In the last few years, mobile usage has overtaken desktop usage, and eCommerce businesses need to keep up with this.
It is no longer simply a case of optimising for mobile usage with a responsive web design, but rather a need to capitalise on in-app shopping and alternative payment, shipping, searching and ordering methods.
Let’s take a look at the state of mCommerce and some tools you can use to stay ahead of your competition.
The Rise of mCommerce
mCommerce is on the rise: in 2019, mCommerce comprised over a quarter of total eCommerce - more than doubling since 2015.
Despite previously suffering from poor conversion rates because of small checkout icons on small screens causing customer frustrations, smartphones have nonetheless become the driving force behind mCommerce growth.
Yet this conversion rate has been transformed with mobile apps.
In fact, a mobile app converts 157% more than a mobile web session, demonstrating why creating an app is absolutely essential to succeed in mCommerce.
In-app Social Shopping: Facebook and Instagram
Recent research suggests that - largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic - the average individual spends more than three hours a day on apps.
For many people, using apps for everything including ordering grocery shopping, buying clothes, scanning QR codes and even taking or conducting video calls is second nature.
But why are apps so important for businesses wanting to succeed in mCommerce?
When utilised properly, apps offer a much more personalised experience for the shopper: even something as simple as “Welcome back [customer name]” is much more personal than a generic sign at a supermarket saying “Thanks and see you again soon”.
With the introduction of Facebook Shops in May 2020 and Instagram Shop following soon after, in July, the world of mCommerce was instantly transformed.
Browsers on the aforementioned social media channels could all of a sudden become consumers with the tap of a finger.
Estimates suggest that Facebook users spend 40+ minutes a day on the popular social network app, thus making it vital for businesses to set up a shop on Facebook.
In fact, Facebook Shops has been a revolution in eCommerce as well as mCommerce: a survey in June 2020 found that 18.3% of US adults made a purchase through Facebook between June 2019 and June 2020: this was compared to 11.1% for Instagram and 2.9% for Pinterest.
In addition, approximately 66% of Facebook users across Europe, the US and Canada visit a local business page at least once a week.
Meanwhile, on Instagram, the statistics are not too dissimilar at all: criticise them all you like, but 87% of Instagram users stated that influencers inspired them to make a purchase, while 70% of shoppers turn to Instagram to discover new products.
But what exactly is Instagram Shop?
According to a press release in May 2020, it was launched as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a way to help small business owners bring their business online.
A clever feature on the Instagram Shop is that it helps users to discover products that they’re automatically more likely to buy, based on previous engagement and the brands people follow.
This is all in addition to features such as “Browse Shops”, “Explore Guides”, “See Editors Picks” and “Shop Collections”.
But how do the statistics compare to Facebook Shops?
This helps to show that people are not just using Instagram to interact with friends and family.
Moreover, the Stories feature on Instagram is not to be waved away: 50% of people have visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product in Stories, while brand Stories have an 86% completion rate, thus highlighting how important it is to utilise Instagram as a mCommerce platform.
One-click ordering is another attractive feature of mCommerce compared to eCommerce.
Typically, when ordering online, a lot of information is needed from the consumer every time: name, card number, card expiry date, shipping address, billing address and email address.
This also contributes to cart abandonment rates being so high: 97% on mobile web, 67% on desktop sites, compared to just 20% on mobile apps.
But why is this the case?
An eCommerce mobile app can store the customer’s information to their profile, then when the customer decides to buy again, all of that information is already loaded in, making it possible for the customer to buy an item with simply one click.
Therefore, both the business owner and the customer benefit: for the business owner, the conversion rates increase massively, while for the customer, they’re saved from having to enter their details manually every single time.
As has previously been discussed, voice search is a major advantage for mCommerce.
However, the beauty of voice search is that - from a mCommerce perspective - people do not need to own a smart speaker (or shoppable TV) in order to purchase online.
Depending on which brand of smartphone a user owns, they can use Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant to help with their online shopping.
Voice search functionality can also be directly integrated into an online retailer’s mobile site.
Capitalising on this emerging technology simplifies the search process by providing customers an alternative and often quicker way to articulate their query.
By offering this convenience, customers can find and purchase products faster, resulting in increased revenue and conversion rates for online retailers.
Mobile payments are another way in which mCommerce can be fully appreciated.
Particularly in the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile payments especially have risen, partly because they are contactless and partly because of sheer ease.
Estimates suggest that there will be over $274 billion (£200 billion) in mobile payments processed by the end of 2021 - a $90 billion (£66 billion) increase from 2020.
Businesses need to keep up with changing customer habits so that they do not get left behind: adapting to the changing world of eCommerce and staying ahead in your industry is key to your success as a business.
Our personalisation tools are optimised for mobile usage to provide an enhanced user experience on any device and convert potential customers. For more information, contact a member of our team on 0204 505 9040 or email [email protected].