Many have no doubts that eCommerce is a major part of retail sales in today’s world. From making online purchases to using a smartphone to make a payment, it’s all relevant to the device in your pocket. But do you understand why mobile eCommerce is so influential?
There’s an old saying, “Once you understand the nature of the thing, you know what it’s capable of.” By keeping an eye on mobile eCommerce trends, you begin to understand how it influences markets, sales and engagement.
My point is to take advantage of these mobile eCommerce statistics as soon as possible and when applicable. It’s safe to assume your competition is doing what they can to take your sales.
1. Integration of Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is an engaging concept taking many markets by storm. And I’m not just talking about playing Pokemon Go or other game. Many developers are using augmented reality to showcase products.
For example, would you install an app that shows you what the living room would look like with a certain piece of furniture in real-time? What about changing the color of paint on the walls of the house?
It is estimated the market for augmented reality will be valued at over $61 billion by 2023. This is more than 25 times its value back in 2016.
One of the reasons why augmented reality is such a craze is because users are engaged without requiring bulky devices or powerful computer setups. You can easily change your view of the world with just your smartphone with a camera on its back.
This goes beyond simple commercials. Instead of explaining how someone’s life is impacted by a product, retailers are “showing” how. Not only that, but users are also finding it entertaining to explore the possibilities.
In any case, it’s piquing interest and improving awareness of the brand.
2. Advanced Chatbots
Chatbots have been around for quite some time. However, the technology for artificial intelligence is quickly advancing. In some instances, it’s very difficult to determine if you’re chatting with a real person or a computer generated script.
A significant advantage of using chatbots is the fact they operate 24 hours per day without requiring a paycheck, office space or 401(k) plan. In fact, as many as 64% of people in the United States agree that 24/7 service of chatbots is the best feature.
By 2022, it’s believed chatbots will save companies roughly $8 billion per year in customer support costs. Think about it. Instead of hiring staff 24 hours per day to handle the work a bot can easily manage, one online program is all you would need to purchase.
In many instances, chatbots are used to interact with people through SMS text messaging or dedicated apps. In reality, you probably use a chatbot on a regular basis. Ever asked your phone to call someone or to look up a nearby location?
OK Google, where is the best location for pizza near me?
3. Popularity of Single-Click Payments
The prospect of single-click payments interests a lot of customers. The idea of making a single click or tap on the phone to commit a purchase saves time. As many as 28% of shoppers will abandon a cart because the process takes too long or is complicated.
The integration of this type of system is seen in many online and offline locations. For instance, you can quickly use your phone to make a purchase at stores like Walmart. This exponentially cuts time at the register.
One of the reasons why single-click payments are not as popular as you’d think is because of security issues raised. Without verifying information such as addresses linked to credit cards, security codes on the back of cards and other measures, it’s much easier to take advantage of the system.
However, these types of problems are being addressed as more methods are coming to shopping, especially from a mobile device. Facial tracking, voice recognition and other biometrics are become far more prevalent to greatly reduce device and information theft.
It’s unlikely anyone will walk into a Walmart with a severed thumb to unlock a phone to make a purchase.
4. Ads Based on Geographic Location
Ads based on geographic location are beneficial for everyone. This helps even the smallest business become visible among larger corporation. That is, as long as you invest in local SEO practices.
About 86% of consumers use the Internet to find local businesses. And pushing ads based on location is more likely to reach consumers from smartphones. Thanks to GPS tracking, it’s much easier to customize messages to people depending where they are on the map.
Ads based in geographic location work for search engines, social media and even dedicated apps when built correctly. All of these platforms are available from mobile devices and often used in excess. For instance, 87% of people who use Facebook on mobile devices open it on a daily basis. Is your ad visible when they do?
Mobile commerce trends include how people use their phone in their communities as much as it does for online sales. This means every business needs to have a mobile optimized website whether they sell online or simply want to reach local foot traffic.
5. Product Research and Sales
Advertisements are only a small portion of marketing strategies in today’s world. Content, reviews and even social engagement are often factors to influence if someone is going to buy a product or not.
In fact, about 88% of shoppers in the United States take to the Internet to research a product they plan to buy in person. And 80% of shoppers will do so from a smartphone while standing in the store looking at the product.
This research often includes things like:
- Price comparisons
- Customer reviews
- Researching similar products
- Social media recommendations
This is a primary reason to explore content marketing and making sure your business is visible on the Internet. Even if those research-based buyers are not in your store, they can still see your content while visiting the competition. It may convince them to come to you instead.
My point is people use their smartphones to search for more than just cat memes, funny YouTube videos or mobile games. These devices are tools most people use to make their lives easier, including making smarter purchases.
