Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets offer consumers and brands alike the convenience of buying and selling things at the click of a button. Mobile commerce is an eCommerce category that has quickly gained popularity owing to the ease of transacting. And it’s no wonder! Mobile devices are everywhere, and their popularity continues to grow. Here are the mobile commerce trends that your eCommerce business needs to be aware of.
In 2023, smartphone retail eCommerce sales are expected to pass $432 billion, up from $148 billion in 2018. The rapid penetration of smartphones into consumers’ lives is undoubtedly the driving force behind the growth of mobile commerce.
In 2021, the number of global smartphone users reached 7.1 billion, with 5.3 billion mobile internet subscribers. While much of the mobile growth in the past several years has been accelerated by the pandemic, these numbers are predicted to see continued increase in the years ahead. Reports estimate that the number of global smartphone users will continue to increase and hit 7.49 billion by 2025, with 5.7 billion mobile subscribers.
The USA, India, and China are the top countries with the most smartphone users. The global smartphone market revenue continues to skyrocket thanks to the rapidly increasing selling price of mobile phones.
The Mobile Economy 2023 report from the GSMA highlights the role of mobile technology in both business’s digital transformation and governments’ post-pandemic recovery strategies, enabling innovation. Mobile devices are poised to create significant change in every facet of consumers’ lives, and one area where this is most visible is in mCommerce.
The trend is supported by the enhanced computing power of these wireless devices coupled with multifunctional mCommerce applications. According to a market forecast by Mordor Intelligence, the mobile payments market is set to grow at a CAGR of 24.5% from 2021 to 2026.
8 trends to consider for an effective mobile commerce strategy
Undoubtedly, the potential for mCommerce markets is enormous in the coming years. Research shows that 79% of smartphone users placed an order online using their mobile device in the last six months. This is due to continue even as the pandemic diminishes and the world opens up, as trends are forecasting that many pandemic behaviors – including online shopping – are here to stay in the long term.
Therefore, businesses can leverage the opportunities in mobile-driven online shopping by designing an effective strategy based on recent industry trends. If you are in a similar space, here is a list of eight trends you must consider for an efficient mCommerce strategy:
1. Augmented reality
Augmented reality has become an ideal way of using technology to help online shoppers virtually ‘try on’ or experience the products they wish to purchase. Brands such as IKEA are leveraging augmented reality to allow shoppers to use their smartphones to superimpose images of its furniture catalog within their own living rooms, making shopping smarter and more personal.
The Swedish furniture retailer’s ‘IKEA Place’ app lets customers virtually place true-to-scale 3D models in their very own space, using only their smartphone. If a piece of furniture is deemed a good fit for the room, it can then be seamlessly purchased via IKEA’s mobile shopping app.
IKEA is just one example of a brand making the most of AR to support its customers’ mobile shopping journey. Gucci, Wayfair, and Sephora have also invested in AR technology to provide entertainment and inspiration. Virtual reality elevates the online shopping experience and helps unite physical retail items with the virtual world, creating an integrated online/offline shopping experience.
And with the AR app market expected to reach $15.5 million this year, it’s an excellent time for brands to invest in AR technology to help them uplevel their customer experience.
2. One-click ordering
Online shopping requires customers to enter vital information related to their identity, address, and payment mode. Repeatedly entering the same information on every purchase may lead to frustration and impact purchase decisions.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that a complicated checkout process is the reason behind 18% of all cart abandonments. Most of the shopping carts abandoned on mobile commerce apps are due to the inconvenience of entering their vital data over a small screen.
Looking at cart abandonment rates by device, mobile sites lead with 97% of all check-out abandonment, followed by 68% abandonment on desktop sites, and only 20% abandonment on mobile apps. These figures indicate that ease-of-use is essential for a satisfactory customer experience.
The reason that mobile apps have been more successful at reducing abandoned carts than mobile websites, is because retail apps allow users to store their information securely, facilitating repeated orders without having to enter payment credentials each time. One-click ordering through a mobile commerce app offers customers the convenience of hassle-free shopping by completing the buying cycle with just one click.
Amazon’s 1-click process is an excellent example of this. It offers its customers the option to either add an item to the cart or purchase it immediately by simply adding the credit card details (the CVV number, more precisely). This feature has been a game-changer for the eCommerce giant.
Any eCommerce business can increase conversions by 35.26% with a better checkout design. Implementing the “one-click” process is a way to do that.
3. Optimizing websites for mobile
Mobile devices have smaller screens that are often not user-friendly when it comes to site-searching and navigation. In the past, poor mobile optimization was a common cause of customer attrition, but with today’s attention to user interface (UI) design, this is thankfully becoming a thing of the past.
Brands can maximize their customer success rates by ensuring that both their website and their mCommerce app incorporates a well-designed UI to facilitate frictionless search and navigation through the wide variety of products in the catalog.
Another key area for mobile optimization is to facilitate mobile search. Customers prefer using the search bar for finding the products while shopping on mobile apps and sites. Smart site search should be implemented to optimize matching search results perfectly with the search terms.
