With worldwide smartphone ownership hitting 6.3 billion in 2021, the world of eCommerce is starting to move to the mobile phone, or "mCommerce." However, many store owners haven't leveraged this commercial sector, even though it's a huge advantage to do so.
If you aren't convinced you need to add mCommerce to your sales strategy, maybe these top mobile commerce trends of 2021 will make you rethink your stance.
But before that, let's briefly discuss why you should take a look at this sector in the first place.
Right now, there is a move to digitize and "mobilize" everything, and the same will be true for eCommerce.
True, eCommerce was traditionally dominant on desktops (and it still is). That's because purchasing an item 100% on a mobile phone was seen as tedious and cumbersome. In addition, the screen is smaller, so it's harder to enter information or browse products. In fact, only 12% of people find mobile shopping convenient, according to a DynamicYield study.
But with the recent developments and upcoming trends (which we'll discuss below), mCommerce will soon be a serious force in the retail shopping industry.
Indeed, it's estimated that mCommerce will comprise over 70% of the total eCommerce revenue in 2021. Global growth is also projected at 29%, with China and India boasting the highest consumer confidence rates in mobile payment adoption.
As you can see, it's an excellent time to double down on your mCommerce strategy. Need more convincing? Check out these trends.
As more people shift their buying habits to mobile commerce apps, there's also the increased need to streamline the purchase process. Since it's much more tedious to type information on a mobile phone, a longer checkout can frustrate the user and lead to cart abandonment.
The problem is that the typical eCommerce website demands quite a bit of information from the buyer upon checkout.
Aside from requiring credit card information (which already comprises several fields), most sites also ask for the shipping address, billing address, and customer name. Then there's the verification step which might require an OTP or some other security code.
Enter one-click checkout.
With it, a buyer can complete a purchase with just a single tap or click. All relevant information like credit card numbers and shipping addresses are stored in a user's profile. Ideally, an added step like 2FA or biometrics provides extra security with minimal fuss.
One-click checkout will most likely be the standard process used by every mCommerce app in the foreseeable future. Not only will it eliminate the friction of paying and increase conversions dramatically, but the ease of use can also entice buyers to spend more.
Right now, the abandonment rate of buyers on a mobile app is at a staggering 85.65%. Fortunately, one-click checkout is seen as one of the most crucial mCommerce trends of 2021 that can turn this statistic around.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies are two of the most exciting and futuristic mobile shopping trends on this list.
AR mCommerce technology uses display overlays to show helpful information while the shopper is using their mobile phone camera. For example, shoppers can scan the store, and the app can tag which items are on sale. It can also suggest other pieces of clothing that go well with the said item.
AR is also an excellent way for buyers to visualize an item before buying it. The IKEA Place app is a fantastic example. The app enables people to place furniture pieces in a room virtually before purchasing to understand better how well it fits with the rest of the décor.
On the other hand, VR is used to simulate a virtual world for your shopper via their smartphone or 3D glasses. There are plenty of applications for this technology. For example, you can provide a virtual shopping experience for people without having to leave their homes.
Both VR and AR give a whole new interactive experience for your customers, which can help make shopping even more engaging. It can also be a natural and fun way to introduce cross-selling, improving your revenue per customer.
And the consensus is that shoppers are taking notice. According to a study, 61% of consumers prefer a retail store that provides AR capabilities.
While voice assistants like Alexa and Siri have been around for a while, their use in mCommerce mobile apps doesn't seem to be that widespread yet. However, that looks to change in 2021 and beyond.
After all, voice marketing is already gaining a foothold in the overall eCommerce industry. UK firm Juniper Research predicts that it will hit a market size of $80 billion by 2023. Add that to the fact that voice-enabled smartphones and devices are ubiquitous nowadays, and you'll see why this will be a big trend moving forward.
Users' voice search behavior is also a key contributing factor. According to a study by Narvar, 43% of people use voice to shop. Of that number, 22% complete checkout using voice alone.
Getting into the voice search game is essential for mCommerce growth because it's yet another convenient way for users to buy from you. And as we know, more convenience means better conversions.
The key to making this trend work for you is to make your mCommerce site or app optimized for voice search. This part of your overall search engine optimization (SEO) strategy includes focusing on conversational keywords, providing context, and knowing your target audience, among others.
Chatbots are one of the most critical mobile ecommerce trends of the past years. And with the continued threat of the pandemic encouraging everyone to shop and work from home, the role of chatbots will continue to be relevant in 2021.
In particular, chatbots will significantly impact mCommerce apps, which they didn't in previous years.
Chatbots are the solution for customers' need for 24/7 customer service in a connected world. They can cater to the most common buyer inquiries and complaints, which comprise the majority of concerns. As a result, you can reserve your human staff for tackling only the most critical issues.
Employing chatbots becomes more critical as you're scaling your mCommerce business. It allows you to serve even more customers with minimal investment in staff. And when people's questions are answered and concerns resolved, it can lead to a higher chance of conversions.
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is one of the hottest mCommerce trends 2021 gave us so far, according to a study by Juniper Research.
The model is simple. BNPL allows consumers to get a product now and pay for it in the future through an installment plan. In addition, most BNPL platforms don't require a credit card, opening up the opportunity for even more people.
BNPL is a win-win for both sides. It allows buyers to pay for purchases much more efficiently with minimal strain on their wallets. It also reduces their reliance on credit cards, which often have high transaction fees and interest rates.
For mCommerce stores, BNPL is a way to get more people to buy their products. It can also increase the basket size of individual purchases, which can radically improve revenue.
Aside from BNPL, there are also other mobile payment options available for mCommerce apps. Platforms like Apple Pay and Google Pay make it easier for consumers to pay for purchases, plus it gives them more choices. Ultimately, this leads to lower abandonment and higher conversions.
Social media has morphed from a platform for connecting and into a channel for broadcasting, community building, and even interactive games. And, recently, it's touching the world of eCommerce as well.
Brands and retail stores are now using Facebook and Instagram as extensions of their mobile stores. New features from these social media platforms make this even easier, such as the ability to buy an item just by clicking its Instagram photo. It's akin to making these sites into a visual storefront.
Using these "social commerce" strategies is crucial because it rides on social media platforms' brand awareness and "viral" capabilities. For instance, users can easily share pieces they've bought with their friends, leading to more buyers at your (virtual) door.
What's more, social commerce streamlines the buying process. For example, buyers no longer need to save a Facebook post from your brand, then open a separate window to search and buy it on your online store. Instead, they can do this with a single tap on your post.
The bottom line is that your target market is most likely already on social media, so reaching them should be a no-brainer strategy.
If you want to ride these trends and reap the benefits of mCommerce, you need the best app to stand out. And with our vast experience in web and app development, Expedition Co is the ideal partner to bring your mCommerce project to life.
Contact us today, and let's start a conversation about our custom mobile app development!