic, showing that it has the scalability and feature set to suit even high-revenue eCommerce business.

MobiLoud

All the platforms above are designed to help you build an eCommerce website, which is half of the picture when it comes to mobile commerce.

The other half is mobile apps. With platforms like Shopify and Adobe Commerce, you’ll need to build a mobile app separately, and link it with your website via headless APIs - or use another tool to bridge the gap, like MobiLoud.

Calling MobiLoud a “tool” is selling it short. MobiLoud is a full-service platform to turn websites into mobile apps. No matter which platform you use to build your site, MobiLoud’s service will convert it to fast, full-featured native mobile apps, without the massive cost that usually comes with custom-developed apps.

Numerous high-revenue eCommerce apps have been built with MobiLoud, including John Varvatos, Rainbow Shops and Jack & Jones.

See more examples of MobiLoud apps here

It’s the ideal complement to one of the aforementioned platforms to round out your mobile commerce strategy. Once you’ve built a great mobile website using one of these solutions, it takes almost no effort to turn it into an amazing mobile app, complete with native mobile UI, an app store presence, and native push notifications.

Learn more about MobiLoud’s mCommerce solutions, or book a demo to get a free preview of your mobile app now

Want to see more about how MobiLoud integrates with other mobile commerce platforms? Check out these articles:

Tips for Choosing the Right M-Commerce Platform

We recommend all the mobile commerce platforms listed above. If we had to narrow it down, we’d say go with Squarespace if you need a beginner-friendly mobile commerce platform, use Adobe Commerce if you want flexibility and are willing to do a little web development, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud if you need enterprise features.

All others will be fine with Shopify, WooCommerce or BigCommerce.

But today, there’s not a huge difference between the top mobile commerce platforms. It largely comes down to which platform you are most comfortable with.

Key features your platform needs include:

  • The ability to build a fast and responsive mobile website.
  • Mobile checkout and payment options (e.g. Apple Pay, Google Pay).
  • Customizable checkout flow to fit mobile users (ideally one-click checkout).
  • Analytics segmented by desktop and mobile users.
  • The ability to personalize the shopping experience to fit individual users.

On top of this, you may have specific features you want to be able to build, such as chatbots, AR or VR features, social commerce integration, or enterprise-grade features.

Headless architecture is a nice-to-have, which allows you to decouple the back and front ends of your store and build custom experiences to suit different channels.

However, with MobiLoud, the classic idea of headless commerce is basically overkill. Most eCommerce businesses don’t need to provide a completely fresh experience on their app and their website.

Once you start developing an app, you'll realize that the goal is actually to build a consistent mobile shopping experience, that's not massively different whether someone is on your app or mobile site.

A good, responsive mobile commerce website does 90% of what a mobile app does. With MobiLoud, you can build mobile commerce apps without messing around with headless APIs and the hassle of custom mobile app development.

“Our apps never had any functionality or usability beyond the web experience. The reason to have an app is not to have something that isn’t on the website, but for people who prefer that way to access Rainbow content.”

- David Cost from Rainbow Shops, who used MobiLoud to build their mobile commerce app.

The Rainbow Shops mobile commerce stack: website with Shopify and app with MobiLoud

Putting It All Together: Your Multi-Channel M-Commerce Strategy

Mobile commerce is more than just mobile websites, and it’s more than just apps.

Your mCommerce strategy should begin with a website, as that’s where people are most likely to find you and become customers. The next step is to turn that into an integrated mobile app.

The mobile app market is worth more than $500 billion annually, and revenue from shopping apps specifically is growing at around 15% each year. Mobile commerce businesses that ignore apps, and focus only on their websites, will soon risk being left behind.

Mobile apps offer a number of other benefits, including better retention, conversion rate and other engagement metrics for people who shop on your app.

So any company looking to get on board with mobile commerce needs two things:

  • A well-optimized, responsive, fast mobile website
  • A mobile commerce app

The best way to build these two elements is building a website using your website platform of choice (such as Shopify, Adobe Commerce or WooCommerce) and then building mobile apps with MobiLoud.

This covers the entire spectrum of mCommerce, and does so without the need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on developers, and with minimal overhead, so you don’t need to pivot into becoming a tech company.

Your focus remains on what’s most important - product and customers - while the mobile commerce platforms make it easy to stay on top of the technical side of things.

Go now and start building your mobile commerce empire. To learn more about the part MobiLoud plays, or to start the process of building your own mCommerce app, book a demo now.

Get a working preview of your app prepared by our team. Your MobiLoud app integrates with your entire tech stack, works with all custom features, and automatically syncs with everything on your site in real time.
eCommerce App Development Guide
Mobile apps are a great loyalty amplifier and made for your best customers. Understand your options for launching your own app with our ecommerce app development guide.
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