The rate of mobile commerce is growing faster than all other forms of online retail, and 3x more than its older sibling, PC e-commerce. There are different factors playing important roles in this development: the increase of mobile penetration across all demographics, the increase of the amount of time spent on mobile devices (as opposed to the decrease of the time spent on desktop devices), largely accessible 4G networks, and the sophistication of mobile gadgets on the market.
According to research carried out by Statista, mobile devices - tablets excluded - represented 49.73% of web page views worldwide as of February 2017.
These mobile gadgets are gaining different forms and becoming increasingly popular. From the indispensable smartphone to the on-the-go tablet, there are now wearable devices that offer users closer monitoring of their daily activities, such as smartwatches, smart glasses and augmented reality devices.
They are used as digital personal assistants, they're with us at all times. They can tell us what to do and when to do it. They assist us on buying tickets and ordering food. That means we all have these mobile devices with us for the entire day helping us to live better and easier lives.
By 2020, the number of smartphone users around the globe will reach 2.87 billion, compared to 2.1 billion in 2016.
The benefits of online shopping are well known, such as the elimination of lines, the time saving aspect and the possibility of multitasking. M-commerce, however, opens up an entire new world of possibilities. From a branding point of view, this calls for a great opportunity to watch consumer behavior.
Here is a list of the most common consumer-related uses of mobile devices:
- Read product reviews
- Check product availability
- Get coupons and discounts
- Compare prices
- Find retailers
- Use of smartphone in-store
- Complete purchases
- Shopping assistant
- Online services
Future of Mobile Commerce: Trends You Cannot Miss in 2018
I have listed some ongoing trends in mobile that can satisfy customers across the globe with the aid of smart marketing and wise use of top of the notch technology:
1. Nonlinear shopping
When a consumer searches for location based information, this can convert to an indirect sale.
These shoppers are looking for an immediate action. They want to find stores, service providers, discover local showtimes and ultimately, optimize their shopping experience.
This is a new customer-centric retail landscape, and it proposes challenges as well as rewards if the cards are played right. Non-linear shopping is a new concept that involves omnichannel offerings and user engagement, and that must be embraced by companies, because customers are, as their devices, getting smarter each day. Which is obvious, since they now have various tools at hand to shop more dynamically. This means that they will compare products, prices, delivery services and share their opinions with friends and relatives on social media.
The key to grasp this concept is to be present across platforms and integrate services - find a way to connect with your customer from their pockets or wrists, to their homes and, perhaps, to a brick-and-mortar retailer. An integrated service offers support each step of the way, and creates an opportunity to redefine marketing and create a deeper value in brand and retailer interactions. Not to mention a better and long-lasting customer/brand relationship.
2. From local to global
At the same time, customers are being driven inwards when it comes to cultural productions, organically grown vegetables locally produced goods, since the creation of the internet the concept of a global reach has been a game changer, and it's limiting to think of a marketplace with borders.
Consumers are being heavily driven by social media and international influencers in a way that the demand for electronics, fashion, design and luxury goods are exponentially high and spread evenly across the world. This means that brands that want to be ahead of their game should find a way to have their products available in stock for these consumers, arrange fast and practical means of delivery and accept local payment methods that these customers have access to and trust.
Intelligent payment systems are especially important in this scenario since many shoppers tend to abandon their shopping carts when asked to input their credit card details.
The numbers are as high as 80%, which has been driving retailers to offer different payment options, like direct app payments or pre-paid accounts. In fact, around 60% of mobile commerce transactions are made through these kind payment systems.
There are now quick, easy and secure systems that help your company to process all transactions across the world, accessing new consumer bases in order to significantly increase sales in different regions.
Reports say that the biggest mobile commerce markets are in Asia in Europe, and are being rapidly followed by North and Latin America.
3. Social and Mobile
The population under 30 years old and emerging market consumers are more likely to make purchases through social media platforms. At the moment, the habit is more wide spread throughout Asia, but it is quickly penetrating the markets in Europe and Latin America.
In the past few years, western tech giants like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have taken steps towards increasing their ecommerce footprint. This is due to social media being accessed more through mobile devices than desktop technology.
The advantages of having a mobile commerce present in social media are countless, given the constant presence of people online and amount of data they store on their public profiles. This is highly beneficial for companies who want to invest in sales through these platforms because of targeted marketing, personalized recommendations, rich analytics reports and cutting edge technology that is always being refined.
4. Smarter chatbots
People have better opinions of brands that offer a good mobile experience. They expect them to prodive more than just a list of products, and are looking to have their questions answered - quickly!
It's not only functional but it's important in order to build a strong relationship and make good decisions based on preferences.
Research also shows that digital users prefer using messenger apps as opposed to phone calls or emails. Chatbots and mobile messengers are indisputably here to stay, and are being used by reputed brands like Starbucks, H&M and Nordstrom. They offer real time responses and personalized shopping experiences, which cater to the shoppers needs without the requirement to download or install new apps.
The technology involved is still new but rapidly being refined. The chatbot market definitely offers a huge potential.
5. Circumstantial Shopping
The purchasing impulse depends on the person with the buying power and their current situation. Companies target different groups but they are not accustomed to consider how those groups behave in different day-to-day situations. Overlooking circumstance and behavior is a crass mistake because they may serve as variants, such as the time of the day, tiredness or restlessness, pregnancy, sickness, and others. Another thing they all have in common is that they can be closely monitored by mobile devices and for different purposes by its users.
Location, timing, consumer emotions, and other factors are decisive in the purchasing moment.
Where you are, what time it is, how you are feeling at that given moment, if you've got the winter blues or what day of the week it is, can influence heavily on decision making and purchases.
By using data collected from mobile devices, companies have the opportunity to target users more dynamically and precisely. Knowing what a situation means for your customer is key for a successful approach and sale. In the future this could be done by a lot of devices - watches, rings, wristbands, smart clothing, or any kinds of wearables that give feedback on how you feel.
6. Augmented reality
Headsets that render projections are huge in the gaming world, but they are also a fun way to shop, because augmented reality devices allow customers to virtually try out products in their homes before actually buying them. In fact, shoppers spend on average four times more time checking out a product on a augmented reality device than on a regular one. Augmented reality creates additional value to a mobile commerce app, and the conversion rates are higher too. Consumers engage more, and are less likely to abandon their carts and more likely to go through with a purchase.
Another fact that is worth noting is that products that are bought with the aid of augmented reality devices are less likely to be returned, compared to products bought online in the 'old fashion' way. The reason for that is because they don't look as different upon arrival. The result is a more satisfied customer who is more likely to buy from that specific retailer again.
Technology is advancing at an exponential speed and it's important to keep up with the latest tech trends in order to attract different markets and consumers. People will always have needs, whether it be ordering a pizza on the way home from work or buying a new couch that is the right size, color and fabric. One thing all potential consumers have in common is a smart phone in their pockets, which means mobile commerce is definitely a growing trend worth investing in.
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So, these are the biggest trends in m-commerce that online business owners should pay attention at to increase sales continuously. Is there any moves that are rocking the m-commerce world that I might have missed? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!