What to Watch: 8 Mobile Commerce Trends
Our shopping habits have irrevocably changed in recent years, especially in the fallout of a global pandemic. In the U.S. economy alone, mobile commerce revenue rose from $268 to $338 billion from 2019-2020. It’s even more alarming to look at where that same revenue stood in 2013 – just a fraction at $41B. When a smartphone becomes as essential to our daily lives as the air we breathe, retailers must respond to mobile shopping behaviors or risk being left behind. As mobile commerce trends constantly evolve, here are the Top 8 trends to watch as 2021 grinds to an end:
1. Mobile Payments
Ranging anywhere from bill pay to shopping, to splitting costs among friends and family, mobile payments have hit their stride.
According to recent data, digital wallets are expected to become a U.S. $2.4 trillion industry in 2021, with the value of transactions showing an increase of about 24% compared to a year ago. Forecasts point to a further increase in 2023 reaching the amount of $3.5 trillion as far as value is concerned and the amount of $4.6 billion in 2025.
With options like Google, Samsung, and Apple Pay, a payment is one click away from a linked bank account, or by using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology the transaction is touchless. The need for cards and cash is obsolete.
2. Single Click Purchases
Mobile device shoppers want the path of least resistance went it comes to placing an order. Having to enter the same information multiple times e.g. name, credit card info, shipping and billing info, and email address wastes time and leads to higher rates of shopping cart abandonment, with the burden of having to enter information on a smaller screen.
A dedicated mobile app allows order details to be saved in a profile. When the time comes to checkout the purchase is completed in seconds. Big wins for the consumer, who is incentivized to buy more, and to the retailer with an increase in conversions. A simple solution to a fairly onerous pain point.
3. Dedicated Mobile Shopping Apps
While we’re on the subject of mobile shopping apps… you’re no longer ahead of the game with an optimized mobile site. The dedicated mobile app is the preferred way to shop from discovery to purchase. Forecasting insights tell us that US consumers will spend over 900 hours on shopping apps this holiday season alone. Moreover, an overwhelming 78% of shoppers would prefer to access a store via app than through a mobile website.
(Figure 1: App Annie, 2021)
Conversational commerce has become a shopper’s delight in the past year. Sales activity transacted through chatbots, digital voice assistants, and messaging is expected to rise from $41 billion in 2021 to $290 billion by 2025 according to Juniper Research. Shoppers prefer the ease of contacting a chatbot to resolve cart or order issues versus making a time-consuming live call and be subjected to the dreaded call queue, or the slower pace of waiting on an email inquiry response.
You won’t be hard pressed to find a chatbot provider, with so many options you are sure to find one that meets your needs. Many have significant social media presence, and offer additional benefit such as dialog templates, image, video, and audio enablement, third party integrations, and audience segmentation and targeting capabilities. Read our recent blog post reviewing top chatbot providers and their offerings.
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5. Social Media eCommerce
I’m not surprised to learn that in the last two years, social media traffic has increased 100% to online stores, or that about 70% of consumers search social media for potential buys. With so much time spent on sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook documenting and sharing our lives and personal style, it makes sense to turn to those same platforms to inform our buying decisions.
Social e-commerce sales rise year after year as a whopping 3 billion people flock to social media. As people seek out more personal shopping experiences, social e-commerce provides an open space where big brands and small proprietors alike can create and market to those exact experiences.
6. Voice Enabled eCommerce
You may have seen an influx of home voice assistants like Siri and Alexa on the market in recent years, but what you may not have noticed is how those applications have affected shopping behavior. Digital voice assistants in use worldwide are steadily on the rise and are set to double by 2024.
(Figure 2, 2021 Statista)
Further research shows that 32% use voice-activated search daily instead of typing, and that 43% shop online with voice-activated devices. What are the most popular activities while using such devices? Top three include: researching products, adding items to cart, and tracking a package. The people have spoken; when given the opportunity to shave off a few extra minutes of their day spent talking versus typing, they’ll take the voice enabled option.
7. VR and AR Enhancements
Virtual and augmented reality has created dynamic opportunity to improve the shopping experience, especially when making highly personal or big-ticket purchases online. You may have seen applications to virtually try-on eyewear or have the ability to “preview” what a couch or large accent piece would look like in a room prior to purchase. These applications reduce trial and error and the frustrating consequence of having to return an item.
8. Mobile App Design Elements
With an emphasis on functionality and a user-friendly disposition (think UX design), more mobile apps are adopting design elements to engage shoppers in any way they choose. One of these trends is using a card layout as seen below. The card layout gathers content in a meaningful, clean, and coherent way; this layout also performs well across multiple devices on screens of all sizes.
(Figure 3) Interested in more mobile commerce content? Check out our Mobile Commerce Guide for a historical perspective on eCommerce, featuring how mobile commerce came to be absolutely critical to modern shopping behavior and habits.