M-commerce is rapidly gaining popularity and flourishing at a high speed. It is expected that in the coming years, m-commerce will graduate from a trend to a dominant commercial force.
As shoppers spend more money than ever buying products online, m-commerce companies continue to invest in new ways to surpass competitors, catch the attention of prospective buyers, increase conversions, and win customer loyalty.
Each year, new trends emerge that define how m-commerce companies operate, promote on the market their products and interact with their clients. In this article we define the top mobile commerce trends that you need to be aware of.
What Is Mobile Commerce?
M-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones. These days, you can buy almost anything with a mobile phone, including but not limited to food and movie tickets. You can open a bank account and even apply for a home loan, all in the palm of your hand.
M-commerce matters because mobile is quickly becoming the principal way customers shop online. Whatever your business, your customers – in every demographic – are mobile device users.
The Future of Mobile Commerce
The next decade promises to be the era of m-commerce. Here are some of the m-commerce trends we believe will prevail.
Multi-channel retailing means selling goods across multiple online channels (e.g. a web app store, a marketplace or social media). It is a new approach to commerce that focuses on creating coherent user experience for customers at every touchpoint. It is different from traditional marketing, where companies optimize individual platforms without the whole experience actually being taken into account. For instance, if you sign up through a store’s website, you would expect the same login information to work on the app.
According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, 73% of customers shop across multiple channels. According to Salesforce, 75% of buyers expect consistent experiences across multiple channels (web, mobile, in-person, social), while 73% of buyers will likely buy from another brand if they don’t get it.
Mobile commerce is the one channel that stays with a customer wherever they go. According to a survey from TD Bank, 6 in 10 US internet users have used digital tools to compare product prices while shopping in-store. Moreover, nearly half of respondents shared pictures of products to get feedback from family and friends.
The number of customers who use their mobile devices to shop online is constantly growing. This leads to a decline in paying for goods with physical cards. Instead of asking buyers to enter a string of numbers and an expiration date, you can let customers check out using one of the popular mobile payment platforms, such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
While you certainly need to have a mobile-friendly website it isn’t enough to make your business thrive. For starters, 85% of customers prefer mobile apps to mobile-optimized websites. Secondly, mobile apps have continued to convert at much higher rates than mobile web experiences.
E-commerce website owners have recognized this trend, and are adapting accordingly. Many businesses have realized the significance of targeting mobile users and are starting to develop apps for their e-commerce websites.
Apps are the future of m-commerce growth. You need to have a mobile app in 2021 to stay on top of the competition. Building one now puts you in the early adopter category. However, if you wait too long to make this decision, you’ll quickly lag behind your competitors.
AR & VR
The key advantage of brick-and-mortar is that they provide an opportunity to see and touch products up close and try them on. Conversely, one of the major benefits of e-commerce development is the possibility to ship orders quickly, try them in the comfort of your own home, and return them easily.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality help retailers bridge the gap by “augmenting” real-world images and environments in real-time with digital information.
Smartphones and tablets are the perfect instruments for delivering augmented reality experience. They’re portable, they’re equipped with high-definition cameras and increasingly powerful processors, and everyone has one.
For instance, a company that sells furniture online can use AR to demonstrate what a sofa would look like in a buyer’s home. This allows the buyer to select a color to see if a product will actually fit in the desired space.
AR is a great option for online commerce. Without AR and VR-powered mobile apps, consumers would have to make purchases with trial and error, which is never flawless. The last thing anyone wants to do is buy a product online only to find out it doesn’t match their expectations.
Initially, mobile phones were created for better voice communication. Now, given that the majority of online traffic comes from mobile phones, they are playing the main role in fostering voice-empowered activities like shopping.
In the coming years, voice search will penetrate the M-commerce market. Statistics show that 51% of consumers use voice commands to research products while 22% of shoppers use voice search to make a purchase.
Mobile developers will aim to come up with smarter voice control shortly to allow customers to dictate with their voice what they want:
- search for items;
- choose their size, style, color;
- add items to the basket;
- and even check out.
All of that will be performed using voice commands only. Voice control, like Siri or Alexa, is now part of most operating systems for smartphones. The future, however, will see voice control apps created specifically to serve the world of M-commerce. Voice control can make the shopping experience for mobile users even smoother and contribute to the growth of m-commerce.
Most e-commerce companies still rely on emails. They encourage customers to sign up for email newsletters and exclusive offers and promotions and send notifications to motivate customers to purchase the items they left behind in their checkout cart. But emails are slow and exhausting and most likely will get into a spam folder. That’s why merchants switch to chatbots, which will be used along with or instead of emails.
Millennials and younger generations prefer text messages to email as a far more direct and convenient means of communication. Businesses looking to attract more customers will turn to this medium.
Another benefit of chatbots is that they can automate the customer service process and provide personalized customer experience based on all the information collected through mobile analytics.
Companies can save time and resources by automating conversations that would require an employee to respond. Instead of having employees doing repetitive tasks or answering the same questions again and again, customer relations specialists can focus on more important things.
Talking to chatbots will play a pivotal role: consumers don’t want to wait for answers to basic questions. And companies don’t want to allocate resources to answer the same questions over and over.
Mobile chatbots will be used more than ever before to facilitate e-commerce transactions. So it’s only a matter of time before e-commerce businesses start adding chatbots to their m-commerce apps.
It’s clear to see that the future of e-commerce is on mobile. When e-retail sites are created with mobile users in mind, M-commerce makes shopping fast and easy for buyers while proving hugely profitable for your business.
It will be interesting to see these trends influencing our everyday shopping experiences, making them even more convenient and streamlined. For e-commerce store owners, too, this would mean an increase in sales, resulting in a mature ecosystem. Mobile commerce is certainly going to see a huge change from its current model with the growth of new technologies and trends.