How is M-Commerce shaking up retail?
Shop ’til you drop
Earlier this year, we shared a blog post exploring the growing prominence of m-commerce. As we all become increasingly glued to our smartphones (hands up if you’ve ever walked into someone playing Candy Crush), more retailers are waking up to the power of m-commerce.
In 2014, mobile devices outnumbered people for the first time, and that number was multiplying five times faster than we were. Is it any wonder that retailers are now scrambling to embrace m-commerce as part of their digital sales and marketing strategy?
Back in 2012, sales through m-commerce sites totalled $7.5 billion, but according to a BI Intelligence report, it is expected to be worth an impressive 45% of the $632 billion total e-commerce sales by 2020.
So just why are we all buying into m-commerce?
Power of the single click
If you had to think of one mobile commerce platform that has really changed online shopping for the better, who would you choose? You, and over 224 million others would probably say Amazon.
The cornerstone of their success has been the ability to drive repeat business with a single click, without having to go through the burdensome re-entering of information. This might not seem as important on the surface, but considering 22% of consumers will leave a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load, saving time could equal more sales.
Plus, single-click payments presents fewer opportunities for consumers to abandon their carts, or drop out of the transaction. So if Amazon has this all tied up, can other retailers compete?
They can now! Amazon’s monopoly on the one-click shopping has ended with the expiry of its long-standing patent expiring last month. Now the single click could become the centre of a new m-commerce revolution, and shake the Amazon-sized foundations of mobile shopping.
The m-commerce chatbot rises
You can’t turn without seeing another example of AI transforming yet another sector, and m-commerce is no different. Mobile shopping has been getting the AI treatment in the form of smarter chatbots.
Over 54% of social media users prefer using messenger apps to get in touch with brands and big brands such as Starbucks and H&M have jumped on board the trend.
For businesses wanting to reach out to the younger generations, making the most of the AI digital opportunities in m-commerce could have those tills ringing.
The AR factor
When it comes to the retail sector, there is one area of tech that is set to dominate m-commerce: Augmented Reality (AR). As any self-confessed shopaholic will know, one of the biggest challenges shoppers have is knowing if what we buy will really fit our lives. There is nothing worse than buying a sofa and realising it doesn’t fit. Or worse still, is the wrong colour!
It would be easy to dismiss AR as another novelty riding the coat tails of the m-commerce boom but a recent report suggests otherwise. Apparently, 40% of shoppers would part with more money if they get to experience a product via AR first.
And in the quest to hang on to that elusive customer loyalty, offering AR as an option for shoppers would make 71% of people would feel more loyal to the brand.
When the challenge for most retailers is maintaining customer engagement, AR provides an easy way for customers to play. Just take a look at the new AR feature from Houzz. The 2D version of View in My Room allowed customers to ‘place’ flat pictures of furniture into their rooms at home via the app. This engagement led to 50% of users of the feature purchasing the items on Houzz.
Now with the 3D version launched earlier this year, it is exciting to see where this technology will lead – and whether it will enhance the m-commerce experience for the better.
Give the people what they want
As you can see, m-commerce has become more than just offering a mobile ready website. It is about offering a whole mobile shopping experience.
The UK is already adopting m-commerce faster than most countries. In fact, recent reports put it within the top countries for the largest volume of mobile use for shopping, along with Japan and South Korea.
However, the retail sector cannot sit back and relax. M-commerce is here to stay. There is no point shopping anywhere else for a better sales solution. It fits and looks good.
Throw the receipt away. We’re keeping this one.