Mobile devices have changed the way we live and, in 2020, are a part of every aspect of our lives. Furthermore, smartphones have become life managing devices for most of humanity, which, in turn, generates unprecedented amounts of shopper data. Brands and retailers can now leverage to inform real-time product development and personalized targeting.
The recent global health crisis has certainly boosted online sales, leading to a huge increase in visits to the top 2000 North American e-commerce sites, 19% collectively, and 125% on average. The owners of online and offline businesses are more and more turning to explore the potential of e-commerce, and especially m-commerce. It’s no surprise considering that it is expected to take up 73% of the global e-commerce market share by 2021, up from 59% back in 2017.
Traditional commerce got transformed in the 90s, with the rise of the internet and, consequently, the development of e-commerce. At that time, retailers got the opportunity to sell the goods from their stores online, which enabled them to reach a much wider audience both locally and globally. Mobile commerce was born in the 21st century with the evolution of mobile devices.
So today, we are lucky to be living in a world of mobile or m-commerce – “the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets.” Wikipedia informs us that the term mobile commerce was created in 1997 by Kevin Duffey at the Global Mobile Commerce Forum launch. According to his definition, it is “the delivery of electronic commerce capabilities directly into the consumer’s hand, anywhere, via wireless technology.”
But we’d be wrong to think that buying and selling are all there is to the world of m-commerce. M-commerce includes any monetary transaction completed using a mobile device and doesn’t require physical contact between two people to send or receive the money. It covers everything from e-commerce and in-app purchasing to mobile banking and purchasing goods using a digital wallet. The variety of transactions covered by m-commerce can be categorized as one of three types:
M-commerce certainly evolved the world of e-commerce, enabling anyone to buy and sell goods or services from almost anywhere, only using a mobile device. It also enhanced the growth of existing industries and services and triggered the development of some new ones, including:
The early mobile commerce focused on the selling and purchasing of ringtones, logos, and songs. Today, the predominantly sold items are related to fashion, beauty, and lifestyle industries – clothes, make-up & cosmetics, and home & living. Consequently, mobile shopping has become a vital revenue-stream for e-retailers as an effective channel to reach potential customers and boost sales.
Shifts in consumer power and preference around efficiency and speed intersect with technological, economic, industrial, and societal factors to accelerate retail’s transformation over the next 5-10 years. This results in innovation that drives brands and their customers away from stores and further toward digital commerce and convenience.
However, m-commerce does not drive shoppers away from physical stores in its entirety. It turns out it improves the offline shopping experience. Shoppers use their phones and m-shopping services before visiting a physical store to get inspiration, find a specific product or brand to buy; plan a trip to the store – find locations or closest stores, or narrow down the choices.
But what ultimately drives customers to mobile shopping is convenience. It is not necessary to go to the store and wait in line anymore. They can browse and view products, compare prices, buy, share purchases, or favorite items with friends without leaving their home or while doing any other activity.
Shoppers are also engaged by loyalty and reward programs permanently in action by brands and retailers to attract people. They love coupons, rewards, and discounts. Mobile shopping apps gave way to customer empowerment – they can have a pleasant shopping experience whenever and wherever they want via their mobile phone.
A mobile shopping app is an excellent additional tool for shop owners to engage customers and offer a great user experience. Incorporating mobile commerce into online sales strategies needs to happen sooner than later. By learning how m-commerce functions, using the right platforms, and jumping on trends early, store owners can quickly gain an edge over the competitors. But what it brings to their business and customers? For starters, 85% of consumers prefer mobile apps to mobile websites.
People mostly appreciate speed and simplicity and want to finish their tasks quickly and without obstacles. Creating a fast and convenient mobile app makes the overall buying process much more comfortable and faster. Making it interactive and adding some exclusive content (coupons, discount notifications, etc.) ensures a user experience that will keep shoppers happy.
With mobile apps, brands also can deliver personalized content to customers based purely on individual preferences and shopping patterns. User location, interests, social media profiles, items viewed, etc. can all be utilized to bring people what they need.
Mobile commerce makes it easy to merge online and in-store experiences. The shopping cycle should combine the buyer experience across channels, including desktop, mobile, and any in-store placements.
A great example of this is luxury retailer Neiman Marcus lets consumers use its “Snap. Find. Shop” app to take a photo of a product they like inside their brick-and-mortar store. It is then used to search the Neiman Marcus database and see if something similar is available to buy online.
The effects of having access to more in-depth analytics from mobile apps are rich customer data, shopping patterns and behavior, trends, and better forecast options.
