Category: Blog, Mobile Commerce, Business

Future of Mobile Commerce | mCommerce Trends & Stats

Want to know where mobile commerce is headed in 2021? Explore the future of mobile commerce and the most important mCommerce trends.

Future of mobile commerce - trends in mcommerce

Mobile commerce is a rapidly expanding tech area that has seen unprecedented growth during the last decade. New technologies and mobile trends emerge practically every year, while others become forgotten and obsolete. Moreover, new developments in cutting-edge fields like artificial intelligence (AI) or the Internet of Things (IoT) allow developers to build even more engaging mobile commerce applications.

Since we’ve just said goodbye to 2019, here’s a glimpse into mCommerce app development trends of 2021.

Read this article if you want to know where mobile commerce is headed in 2021 and what trends are going to have the greatest impact on its expansion.

Quick recap: what is mobile commerce all about?

Before we start talking about the future, let’s make sure that we’re on the same page when it comes to mobile commerce as we know it today.

Mobile commerce, also called mCommerce or mobile e-Commerce, refers to any type of transaction which is completed with the help of a mobile device such as a smartphone, tablet, or even a wearable device.

We believe that mobile commerce is more than e-commerce implemented on mobile devices. In fact, the emergence of mobile commerce technologies brought to life entirely new services and industries such as mobile banking, contactless payments, location-based services, mobile boarding passes, and many more. Read more about mCommerce definition.

All of these today make up our customer experiences, but don’t forget that none of them would be possible if mobile commerce didn’t expand so much during the last few years.

Mobile commerce applications have gained a huge following and companies that are investing in such apps because they:

  • Provide better user experience,
  • Allow tracking user behavior easily through mobile analytics,
  • Offer a personalized experience and product recommendations easily,
  • Enable direct communication with push notifications and open new marketing channels,
  • Elevate the experience of customers shopping brick-and-mortar stores thanks to technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR),
  • Take advantage of hardware features that bring even more personalized experience – for instance, by using the customer’s real-time location.

Check out 12 Mobile eCommerce Best Practices (with Examples).

Key mobile commerce statistics for the future

To help you understand the potential of mobile commerce, here’s a collection of insights and statistics that show the field is going to expand in the near future:

  1. Mobile commerce will outpace non-mobile commerce in 2021.
  2. In 2021, mobile commerce sales will account for more than half of total e-commerce sales.
  3. Today, one-third of purchasing decisions is influenced by researching products on mobile devices.
  4. More than half of retailers already have a mobile app. And over 50% of the rest is going to build one soon.
  5. In mid-2019, mobile e-commerce spending in the United States reached a smashing $41.2 billion.
  6. The total number of US-based shoppers who make mobile purchases will reach 168.7 mln.
  7. The volume of mobile commerce sales will more than double between 2017 and 2020, reaching $336 billion this year.

7 mCommerce trends that will shape the future of mobile commerce

Now that you have a better grasp of the general developments in the mobile commerce landscape, here are 7 critical mCommerce trends that are going to become even more prominent this year.

7 mCommerce trends that will shape the future of mobile commerce

1. Augmented Reality (AR)

Mobile commerce faces the same problem as e-commerce: customers don’t get to really “see” the product before buying it, and that might prevent many of them from completing the purchase.

That’s why so many mobile commerce applications are now including Augmented Reality (AR) features. This trend will continue to expand this year. AR is also one of the key technologies shaping top mobile app design trends.

Here’s an example of how AR works in mobile commerce settings:

Augmented Reality features can be used by retailers who sell eyewear. Apps that sell glasses allow their customers to try on different models virtually, using an image taken on their smartphone. More advanced implementations enable customers to see the glasses on their face from multiple angles through a virtual avatar.

Another good example of AR implemented in a mCommerce app is Sephora Virtual Artist, an app that allows trying on different makeup products directly on your face by uploading a picture.

In the future, customers might take advantage of AR headsets provided by retailers to help them try on different outfits to have a shopping experience that corresponds to how they shop in-store, only from the comfort of their home.

The Augmented Reality trend will expand to other industries as well. For example, interior design retailers are already experimenting with AR functionalities to allow customers to check how can a sofa or a table will fit into a room. By delivering more accurate images of products, AR will drive sales and customer loyalty, saving retailers plenty of money on product returns.

2. Voice search and control

Here’s a major drawback of mobile devices: They come up with pretty small screens.

That’s why a considerable chunk of consumers is still unwilling to do their online shopping on mobile devices. These users often prefer to shop on a desktop device because of the larger screen and greater mouse accuracy. 

But here’s how the mobile commerce tech scene will address this problem in 2020: by implementing voice search and control features. In the near future, mobile developers will strive to come up with smarter voice control to allow customers to dictate what they want with their voice to:

  • search for items,
  • choose their size, style, color,
  • add items to basket,
  • and even check out.

All of that will be accomplished using only voice commands. Voice control is already part of most smartphone operating systems – like Siri. However, the future will see voice control implementations developed specifically to serve the mCommerce world. Voice control will make the shopping experience even smoother for mobile users and contribute to the expansion of mCommerce.

What other features does your mCommerce app need to be 2020-ready? Read this article about Top mobile commerce app features.

3. Chatbots

Research studies show that in 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be handled without any human intervention. Chatbots are the key element of this trend. In the context of mCommerce, chatbots can be used to deliver personalized notifications, reminders, and special offers.

Today, most retailers still rely on emails. They let customers sign up for email newsletters and deliver special offers and promotions or send notifications encouraging customers to buy the items they left behind in their checkout cart.