According to a site search analytics study by Econsultancy, 4.63% of conversions are recorded from visitors using search, and they contribute around 13.8% of the revenues.
Displaying filtered results quickly ensures a great user experience (UX) on a brand’s mCommerce app or website, delivering higher conversions and more repeat customers.
4. Progressive web apps
Brands’ native apps, although popular with customers, have some pitfalls: often they are cumbersome to install and can require a lot of mobile data to run. This year, however, one of the trends cropping up is the use of progressive web apps.
Progressive web apps (PWAs) are a technology that allows users to access a website on their smartphone and use it as an app. Similar to traditional smartphone apps, PWAs provide users with instant updates, push notifications, offline access and short loading times.
A good example of a successful PWA is the one offered by Starbucks, which allows customers to view the company’s menu and place an order on the go, even with an unstable internet connection. In this way, PWAs are similar to native apps, but they take up less space on mobile devices.
Integrating PWAs can help brands reach customers by providing fast, easy-to-use technologies that behave like native apps with the convenience of mobile-optimized websites.
5. Smart personalization
Personalized marketing helps retain customers. Research indicates 80% of customers prefer buying from a brand providing customized experiences. Carefully planned personalization strategies with due permission of data usage can drive customer satisfaction to higher levels.
Brands can use personalization to focus on the behavioral segmentation of customers and push preference-based communication. By recording the website browsing behavior of their target audience, brands can collect users’ contextual data, such as location and weather, to create a unique message for each buyer.
Data-driven personalized communication improves sales conversions, as in this way, brands can ensure that each customer receives usable information at the right time. A consumer survey conducted by SmarterHQ reveals 72% of customers engage with personalized messaging, and 90% may willingly share behavioral data in return.
6. Voice shopping
Smart speakers and voice assistants such as Google’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa have been around since 2011, but voice shopping is gaining momentum. It is estimated to grow up to $40 billion this year, which is a gigantic jump compared to $2 billion in 2018.
Voice search is being extensively used now to research products, place orders, and track delivery. Customers are also using voice to contact customer support, review, and reorder items.
As 27% of voice searches happen on mobile devices, it is imperative for brands to add the feature to their mobile commerce applications. The convenience of voice shopping and quick accessibility makes it a preferred feature for most online shoppers.
Optimizing a branded mobile app to include voice search technology enables mobile phone users to ask hyperlocal questions like “coffee shops near me” or “supermarkets near me.”
This can also help optimize the mobile SEO in such a way that the brand’s app and its mobile site work in tandem to tackle on-the-go local and vocal queries easily. For instance, if a brand’s website has been created on Squarespace, it can refer to the SEO checklist to identify issues and fix them. It’s also important to ensure that XML sitemaps are readable for website visitors and search engines and that websites are optimized for mobile to deliver quick load times.
7. Crypto payments
Cryptocurrency has taken off in a big way, having finally reached the mainstream in the past year. The cryptocurrency market is expected to be worth $1.40 billion in 2024. It is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 6.18% from 2019 to 2024.
As crypto matures, blockchain wallets are set to replace traditional payment processes. Increasingly, businesses are considering adding the option to their mCommerce apps to future-proof their offering as more customers are gaining interest in crypto payments and the ability to transact on a more regular basis using virtual currencies.
Apart from obvious portability, crypto also boasts of QR code compatibility, which makes instant digital payments hassle-free. Other reasons this form of currency is driving attention are faster transactions, low costs, anonymity, and improved security.
Therefore, integrating APIs from a trusted cryptocurrency platform into mobile apps provides brands with a secure and customized wallet to accept multiple currencies globally and conveniently.
8. Social commerce
As of January 2023, statistics show that more than half of the world (58.4%) now uses social media – that’s 4.62 billion people. Of those, 424 million users have come online within the last 12 months. Globally, over 67% of mobile phone users have accessed social media. Given these figures, it’s clear that social media should incorporate into any mCommerce strategy.
In the past, brands used social media to generate brand awareness and drive leads. In modern times, it’s now become commonplace for brands to not only market but also sell directly through social media, hence, the uptake in social commerce.
Social commerce has enormous potential owing to the popularity of visual social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok and the ease of conversions on these platforms. In particular, Facebook and Instagram now offer shoppable posts wherein brands can tag products in each image and create user-friendly links to click through and shop instantly.
Customers can, therefore, discover and shop their favorite brands all in one place on social platforms via their mobile device. Instagram Shops is an example of a social media platform that has worked directly with businesses to create customizable storefronts where the collections can be showcased and shopping facilitated.
A study of Instagram shoppable posts suggests a boost of 1416% in traffic and 20% in revenue. Customer engagement and consistent revenue generation ensure the growth of this trend in 2023 and beyond.
Mobile commerce is booming
The industry is predicted to grow as mobile device penetration continues worldwide. Mobile commerce is the most convenient and efficient shopping process for customers who prefer to shop online, from wherever they are, simply by tapping the screen of their mobile device.
Therefore, brands that stay updated with mCommerce trends are those best-placed to offer the best user experience and encourage customer loyalty. Implementing a well-structured mobile commerce strategy can improve ROI drastically.