Every third person in the world owns a smartphone, that’s almost 3.5 billion people. Out of these 3.5 billion, more than 50% access the internet only via their smartphones. That’s 2 billion internet savvy people hooked on to their devices for fulfilling their several requirements. E-commerce has gradually evolved into mobile commerce or m-commerce and this is not a trend anymore but a tremendous force. Smartphones are today used for a variety of services like e-shopping, food delivery, booking a cab, taking a loan, mobile banking, ticketing, online courses and the list is endless. Stats predict that 54% of all e-commerce sales will come from mobile devices or through m-commerce by the end of 2021.
M-commerce is on the verge of eclipsing the traditional e-commerce as it is beneficial to both the consumers as well as the sellers. Mobile commerce includes purchase of any product or service through a mobile device or a smartphone, however any purchases made from devices like tablets, e-readers or wearable tech is also counted as m-commerce. At the core of m-commerce is the liquidity and ease provided by an efficient mobile application. Mobile app development companies have introduced revolutionary technologies that make shopping through a mobile app a truly memorable experience. In this blog, we will discuss the top 10 trends that will set the future course of m-commerce.
1. Speed & Flexibility: The reason why m-commerce continues to grow is because it is very quick. Most apps let you place your order and checkout in a jiffy, which is good, since users choose m-commerce because they don’t want to wait. Easier checkout options that learn user’s preferences and fast loading apps increase customer retention. An intelligent search system ensures that customers easily find their desired product/service. Personalized apps are soon going to be all over the place.
2. The Age of E-wallets: E-wallets are already in the game, however most companies are moving towards creating their own dedicated e-wallets or payment systems. According to a report, total expenditure via e-wallets will be around $13,979 billion by 2022. E-wallets are a quick response payment system and facilitate services like one-click ordering.
3. Integration With Social Commerce: By the end of 2020, different social media platforms will have a total of 3 billion users, out of which 53% people will access social media sites or apps only from their smartphones. Social media integration via shopping enabled Facebook or Instagram pages wherein products are tagged and clicking on them takes one directly to the purchase page. This integration improves conversion rate and boosts traffic by several times, thus increasing revenue. This trend is quickly catching up as more and more e-commerce stores are enabling their social media pages to become ‘shopping-enabled.’
4. Chatbots & Chat APIs: More and more applications are being enabled with a chat API to support seamless communication at several levels. Most of these apps use chatbots which offer several advantages. Chatbots have evolved from rudimentary to fierce levels as they can be used round the clock, respond instantly and resolve maximum issues without any human intervention. Most of us have solved our queries using chatbots instead of a human being without ever realizing the difference. Chatbots are catching up fast with m-commerce apps as they are excellent tools for Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
5. Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR): AR is definitely a revolution in m-commerce as it bridges the ‘try on/try out’ gap and eliminates the aeon old ‘trial and error’ game. AR technology has opened possibilities like virtual showrooms, virtual tailor etc. The year will see advanced use of AR and VR tech that will be more than just trying out how a certain pair of glasses will look on your face or demo of a furniture in your living room.
6. Shopping via Voice Assistants: As AI tech grows, voice assistants like Siri, Alexa etc. are becoming more and more regular and friendly to use. The penetration of voice assistants in m-commerce is predicted to be 2000% in the coming years as AI enabled voice assistants will be used to search, shop, checkout and track products to begin with and much more as we move along.
7. Omni-channel Integration: The key to be a good seller online is to be where your customers are and omni-channel integration offers just this. Omni channel integration allows users to interact with a business/service across several platforms so that users can pick up something on one device which they left midway as progress is saved and replicated across all devices or platforms.
8. Image Recognition: This is promising as users are more and more inclined to search products via images. M-commerce apps that offer this advantage at the earliest will definitely gain an edge over their competitors. This feature comes in handy especially for clothing, fashion and accessories category.
9. Cryptocurrency Payments: Crypto currency has not yet caught on as a regular mode of payment but it is soon going to be integrated as a payment option on the regular m-commerce apps because crypto payments are secure, fast, anonymous and fraud proof.
10. Revolutionary Automated Systems: Groundbreaking automation tech like autonomous vehicles being used for delivery and automated customer support systems are revolutionizing the m-commerce industry offering great benefits. Drones being used as delivery agents save time as well as cost and are already being used in several locations.
The global m-commerce industry is growing at a rate of 25.5% per annum. As mobile devices become more advanced, be sure that they will completely engulf the conventional ways of accessing the web for purchasing products/services using laptops and web browsers. The advent of new tech and intuitive ways of integrating them to mobile devices will open newer gates to m-commerce, which is definitely here to stay and rule.