But email is slowly exhausting its potential. That’s why retailers are going to turn to chatbots, which will be used together with or instead of emails. 

A survey from Oracle found out that 80% of businesses are already using or planning to use chatbots by 2020. Bots can be especially attractive for retailers that target younger audiences – especially Millennials.

Millennials spend around six hours per week on online shopping. This generation and younger ones prefer text messages to email as a far more direct and convenient means of communication. Businesses looking to boost their marketing messaging will turn to this medium.

Another advantage of chatbots is that they can automate the process of customer service and deliver a personalized experience on the basis of all the data gathered through mobile analytics. 

For example, Cupshe uses a chatbot to help customers browse products and shop conversationally. Another brand called Bikini Luxe uses a combination of emails and Facebook Messenger to send special offers to customers who are already following the brand’s Facebook account.

4. Omnichannel

It might come as a surprise, but a subpar mobile e-commerce experience could easily deter customers from making purchases through other channels – both online and off-line, in brick-and-mortar stores.

A study from Forrester Research revealed that this year, smartphones would impact through internet research 42% of total retail sales in the United States. The Harvard Business Review carried out a study of 46,000 shoppers and found that only 7% of them were online-only shoppers, and 20% of were in-store shoppers. The remaining vast majority – a smashing 73% of respondents – used multiple channels during their shopping journey. These people are omnichannel customers, and mobile commerce serves as a key medium for them.

Omnichannel customers appreciate various touchpoints that retailers provide in all kinds of places and combinations. For example, they use smartphone apps to compare prices or download coupons, but also like to use in-store digital tools such as interactive catalogs or price checkers.

Mobile commerce will be at the center of an omnichannel retail strategy in 2020. 

Today, 60% of internet users start shopping on one device and often continue or finish on a different one. And 82% of smartphone users admit that they consult their phones for purchases they’re about to make in stores.

In 2020, retailers will pay more attention to crafting an omnichannel strategy that connects all of the touchpoints, be it online and offline, delivering fantastic customer experience.

5. Mobile in-store checkouts

What most retailers will pursue in 2021 is also a greater alignment of the in-store experience with mobile shopping. This trend is closely connected to the previous trend of omnichannel, but it focuses on the specific features that mobile commerce offers for elevating the in-store experience. 

These features are, for example, geo-fenced coupons delivered through SMS, QR codes, mobile-specific comparison pages, and the prioritization of FAQs on mobile. 

Both mid-sized and large organizations are now experimenting with different ways mobile commerce features can encourage their in-store customers to make purchases.

Here’s an example:

One of the least pleasant experiences of in-store shopping is the long lines and queues to checkout. That’s why so many companies are now turning to mobile-enabled in-store checkouts and mobile wallets. Mobile point-of-sale devices like Shopify or PayPal can be a cost-effective solution that addresses this problem. Mobile wallets such as Apple or Google use the near field communication (NFC) technology for making payments.

All it takes is touching the NFC-enabled device to a special payment terminal. Investing in such an in-store infrastructure is going to be quite expensive. But improving the shopping experience and appealing to omnichannel customers is a priority, which is well worth the expense.

6. Optimizing the speed

This trend may not be as exciting as Augmented Reality or chatbots powered by artificial intelligence. But it’s going to become a serious concern among mobile development this year.

A site’s speed matters a lot. It affects how the site attracts, acquires, and keep your customers engaged. Site performance has been shown to impact many e-commerce metrics – and mobile commerce is no different in this regard.

That’s why in 2021, retailers will be busy optimizing all the behind-the-scenes elements that eat data unnecessarily in their mCommerce apps. As a result, they will focus on delivering a great experience that users will be willing to pay for in exchange for the load time.

Did you know that almost 60% of Google search results come from mobile devices today? Starting July 2018, page speed became a ranking factor by Google for mobile searches. All that means that improving the speed and site performance is going to be increasingly important for companies that invest in mobile commerce in the form of Progressive Web Apps and others.

7. Social commerce

According to research, 51% of millennials are more likely to buy products via social media. What does that mean for retailers interested in getting into the mCommerce space? That your presence on social media is more important than ever. And that social media applications offer an unprecedented volume of selling opportunities.

The rise of Instagram’s Shopping Posts got a lot of retailers interested in the potential of social commerce. That focus is likely to expand in 2021 as companies struggling to make it on highly competitive markets will do everything in their power to meet their customers where they spend time. And that includes social media applications that attract a great number of loyal users.

The takeaway

If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that mobile e-commerce is going to continue growing in 2021, attracting more users and generating more sales. The vast majority of retailers have already built a dedicated mobile application or are planning to do it.

Don’t stay behind and jump on the mobile commerce bandwagon this year. 2021 is going to be a breakthrough year for the companies that decided to invest in mCommerce early. 

Are you looking for more information about how mCommerce can benefit you? Make sure to read this article: 9 Advantages of mCommerce and 3 Challenges for Businesses in 2021.

And if you’re on the lookout for an experienced and skilled mobile development team, get in touch with us.

We’ve delivered award-winning mobile commerce applications to clients from many different sectors, helping them to engage mobile users and increase their bottom line.  

About the author

Agnieszka Mroczkowska

Agnieszka Mroczkowska

Content Marketing Manager

As a Content Marketing Manager with a deep dive into the tech world, Agnieszka brings over 6 years of experience in the IT industry. She excels at transforming complex app development topics into engaging reads, collaborating with our brilliant Developers, Business Analysts, Scrum Masters, Designers, and more to uncover insights. When not immersed in tech, Aga enjoys outdoor adventures and Lindy Hop dancing.