Walmart app used by 22 million customers every month, uses mobile data, online data, and sales data combined to deliver better customer experience.
With convenience, speed, and personalization at the heart of mobile commerce, modern shoppers have an enticing shopping experience.
Approximately 4.77 billion people will use smartphones to make mobile purchases by the end of 2020, which makes the owners of online and offline businesses very interested in understanding and exploring the potential of m-commerce. Retailers and brands are already investing thousands of dollars into incredible mobile experiences. In the future game is not only providing convenient transactions – it is all about delivering an out-of-this-world experience for users.
So, what are the trends in 2021 m-commerce that need to be considered?
One of the latest trends in m-commerce is integrating chatbots into mobile apps or websites. Chatbots are enabling brands to reach and engage with customers in real-time. e-Bay, Nike, and H&M, for example, have developed AI-based chatbots that can communicate in a human-like way with the customers.
However, this is an expensive option that requires development knowledge. Still, businesses have realized the potential of communicating with their customers through services like Facebook Messanger, Instagram Chat, WhatsApp, or Telegram as people already rely on these apps to stay in touch with their friends and family. Pizza Hut, Starbucks, and Uber use this technology to suggest products and take orders from their customers.
More and more users are finding the products they want to buy over social media. Retailers begin to implement the one-touch purchase function and develop solutions for quick checkout. The process allows sellers to convert any media element (picture or video) into a shopping catalog. On Instagram, it is possible to put tags on products in published photos, and in this case, users expect minimum friction and literally a quick checkout.
The number of social media users will be 2.96 billion by the end of 2020, and in 2021, 54% of all users will be mobile-only.
This technology uses phone cameras to reproduce digital content into real-world spaces. AR technology allows customers to visualize a product as they would have an opportunity in a physical store or as a part of their own life. IKEA app shows customers how furniture would look in their homes. Glasses e-tailer Eyerim lets people try on the latest models of specs with their virtual mirror app.
AR option gives shoppers more confidence in the products they find online as they are showcased precisely the thing they’re planning to buy as if they would be in a store.
Digital wallets have grown in popularity due to the rising prominence of mobile commerce. Now bulky physical wallets holding different credit/debit cards, gift cards, coupons, etc. are becoming things of the past. Consumers are opting to keep all their payment methods in their mobile wallets. E-commerce businesses can now provide various payment options for their customers rather than just accepting debit/credit cards.
Today, almost every mobile commerce platform offers a range of payment solutions, providing a convenient shopping experience for consumers. People can pay for the orders they place via their credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, or a digital wallet service like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Shopify Pay. Mobile payments have become an industry all of its own.
For business owners, simpler checkout and payment, even entirely skipping the need for adding credit card and shipping details, lead to more conversions, more sales, and more repeat business. So one-click solutions that integrate with mobile wallets offer both sellers and shoppers more.
For some brands, like Power Support, choosing the right payment solution shown significant results very quickly. The difference in conversions was obvious in just two weeks after installing Amazon Pay. They’ve seen a 26% increase in orders.
However, mobile payments are taking over even the world of offline shopping. In-store mobile payments are already the primary method in some markets, with a massive 81% of smartphone users in China using mobile payment apps. The forecast is that by 2024 that the annual mobile wallet spend will be a fantastic US$9 trillion. The increase in digital wallet payments from 2019 to 2024 will be 80%. And finally, 50% of the world’s population will be making digital wallet payments by 2024.
So, implementing at least some type of digital payment method will definitely future proof m-commerce business. Eliminating the aggravation of looking for the wallet and card, retyping the numbers and information indefinitely can be a tipping point between keeping and losing customers.
Mobile commerce allows businesses to meet their customers where they spend their time instead of continually trying to attract them to their stores. With the rise of the internet, traditional commerce evolved into e-commerce, and with the development of mobile devices e-commerce evolved into m-commerce. It presented many new challenges, but also significant business opportunities for big retailers and small shop owners equally.
More and more brands take care of their customers in new ways, providing them with exceptional user experience and shopping journeys. But creating a mobile app for their shop offers them a direct channel of communication with shoppers, which in turn helps them increase customer loyalty and brand awareness. As shoppers are using apps even when they are shopping in physical stores, retailers are racing to provide them an omnichannel experience, presenting their products wherever their customers might be.
All in all, consumers of 2020 keep their money in digital wallets, order their food or ride from chatbots, and try on the sunglasses thanks to virtual mirrors before they buy them online.
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If you are ready to get one step closer to your customers, Omnishop offers the quickest way to create mobile apps for your online shop.