With the rise of online purchases and eCommerce, the way we shop has dramatically changed over the last 25 years. Now with smartphones and tablets ingrained into our everyday lives, it’s never been easier to take out your device and spend money online.
Given the changing consumer habits and how we now interact with brands, businesses need more than one approach to cater to online audiences. A meaningful way to differentiate between these audiences is to give extra consideration to the device they’re using.
What is mCommerce?
While eCommerce is the umbrella term for all buying and selling online, mobile commerce or mCommerce is the subset of those transactions made using a mobile device instead of a PC. These could include marketplace apps, in-app purchases, and digital wallets (e.g., Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.)
Online businesses often choose to separate eCommerce and mCommerce because there are significant differences between consumers’ browsing and purchasing habits depending on the device they use.
For example, someone sitting at their computer typically performs a dedicated task, i.e., they sat down specifically to buy something online. In contrast, someone on their phone is more likely just to be browsing around online. Perhaps they’re second-screening while watching TV or responding in real-time to advertising they’ve just seen.
Another critical difference is location. Someone on a PC is usually at their home office or at work, while (as the name suggests) mCommerce consumers are inherently more mobile. They could be at home on the couch, taking a quick break while at work, out running errands, or socializing with friends.
Additionally, with the growing popularity of digital wallets, mCommerce transactions are now eating into traditional in-person purchases. Millennial and Gen Z consumers are becoming more accustomed to tapping their phone instead of paying with a card or cash.
The importance of mCommerce
Modern businesses must consider the customer experience they offer on mobile devices. This includes a smart way to accept payments online, having a mobile-friendly website or a dedicated app, and keeping a close eye on upcoming mCommerce trends.
As the market evolves, companies that adapt to new consumer expectations are in the best position to attract new customers and grow. As younger demographics, who grew up with smartphones and other mobile devices, age into making more of their own purchases, the mCommerce space is expected to surge in the coming years.
Research suggests US mCommerce sales will more than double from $359 billion in 2021 to $728 billion in 2025, accounting for 44.2% of all US retail eCommerce sales.
With so much activity in the mCommerce space, what can companies expect to see moving forward, and what should they be focusing on? Below are five key mCommerce trends to consider in 2023 and beyond.
Dedicated and responsive mobile design
No one wants to spend time on a website or app poorly designed for mobile users. As soon as people have to turn their phone sideways or zoom in to click on a link, they’re probably already swiping back to leave.
A dedicated app or a website optimized for mobile is a barrier to entry into the mCommerce market. Potential customers want to be able to quickly find what they’re looking for and seamlessly navigate your store. Plus, having a fast, responsive site for mobile users also helps with Google search rankings.
Once customers have decided to make a purchase, they expect the checkout process to be as quick as possible. One-click checkout refers to the holy grail of allowing customers to make purchases online with a single click. While this is the ultimate goal, mCommerce companies in 2023 need to focus on making their checkout experience as simple as possible.
Making customers type in their payment and shipping information with every purchase quickly increases abandoned online carts. Once a customer has created an account on your site and provided all the necessary information, the 2nd purchase should get close to only requiring a single click.
Zero-party data refers to information customers intentionally offer to a company. Modern consumers are wise to the fact that businesses are constantly profiling them to maximize the chances of converting them into customers. Zero-party data is a more transparent approach to gathering customer data.
Rather than inferring information from how they interact with or use a site, zero-party data is an upfront approach where companies ask customers to share information about themselves. The idea is that in return for providing accurate data, they receive a better shopping experience.
When gathering zero-party data, companies should be honest with how the information is used, who it’s shared with, and how it’s kept secure. Additionally, customers should be able to opt-out whenever they want.
Personalized shopping experiences
The upside for customers willing to share information with online brands is typically a more personalized shopping experience. With so much choice online, no one has the time to search through every option available to them. Instead, people want to be given relevant recommendations for products. They want brands to understand their preferences and remember them each time they return to their site or app.
There is now barely a distinction to be made between social media and eCommerce. The dividing line between the two has become a straight line connecting them.
With this in mind, many brands are finding success utilizing the growing trend of “social commerce.” This means making your products accessible through social media channels and actively marketing yourself on social media. Social media engagement or “impressions” is becoming the metric by which to gauge a marketing campaign’s impact. Businesses can bring in an influencer to push products directly to their audience or make it as easy as possible to start informal conversations and connections between the brand and customers.
Mobile commerce is the future of eCommerce
Shoppers increasingly want to shrink the eCommerce experience from their desktop and laptop machines to their mobile devices. Retailers that create successful and seamless shopping experiences on mobile devices stand to gain the most from this transition.
By staying up to date on the latest mCommerce trends, you can set yourself apart from the crowd and deliver exactly what modern consumers are looking for.
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