It’s the fuel behind why mobile eCommerce is such a popular platform today.
6. Increasing Automation
Automation in most forms is a time-saver and can often greatly reduce overall costs of a project. For instance, many will put in the effort for marketing automation because it can handle the workload of many without incurring extra overhead costs.
This automation is becoming more common-place in the mobile arena. I’ve touch a bit on chatbots and ads earlier, but this is only the tip of a much larger iceberg.
For example, eCommerce sites primed for mobile automation include things like loyalty programs, aggregated reviews and cross-selling methods to engage impulse shoppers.
Take companies like Caribou Coffee, for example. Using a smartphone to “check in,” customers earn loyalty rewards every time they walk into the store. This gives the customer discounts and even free coffee after so many purchases. It’s an example of automating loyalty programs.
Automation comes in a variety of forms, and you could save your business a lot of time and money by exploring some of the more effective methods.
7. Advancing AI, Machine Learning and Voice Recognition
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are constantly in development. This is seen on a wide number of eCommerce sites as they show items you would be most interested in buying. It’s often connected to up-selling and cross-selling based on your searches and clicks.
However, AI is far beyond simply showing products in an online store. Many companies are using AI to power voice-responsive call centers.
Part of what’s driving AI forward is the response it has from the general consumer base. For instance, as many as 61% of people admit how AI will make the world a better place. However, 85% of people fear AI devices can be hacked resulting in a loss of personal information.
Even though the fear of losing data is there, people still prefer to trust AI because of the benefits. Faster processing than humans, greater storage and recall of data and overall cost savings are some of the features.
Some think it’s kind of creepy that the phone knows more about their personality than a significant other. But that’s the power behind properly implemented algorithms and coding.
8. Voice Search Integration
Earlier, I mentioned how users speak to their phones to conduct search. Because the technology is so advanced, many experts are including voice search SEO.
Experts believe 30% of all searches online will be conducted without the use of a screen. This is quite a possibility as many will use devices like Alexa and Google Home to search with nothing more than a speaker.
Smartphones have a similar capability as results are often delivered verbally. This is convenient for those who are driving as it removes the need to look at a screen while traveling down the freeway at 70 miles per hour.
Did you know that the most common category for voice-activated shopping is grocery? In fact, shopping for food makes up 20% of voice-activated purchases.
I remember back when voice recognition was a nightmare to operate on computers running Windows Vista. Back then, ordering a pizza may have resulted in receiving a bag of pretzels.
We don’t have many of those kinds of issues today…depending on the device.
9. Storefront Apps
While mobile optimization is a vastly important aspect of a website, don’t underestimate the value of a good app. A lot of retailers are producing their own mobile-specific additions to further engage their consumers.
After all, it’s all about the repeat buyer and engagement.
With a mobile app, you can set the device to receive occasional coupons, discounts and messages regarding the product. It also gives shoppers direct access to your business without opening a web browser, which completely customizes the experience.
This also includes the use of messenger apps. More than 54% of users prefer to communicate with brands through social media chat. An example of this is how PayPal will send receipts to Facebook Messenger once the app is connected.
Remember when I mentioned automating loyalty programs? Most of those are driven from a storefront app. From this platform, users can check things like their loyalty status, past purchases and more depending on the developer.
The best part is that app development is a simple and cost-effective platform that nearly any business can afford. As long as it can engage the consumer or provide something beneficial like mobile coupons, it’s often worth the investment.
10. An Omnichannel Presence
While mobile eCommerce, or mCommerce, generates a great deal of revenue, desktop eCommerce reached approximately $335.7 billion by the end of 2017. This means that you cannot solely put all of your effort in the hand-held market.
An omni-channel presence is necessary to maximize your efforts when it comes to making sales on the Internet. For instance, many who do not use their smartphones to make a purchase will use their desktop computers…and vice-versa.
For some, this also means expanding your products and services into other systems to reach an even greater audience. For instance, some services on the Internet will integrate other shopping hubs such as eBay, Facebook, Google Shopping and Amazon from a single location.
Part of the omni-channel platform is delivering a multi-channel support system. Email, phone, website chatbots and even social media should be included in methods for customers to get in touch with your business. It’s all about delivering a person’s preferred method of communication to improve the customer experience.
Consider this, companies lose more than $62 billion per year because of poor customer service. I’m not saying that multiple communication channels will resolve all issues, but it affects how the consumer views the company.
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Mobile eCommerce continues to grow year-over-year. If you want your business to succeed in today’s economy, you’ll need to consider your own adaptations to get those customers. Otherwise, you’ll hand over potential buyers to competitors.