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Mobile commerce The change from e-commerce to mobile commerce

Published on 10.12.2019 by Markus Peter, Digital Commerce Business Consultant, Swiss Post Ltd

The smartphone is our constant companion. So why should customers need to switch devices when they want to shop online? E-commerce is increasingly becoming mobile commerce. The retail market needs to adapt and actively develop this sales channel.

Nine out of ten Swiss citizens own a smartphone. According to the Swiss Post e-commerce trend indicator, 33 percent of those surveyed use their smartphone for shopping. 54 percent of people who do not use their smartphone for shopping cited the unsuitability of retail offers for mobile devices as the reason for this.

In order to be successful in mobile commerce, several points need to be considered:

  • The smartphone is not simply a smaller PC screen and it differs considerably from a desktop. The smartphone is operated using fingers and not a mouse. This means that images and text need to be adapted to the specific features. And this also applies to the actual order process.
  • It must be possible to operate the app or mobile website quickly and conveniently and it must have good usability. This is especially true for the payment process. Nothing annoys mobile shoppers more than getting caught up in forms when coming to the end of their order or when the payment process drags on.

The changes in the last years convey a clear message. The use of smartphones has increased considerably, while the barriers (e.g. unsuitable websites) have diminished. However, responsive design is still not as popular as hoped – many customers avoid using their smartphones for online shopping.

The e-commerce trend indicator 2019 is clear. Consumers still complain that using their mobile is too cumbersome.
The e-commerce trend indicator 2019 is clear. Consumers still complain that using their mobile is too cumbersome.

Social selling as an extended sales channel

Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are also suitable sales channels. A younger audience, especially, responds well to this medium. Social selling is particularly interesting for suppliers of lifestyle products and services, jewellery, clothing and cosmetics, as well as travel.

The offers and opportunities provided by social commerce or social selling are steadily increasing and suppliers are continually expanding their services. It is worth taking a look at Asia here, where these offers have been standard practice for years and interactive retailing is practically only processed via such channels.

More on this in the interview with Prof. Martina Dalla Vecchia on social selling.


The topic of “Geolocalization” is an extremely interesting one for high-street retailers. After all, a significant proportion of purchase decisions in high-street retail today are first researched online. In order to reach buyers on their smartphone, retailers need to actively promote their online presence and show potential customers where they can find the company and what the company has to offer. This includes presenting company profiles on established platforms such as Google Maps, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, etc., which help match suitable businesses to user search queries. The correct location information and opening times are important here.

If retailers wish to enjoy online success today, they have no option but to optimize their products and services for smartphones. Because “life’s remote control” decides whether or not the retailers will survive.


Markus Peter, Business Consultant, PostLogistics

Markus Peter is a Digital Commerce Business Consultant at Swiss Post’s Digital Commerce Competence Center, and he also lectures at a number of universities of applied sciences.

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