Devices such as mobile and tablet have made it easier for shoppers to browse, compare and buy products online without moving a muscle. For the past 5 years, mobile shopping (m-commerce) has gained extraordinary momentum, with apps offering a linear, progressive customer journey designed to suit every user's requirements. And it’s still growing. Most recently in the US, Instagram launched a new in-app purchasing functionality, allowing customers to purchase products without going onto third-party sites.
Why is m-commerce so popular?
It's predicted that m-commerce will be worth 630 billion dollars by 2020, overshadowing ecommerce by 280 billion dollars in the US. But why is m-commerce so popular with consumers? M-commerce provides users with a linear shopping experience, which is immersive and easy to use. As commercial giants such as Amazon pave the way to standardising customer expectations; in-app purchases, mobile optimisation, accessibility, one-click buying, and push notifications are seen as the norm for m-commerce. All these functionalities, when used together, give the customer a linear and structured online experience, meaning they are more likely to buy due to ease of use. But for smaller companies, this means they must work ten times harder just to match the norm, set by commercial giants. Failure to do so results in their app being viewed as unreliable and insecure.
Being aware of what’s to come in the m-commerce world can prevent smaller brands from trailing behind competitors. Allowing more time for internal teams to prepare for new functionalities, ready to take over the m-commerce world.
5 Ways M-commerce is changing forever:
1. Social media purchasing- Instagram has already begun leading the way for this trend, but other social media sites are yet to release their own versions. Keeping your finger on the pulse for this trend will make it easier for your brand to integrate into the social media purchasing wave.
2. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)- PWAs are a hybrid between websites and apps. They aim to take the advantages of each platform and combine them together. Offline usability, faster loading times and the abandonment of painstaking updates mean PWAs aim to provide customers with a more user-friendly experience.
3. Augmented reality- If you're active on LinkedIn, you may have already come across this trend. Augmented reality aims to bridge the gap between online and the real-world using camera scanning software which animates or changes what you see on your screen. Here’s an example to show you.
4. Accessibility- Mobile is everywhere, but it’s not for everyone. In the UK 1 in 5 or 13 million people identify as having a disability – this could be visual, hearing, motor or cognitive. Accessibility features are designed to cater to the needs of these 13 million people making their online experience easier. However, many brands still lack the legally standard accessibility features and users have begun calling out these brands. Updating your accessibility features now will open up a possible audience for your brand and reduce the risk of your site being blacklisted by business influencers.
5. Speed – Typically mobile users will exit a webpage if it doesn’t load within three seconds. This means your site has under 3 seconds to make an impression and be fully optimised. Users simply refuse to wait for your site to catch up. Ensuring your site fulfils your user's speed expectations, will reduce your bounce rates and cart abandonment.
Already ecommerce giants are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and m-commerce is sure to follow. As the m-commerce industry grows, new ways of immersing users and providing a seamless experience will be at the forefront. It’s sure to be an exciting time for all those involved.