There’re some mobile commerce trends you may find fascinating if you’re an online business owner. This year is shaping up to provide an even hotter online shopping market than ever before, especially when you consider how many across the world now own smartphones.
According to Business Insider, at the end of 2013, approximately 22 percent of the population had one, which works out to be about 1.5 billion people. Those numbers are expected to continue to grow, and the future of mobile commerce shows no signs of slowing down.
Think about that. There are 1.5 billion people who, at any point, could become your next customer. Keep reading for a look at the e-commerce trends that are anticipated throughout 2015.
Mobile web and app transition
When someone tells you about a great shopping website they think you might like, chances are you’re not going to download the app for it until you check out the site first to see if it’s of interest to you. If you like it and you think it might be advantageous enough, you’ll download the app.
The browser on a person’s phone is what’s going to bring in customers, the app is what’s going to keep them there. According to Nielsen, users spent about 30 hours and 15 minutes per month on apps – around an hour a day – as of the last quarter of 2013. Compare that to the same time just two years earlier when users spent about 18 hours and 18 minutes per month on apps.
So what are we getting at here? Mobile loyalty apps are the way to go. They allow your customers the convenience of taking your business with them wherever they go. You can offer them promotions, discounts, and news on a constant basis, you have the ability to connect with them 24/7, you can collect information on trends that will help your business grow, and it promotes brand loyalty.
Additionally, your customers have the ability to easily shop with you whether they’re on the train commuting home, sitting on their couch in sweatpants, or at the bar with their friends. Get the word out about your loyalty app via your own site as well as social networking platforms and you’re good to go.
Improving user engagement
If it’s going to be a hassle for a potential customer to use your app, they’re immediately going to uninstall it, and even worse, tell others not to use it either whether it’s by posting a review on the app page itself or telling those they personally know. They’re not going to sit around and hope you fix the issues, they’re going to go elsewhere and they’re going to take other potential customers with them.
Customers need to be able to put an item in their “shopping cart” then check out in a streamlined process, so it’s up to you to make the shopping experience as easy as possible for them. The design must be streamlined, clean, and easy to navigate. Deep linking can help you achieve that.
Essentially it means that a user can get from an advertisement to the page in the app that they want rather than the home page. It’s been around for awhile, but considering its many benefits, deep linking is the future of mobile commerce.
Thanks to tracking and analytics, you’re also able to offer personalized suggestions to each individual user based on their searches, their location, what’s currently in their shopping cart, and their previous orders. Consider it an e-commerce strategy that allows you to connect with each customer on a personal level.
Local search engine optimization
As of January 2014, the Pew Research Center reported that out of the 58 percent of American adults who have a smartphone, 60 percent access the Internet while 50 percent download apps.
It’s also been reported by Smart Insights that 80 percent of people use their smartphone as the primary way they search the Internet, and that 89 percent of the time people spend is going through mobile apps (compared to 11 percent who go through mobile web).
Going national and international is important, but what’s even more vital are the results that are local to you. Google My Business can be extremely useful. Your business info is put out there through areas like maps and search results so potential customers can find you more easily. They’ll instantly have access to your business address, driving directions, and the ability to call you at the click of a phone icon. Simple, right?
Reviews are also huge, not only for the success of your business, but also in how you show up in search results. Don’t hesitate to ask your customers to give you a review. It may seem like a hassle, but it’s an e-commerce strategy that works and gets your name out there. Every little positive review helps.
In store mobile shopping
According to Google, about 84 percent of shoppers use their phone to help them make a decision while they’re physically perusing through a retail store for anything from baby items and appliances to groceries and clothes. Smartphone shoppers are walking around on their phone for about 15 minutes on average while they’re shopping. This is one of the biggest mobile commerce trends that isn’t going away.
When you’re in a store, you don’t have access to all the information that you would have online. For example, in a store, you’ll see the name of a product, the price, a few listed features, and maybe the rating if you’re lucky, but that’s it. Online, you’ll see all of the aforementioned information, but it’s much more elaborate.
For example, you’ll see a detailed description of the product and what it does, as well as the ability to see reviews from individual sellers who give a breakdown of their personal experiences.
Don’t be surprised if in 2015, one of the biggest mobile commerce trends you notice is the use of Beacon Technology, and it’s something you should certainly consider. It has the ability to provide immediate personalized offers to customers, not to mention it gives you a greater insight on what customers want and what they’re shopping for which, in turn, can help you deliver more on point customer service.
Email marketing on mobile devices
Approximately 52 percent of smartphone users check their email from their phone, and considering the ease and convenience of it, it’s a mobile commerce trend to pay special attention to. When you’re working with such a small screen space, you need to make sure everything is streamlined, easy-to-read, and that it gives the user several options to shop for your products without encountering an issue.
Your emails must adapt to fit the size of the screen. If they don’t, it’s very easy for a user to just click the delete button and move onto a different email from another store that’s easier to read. Every recipient should have the option to order products, call your company, and find out more information all at a single click.
You can also have the ability to continuously check what’s working and what’s not in terms of subject lines, formats, and the times at which you send the emails so you can adjust accordingly for improved results. Additionally, you can send personalized suggestions based on what your customers recently shopped for, or you can remind them that they left something in their “shopping cart” that they should go back and purchase.
Faster mobile connection (LTE)
People want results and they want them now, which is why LTE coverage is so important. It’s only getting better as time goes on, and it essentially refers to a network that allows for advanced and extremely high speed data on phones. It provides higher quality for a lower cost.
There’s also minimal load time, so users don’t have to stand there forever waiting for their information to load, and the quality of photos and videos is better than ever before, which in turn, can show off the merchandise you sell quite well. Considering how many look at everything from personal pictures to music videos on their phones, it’s well worth it.
No longer is it enough to make sure you cater to those who walk through the front door of your business, now it’s also about reaching a much broader audience through mobile commerce apps. If you haven’t taken your business mobile yet, there’s no better time than now to do so.
What are you waiting for? With every day that passes, that’s less money that could be going in your pocket. There’s no better time than now to make positive changes. Sound off! Let us know your mobile commerce plans for 2015.