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Mobile Advertising & M-Commerce Tips for Brands

Your consumers are never without their phones, so make buying your brand a breeze. Here are a few tips for winning at mobile commerce.

woman looking at phone and laptop

Real quick, do you have your phone nearby? I do! Your future customers do, too.

We’re all tethered to our mobile devices these days, making them one of the most effective ways to reach your target consumers.

In fact, Statista reports that the majority of retail website traffic now comes from mobile devices! That means countless opportunities to reach shoppers in a purchasing mindset and persuade them to choose your brand.

Smart advertising campaigns are no longer conceptualized and then later “optimized for mobile” – they’re built with mobile in mind. 

Here are a few ways to take full advantage of this quickly evolving, high-performing medium:

What are the different types of mobile ads?

Mobile advertising refers to any form of digital advertising that appears within a mobile or handheld device. The creative possibilities are endless, but a few of the most impactful forms include:

Display (or Banner) Ads

In 2024, display ads must be designed for mobile users, which means eye-catching designs and interactive user experiences. Our award-winning mobile marketing campaigns have included rich media and location data tech that guided people to physical stores and fun AR filters that consumers loved putting on their photos.

Native Ads

Most of us are primed to visually recognize and skip over advertisements that stand out from the content we're looking at -- native ads blend in with the surrounding content so viewers will read them without disruption.


Turning a digital ad into a quick, fun puzzle or quiz increases user engagement exponentially. What's even better: offering a reward for ad engagement or offering purchase credits for in-app game participation (a la McDonald's and their Hamburglar games) can build long-term customer loyalty.

Audio & Video Ads

Video ads are extremely effective on mobile devices because they combine two forms of attention: sound and motion. They provide an opportunity to convey your brand's personality through creative visuals and sonic branding -- but they can also be expensive and often skippable.

Augmented Reality

As mentioned above, AR-infused ads can make your brand stand out from the stream of static and video ads, especially for apparel and home goods. Customers want to see how items will look in their space before purchasing, and with AR tech, you can give them the visuals they need to make a decision in real time.

What is m-commerce, and how does it differ from e-commerce?

Mobile commerce (or m-commerce) is a subset of e-commerce that specifically uses wireless or handheld electronic devices for buying and selling goods and services online. M-commerce can take place in a mobile web browser or in an app, and it allows for payment via digital wallet or contactless payment in addition to manual credit card data entry.

A 2023 Morning Consult study showed that 60% of Americans believe mobile shopping is a necessity for convenient online shopping.

That means brands need to build their e-commerce stores with mobile in mind from the start and make mobile shopping as seamless as possible, or they'll lose out to the competition.

It also means:

Mobile advertising campaigns should be built with m-commerce in mind!

Don't just show users a mobile ad and be done with it -- our eyes are trained to skip over digital advertisements that aren't engaging and actionable. Build a smooth path to purchase from your native or social ad to your online store. You can then track the user's journey using URL mapping so you know which media channels are successfully driving traffic to your product pages.

Examples of m-commerce marketing campaigns:

  • Exverus' 2024 WARC Effectiveness Award-winning e-commerce campaign for Premier Protein & Dymatize established a direct path to purchase from TikTok & Instagram to the brands' Amazon pages using influencer content & link stickers during Amazon Prime Day.

  • We designed a mobile-first AI Chatbot product recommender for John Soules Foods, allowing users to input their food preferences and receive personalized recommendations.

  • Build a branded app where consumers (current and future) can shop, get advice, and access new releases instantly. After expanding their app to include digital drops, personal stylists, and visual product search, Adidas saw digital sales go up 51% in Q3 of 2020!

  • Give mobile users access to exclusive community deals that make them feel like part of an in-group. 58% of shoppers say an exclusive offer would increase their likelihood to purchase. 82% say it would increase how often they shopped with a brand.

Again, the possibilities for successful m-commerce campaigns stretch as far as your imagination. Gather a healthy sample of consumer data so you know who your audience is and what they want, and you can build an impactful campaign that serves your consumer well.


This piece originally appeared in our weekly Paid Media Insights newsletter. For more tips, research, and analysis; subscribe for free here.


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