A wide spread of digital technologies and the growing popularity of social networks, multiplied by the hyper-dynamics of the modern world and the need to be ‘here and now’ 24/7, have led to the emergence of Internet services that can solve multiple issues in just a few clicks. The business immediately responded to these challenges by adapting bulky web versions of sites into convenient mobile applications which appear to be faster and easier to use.
Thus, with ecommerce at its peak, m-commerce is coming to the fore. With a smartphone at hand, ordering food or tickets is a matter of a few clicks. The expected number of Verizon mobile users is expected to reach 144.3 million.. It makes companies race to optimize their mobile platforms and offer seamless shopping experiences for consumers worldwide.
What is mobile commerce?
Mobile commerce has taken the world by storm thanks to its convenience. It allows users to browse, shop, use coupons, and make payments on the go, revolutionizing how we purchase products and services. While e-commerce accounts for all online shopping, m-commerce encompasses only transactions made via mobile applications. M-commerce primarily covers three main categories:
- Mobile shopping. It involves traditional shopping for goods and services via mobile devices.
- Mobile banking. These are all types of financial transactions and finance management through mobile apps provided by banks and financial institutions.
- Mobile payments. This category includes various methods of mobile transactions, such as digital wallets, contactless payments, and mobile money transfers.
During the first quarter of 2023, users installed a thrilling 27 billion mobile apps, including those for online sales, showcasing the growing importance of mobile-centered shopping experiences.
What are the trends of m-commerce?
The world of online trading is endlessly evolving, adapting to new technologies. What innovations will become an integral part of mobile commerce? There are quite a few trends to embrace to match the expectations of mobile consumers.
Giants such as Amazon and eBay are well-known in the online retail industry, and this trend is projected to persist in future. These platforms provide businesses with access to extensive customer bases and user-friendly selling features.
To effectively harness the power of online marketplaces, they are to be adapted to all platforms. Mobile-friendly online marketplaces accumulate tons of offers, attracting a huge number of visitors in a non-stop regime and boosting your sales figures.
The widespread use of Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks has turned into an ideal space for promoting goods and services. Social media platforms have become pivotal marketing channels for m-commerce businesses. Social commerce enables direct sales within social media platforms, allowing users to complete purchases without leaving the site. This trend resonates more with younger consumers, who are more active on social media.
Instagram is a good example of a platform to sell online – you can make shopping without leaving the application. Furthermore, social media has a huge advertising potential, allowing businesses to expand their reach and offer their products to a broader audience.
Virtual assistants with a voice feature, such as Siri and Alexa, represent another relatively fresh concept in the realm of m-commerce. They enable consumers to make purchases via voice commands. This emerging trend is gaining traction as it provides consumers with a hands-free shopping experience.
Nonetheless, akin to augmented reality, the implementation of voice search gives a competitive advantage to online businesses. Companies failing to integrate voice recognition technology risk lagging behind competitors that have already embraced this innovation.
Virtual mail services are services that allow users to check their physical mail from a mobile app, tablet or device, essentially allowing users the freedom to not be tied to their physical mailbox.
In countries like Japan, where governments still heavily rely on physical mail, stamps, and wet signatures for official procedures, virtual mail services receive mail on behalf of individuals, scan the mail received, and then upload it to the cloud for instant viewing by users. Services like these are gaining in popularity due to the freedom they provide to digital nomads and others who have to travel frequently for business purposes.
AI and ML algorithms are successfully replacing traditional services thanks to the ability to process huge data streams. Modern AI tools allow you to optimize the assortment and forecast demand accurately and qualitatively. They also save staff time and reduce the number of errors in business processes.
For example, implementing a conversational chatbot into your business strategy brings a myriad of advantages. These AI-driven assistants streamline customer support, delivering immediate responses and personalized recommendations 24/7. They have the potential to elevate sales by providing intelligent product suggestions and promoting exclusive deals. By leveraging AI consulting and implementing StyleBot, Nike managed to increase its click-through rate by 12.5 times.
VR and AR
Augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) are strengthening their positions in retail and becoming a long-term trend. These innovative technologies allow customers to interact with products in an interactive mode and in a more personalized way. By just utilizing a mobile app, you can try a particular product without physically visiting a retail outlet. It works in different ways. For example, you can apply virtual makeup by scanning your face or try on clothes in a virtual fitting room.
Thus, the IKEA Place application allows you to pre-evaluate how this or that product will fit into your interior with just a couple of clicks. 3D visualization allows the buyer to learn more about the product and its functions and make purchase decisions faster and easier. Consequently, this approach also reduces the number of returns.
Live stream shopping
In the past, TV shows often promoted various products you could order via a telephone call. While such things are now history, the concept of live shopping is not. Actually, there are new ways to integrate shopping into live-streaming services.
It is easy to host a live stream on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, the most popular e-commerce channels. One of the advantages of these platforms is that customers are not required to take any extra steps, as they already have accounts and frequently visit social media on a daily basis and often on the go. A good example of live m-commerce streaming is Instagram with its Live Shopping feature.Conducting live streaming in Facebook groups can be another good way to sell products.
Modern customers place less trust in businesses and more in various social media influencers. These personalities usually have a stunning audience to which they can promote a wide range of products and services. With numerous platforms available, from Instagram to YouTube, finding the right influencer should not be a problem, even for a particular market niche. This approach is efficient for businesses looking for immediate success. Influencers who have direct connections with their followers can significantly benefit a brand compared to traditional techniques like PPC campaigns or SEO, which may take a while to yield results.
Even micro-influencers, who have fewer followers and offer cost-effective solutions, add substantial value to a brand. Influencers or key opinion leaders (KOL) play a pivotal role in the success of m-commerce businesses. This approach is especially effective in attracting younger demographics.
Cybersecurity is paramount for the future of mobile commerce as it safeguards sensitive financial and personal data, instills trust among consumers, and ensures the uninterrupted growth of the mobile commerce industry. In an era where mobile devices are being used more and more for shopping and transactions, robust cybersecurity platforms and measures are not just a necessity but a foundation for the continued success and adoption of mobile commerce, protecting both businesses and customers from evolving cyber threats.
‘Buy now, pay later’ services or BNPL are becoming more popular in online stores worldwide. This approach allows customers to settle only a part of the total purchase price and then pay off the balance in equal installments over an agreed period of time.
BNPL’s global transactions are projected to increase by more than $450 billion by 2026. Adopting this approach helps companies increase sales and increase the size of the check, as well as makes shopping more flexible and affordable to consumers.
With the advances in technology, the demand for m-commerce solutions will also grow. However, mobile apps will no longer use traditional selling algorithms. Interactive technologies and real-time features are now fundamental in the m-commerce industry. Chatbots and voice assistants ensure that online customer support is effortless, while machine learning technologies deliver personalized recommendations. If you are determined to succeed, your m-commerce business must incorporate 2-3 of the above trends. Besides, you should keep an eye on emerging innovations and implement the most relevant ones.
- Yan Anderson is the Social Relations and Content Manager at CS-Cart. He's passionate about creating content that explains complicated things in simple terms. Yan loves writing and making videos about the ecommerce industry and technology trends. He manages this blog as an editor.
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