Many people attempting online businesses will hear about e-commerce. They will hear about websites and Woo-Commerce. Magento, Shopify and etc. They will be confused because there is so much information out there.
Today I want to look at e-commerce from a different angle – namely mobile commerce…This can be done with all the platforms you will read about, but there are some special characteristics that you need to be aware of and plan for…
WHY MOBILE E-COMMERCE?
To put it simply and plainly, more than half of the time spent on the internet these days is accessed through smartphones! This includes online shopping…
Here are some interesting statistics:
There are a lot of great points found in the infographic above and we can learn a lot about what we should be focusing on for mobile commerce business…
(1) 10% of the dollars spent online by shoppers for e-commerce is done through mobile phones or devices…
(2) Online stores are still focusing on regular stores using the various platforms and secondarily they are addressing the mobile angle, although they realize it is a growing market segment…
(3) There are unique advantages of using a mobile focus for your stores or mobile versions of your stores…
Here is a synopsis of some second half 2016 trends as quoted in Forbes:
(1) The Past
- During 2014, mobile e-commerce grew by 47 percent and according to experts Gartner, revenue from mobile commerce will equal 50 percent of all digital commerce in the United States by 2017.
- In 2015, that prediction moved us towards that 50% due to social media platforms such as Facebook launching “buy” buttons, new ways to get your products in front of the mobile shoppers, and marketers realizing the importance of reaching customers on mobile device platforms.
- Over the year 2016, I have watched the pattern of mobile sellers and it is evident that the percentage of mobile apps with such buttons continues to increase almost daily.
- It used to be the big companies tapping into this lucrative market segment, but these days small, local businesses are tapping into the rapidly growing mobile e-commerce market.
(2) The Future
The advancements will continue in 2017. More purchases and shopping activity will take place on mobile devices, and it is crucial that business owners plan accordingly. Here are some of the trends you can expect to notice in mobile commerce as we enter into 2017…
a. Mobile Business Owners Will Spend More Money On The Customer Experience
No matter what kind of an online shop you are operating, shopping cart abandonment is of concern. A report by Baymard Institute notes that two out of three shoppers on desktop e-commerce websites abandon their shopping carts without purchasing the items in their cart.
Mobile cart abandonment has even a worse abandonment problem and the checkout rates are 70 percent lower than the low desktop rates. Look for new solutions to solve this problem as the year progresses…
b. Look For More Mobile Wallet And POS Solutions Plus Improvements
It varies by country and company, but this is a trend that is here to stay and while it may take a couple of years yet, more and more people will be shopping without cash or card.
A couple of other things have to happen for such advances to be fully deployed…First, there needs to be appropriate Point-of-Sale systems in more stores that can handle such transactions, and second, the customers have to adapt to using such advancements.
As new credit card standards and cards are rolled out, retailers are having to update their POS systems, meaning that the shopping environment is moving closer to a scenario where people are ready to use such conveniences as trust grows in their veracity.
Online, you now have Apple Pay, Samsung solutions, Walmart Pay and Starbucks’ in-app payments all growing exponentially. This is also changing customer behavior and they are getting more comfortable paying using phones rather than pulling out their credit cards.
One good statistic for those early adopters of this ever-growing technology – these customers spend about 54 percent more than those who pay via traditional means such as credit cards or cash. This trend will continue and become more pronounced as the year goes on.
c. Online Sales Of The M-Commerce Segment Will Overtake The E-Commerce Segment
Although e-commerce has seen a huge growth rate and will continue to over the next few years, as reflected by Coupofy, who predicted that between 2013 and 2016, e-commerce would grow by 13 percent. Mobile predicted growth rate – 42 percent growth over that same period!
Putting these percentages into dollars, in 2014, mobile shoppers spent $19 Billion USD and in 2016, that number is expected to have hit $31 Billion! Although final figures are not out yet, I have no reason to believe these numbers were not achieved, It was a very good year for online retailers.
As retailers realize how much is being spent using mobile devices, they will get better at developing effective advertising for mobile and optimizing shopper’s m-commerce experience, and do this before they turn to their regular e-commerce efforts. They know where the money is…
d. Mobile Apps Will Be Used More For Engagement Than Purchases
Apps are a great way to create customer loyalty through encouraging engagement with their customers. These often are repeat buyers, meaning they have a higher lifetime value. Your assessment cost to get these customers drops as they buy again and again from you, yet another benefit.
This is why brands will continue to grow their sales through useful customer engagement. They are designing their apps to provide information that is important to their customers. This helps build a long-term relationship.
e. Additionally, Wearables and Accessory Devices Will Be Taken Into Account
Smartwatches come to mind when we think of wearables, and they are the most popular type of wearable, there are others that monitor heart rate, calories burned, sleep patterns, stress levels, and even fertility cycles.
Of course, the data provided from these devices is the reason for their use, but depending on the data, users can be pointed to solutions for problems the data may indicate are needed.
Note this is a level of information that the merchant normally would not have access to, and it results in a more personal experience and can make a loyal long-term customer for the brand/merchant.
The author of this article is a business owner who develops apps for clients big and small, so has his ear on the ground when it comes to what is happening in the mobile e-commerce market…
Mobile e-commerce is big and growing. If you are operating an online store, it would be good to have a look at your mobile marketing program and make any needed changes based on the trends and the current market.