We are all familiar with eCommerce as an innovative alternative to traditional shopping. While the retail industry was just adapting to this new platform, a new concept started to make its voice heard. “Mobile commerce” narrows down the general concept of eCommerce by making things much more specific. Even as much as we can fit in our pockets or carry in our hands.
However, the fact that it is a subset of eCommerce does not mean that its target groups will also shrink:
According to Statista data, the ratio of mobile commerce among total eCommerce sales increased from 52.4% to 72.9% between 2016-2021.
Look around, almost everyone today has a cell phone. As consumer behavior drives the retail industry, it’s hardly surprising that small screens that take up most of our time are also adapting to our shopping habits. Since we will not give up using smart devices or shopping, it is up to companies to learn how to keep up with the requirements of mobile commerce.
So how do our mobile habits drive the retail industry’s relationship with technology?
The Future is Mobile
Today, when we put ourselves in customers’ shoes, we have many reasons to prefer online shopping. Online shopping does not limit you in terms of location. You can access all the existing products offered by a store through its mobile app or website. Plus, it may seem much more appealing to receive the order at your door rather than walking around with bags for hours. Considering these times in which we are still fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, it will make you feel a lot safer to shop online instead of spending time in stuffy cabinets at crowded stores and malls. eCommerce allows you to do all of this.
The letter “M”, which makes the difference between eCommerce and mCommerce, offers the benefits of the word mobile to the retail industry.
- The word ‘mobile’ has some inherent advantages. Considering that we are constantly traveling from one place to another, especially in big cities, mobility has become almost like a lifestyle for most of us. Although computers become more and more compact every year, they still lag behind tablets or mobile phones in terms of portability. This allows mCommerce to meet the need of shopping wherever we are whenever we want.
- SMS notifications from brands can be a good way to reach a large on-the-go population. You can use text messages not only for promotional purposes but also to gain customer loyalty by creating value. Asking for feedback about their shopping experience or a special coupon for their next purchase will make your customers feel more special and connected to your brand.
- GPS applications also help share updates such as location-specific campaigns and special deals with customers by sending instant notifications.
Omnichannel Commerce: What It Means & Why It’s Important
Omnichannel marketing means providing a personalized customer experience across all communication channels. Staying in touch through all channels is proven to have a positive impact on your eCommerce metrics such as conversion rates. Omnichannel commerce not only provides a complete and seamless experience for the users but also makes it easier for you to get in touch with your customers at different points. They may be watching a video on Facebook or scrolling on Instagram while taking the subway, as part of the omnichannel communication you can send them an e-mail, SMS or a simple notification like “Your favorited item is now on sale! Order now and get 20% off.” or “Hurry, only 3 left in stock!” These notifications are tailor-made for each of the customers’ likes and interests taking their purchase history and habits into consideration.
According to this Harvard Business Review article, 73% of customers use multiple channels in their shopping journey. Also, another study suggests that brands with omnichannel marketing strategies retain 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel communication. Amazing, right?
Age of Mobile Applications
Brands are not turning a blind eye to this rise in mobile usage. Today, many global and local brands have their own mobile applications. The websites that entered our lives with eCommerce are being replaced by mobile applications with the rise of the mobile commerce trend. They are a great opportunity to connect with your customers and collect more accurate information. We can see big marketplaces are competing with their apps in this arena.
Mobile apps are much faster than traditional websites. Time is money, as today’s people are rushing to catch up with everything, mobile applications have become a much more preferable option. When it comes to accessing the store to start discovering the products, of course, logging into a website is easier than getting up and going to the actual physical store. However, logging into the same brand’s own application is much easier than accessing it via a browser. Make shopping easy for your customers by being only one tap away.
The usability of a mobile application that is completely customized for your brand is much higher than websites. With your mobile application, you can:
- Offer a discount code to customers who download the mobile app
- Enable mobile users to earn points to spend in your store
- Put QR codes on your products that will direct you to your mobile application
- Add interactive content that can be delivered to your customers via the mobile application
What’s more, some social media apps also allow you to have an actual eCommerce store where people can shop easily. Today, you can sell on Facebook and Instagram and deliver your products to a wider customer base. The apps will definitely continue to rule the eCommerce area in 2022 too.
AR Will Change The Game For Mobile Experiences
The majority of customers turn to online channels to have more information about the product. Combining visuality with reality, AR is preferred to minimize confusion in purchasing. According to this report, augmented reality decreases product returns by 25%. Customers can simply scan a QR code from their smartphones, and access interactive AR experiences within seconds.
The latest developments in mobile AR such as the LIDAR sensor in iPhones are a great game-changer. With the LIDAR technology that comes with the iPhones, you can analyze whether the actual dimensions of an item you are going to buy will fit in your room. Take this IKEA app, for example, it is a complete lifesaver when purchasing furniture. After all, augmented reality is as close as it gets to experiencing the physical product with its actual size, colors, and texture.
3D & AR solutions are not only limited to fashion and furniture categories; you can benefit from them in numerous other sectors like education, food, and tourism. The possibilities here are endless. You will see that having AR solutions will also boost your word-of-mouth marketing performance as well.
The Next Big Thing?
What will be the next game-changer that shapes retail tech? If you ask us, the answer to this question may be wearable technologies like smart glasses and smart display technologies. We will wait and see.
In the meantime, it would be a good step to take advantage of 3D and AR technologies to improve your customers’ mCommerce experiences. If you want to keep up with the latest digital trends, you can contact our professional team.