In the second quarter of 2015, the U.S. retail...
Top 5 mobile e-commerce trends to watch in 2017
- IoT and Artificial Intelligence. Successful brick and mortar retailers including Macy’s, Regent Street and Lord & Taylor install beacons in stores to send push notifications, digital coupons and location-based product recommendations to customers. Thanks to the creative 2015 Thanksgiving beacon campaign, Macy’s increased their shopping app usage by 16 times. Last year beacons directly influenced $ 44.4 billion worth of sales in the USA alone. By making IoT solutions part of their marketing strategy, retailers can gather tons of valuable data on customer behavior and crunch it down to something meaningful with machine learning algorithms. In the first half of 2016 companies that turned to predictive analytics registered a 73% growth in sales – and that’s not the only case where Artificial Intelligence comes in handy. Machine learning algorithms help PayPal detect fraudsters and prevent malicious programs from entering the company’s software environment. Curalate, a US-based company that majors in visual commerce solutions and works with the world’s biggest retailers including Sephora and Revlon, converts Instagram posts into clickable links and uploads user-generated photos to a brand’s website or mobile app to find particular catalog items. Some e-retailers even reach their target audience through chatbots – lightweight AI-powered conversational programs that answer customer questions and make product suggestions based on a user’s shopping and search history. By embracing IoT and Artificial Intelligence solutions, you can take customer experience to the next level, increase ROI and optimize marketing expenses;
- Mobile payments. In 2016, 54% of US and UK online shoppers used mobile wallets at least once. This year, the global mobile payment market will hit $ 780 billion. Over 60% of 1.5 billion smartphones that will be shipped through 2017 will use the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Once set up, mobile payment solutions enable customers to complete an online transaction in several clicks. According to JackThreads, a NY-based men’s clothes retailer, the adoption of Apple Pay helped them decrease cart abandonment rate by 92%. Another example comes from Instacart who claim mobile wallets speed up the checkout time by 58%. It’s no wonder the US mobile payment volume will reach $ 503 billion in three years! If you combine bricks and clicks, building an m-commerce app with payment capabilities is your top priority for 2017;
- iOS-first. Although Android-first is one of the biggest mobile app development trends this year, most US and Western European m-commerce companies still start their career on the App Store and proceed to Google Play later on – for obvious reasons, of course. The average m-commerce order is $ 22 larger on iOS. With over 40% of all m-commerce transactions, Apple Pay remains the most popular mobile payment solution in the USA. During the 2015 holiday season US iPhone users placed 78.1% of all online orders. Piracy is almost non-existent on the App Store. There’s another shopping difference between iOS and Android that no one talks about. Last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing surveys revealed that Android users had opened digital maps 26.5% more often during the days, while iPhone owners had spent their time at home comfortably shopping on mobile. If you consider going mobile this year, make sure to address an experienced iOS development services company with a solid m-commerce portfolio;
- Focus on customer loyalty. We live in the age of customer – and it’s high time e-retailers made use of the tools and platforms preferred by their target audience. Starbucks’ clever customer loyalty program made the coffee company $ 1.2 billion richer. Today more retailers take the “Try first, pay later” approach to battle return rates and open local service centers to take orders and facilitate the delivery process. Mobile apps like Spring and Wish set new shopping trends by offering Instagram-like product catalogs and personal style tips from designers and influencers. 76% of US consumers aged between 18 and 34 actually don’t mind receiving push notifications from the brands they’re loyal to! If you want to succeed, you’d better find out what your target audience expects from you – and act accordingly;
- Augmented and Virtual Reality. 33% of customers return the clothes they’ve bought online simply because they couldn’t try them on prior to the purchase. Setting up physical service centers is not the only way to offer interactive experience to your audience! Augmented and Virtual Reality solutions are not new to retailers – after all, you could virtually furnish your house using the IKEA AR Catalog app back in 2013. Last year, however, building VR and AR mobile apps became one of the hottest e-commerce trends – and it’s going to be huge in 2017, too. Speaking of IKEA, the company has recently launched a virtual reality app that works in sync with the HTC Vive headset and enables users to explore kitchen designs in their actual sizes. Similar solution has been crafted by Alibaba, China’s fifth largest e-commerce company. Prior to the 2016 Singles Day Alibaba distributed 150 thousand dirt-cheap cardboard VR headsets which allowed Chinese customers to shop at New York’s biggest retail stores. Thanks to the clever marketing campaign, Alibaba had the world’s biggest shopping day ever and made $ 17.8 billion in 24 hours. While developing custom apps for a VR headset might be too expensive for smaller e-commerce companies, you can always opt for a low-end AR solution and still outpace your rivals.