The Rise of M-Commerce
A compelling online shopping experience is essential to building a brand today. With e-commerce at a rise, specifically during the holiday season, m-commerce (mobile device shopping) is paving its way to be the next big trend.
For the first time, mobile web browsing has overtaken desktop browsing, accounting for 51.3% versus the desktop’s 48.7%. When in store, 82% of smartphone users turn to their device to help them make product decisions, while 40% of smartphone shoppers want to have a seamless experience and with information on product location, special deals or related products.
“While the physical store still provides the core of a brand’s meaning, a “real” brand experience for consumers has no walls,” says Stephan Schambach, Founder and CEO, NewStore. “This can present a challenge for retailers who have relied on the physical stores for years as the only source of the “real” brand experience.”
As consumers are becoming more reliant on their mobile devices, they expect to get what they need, when they want it. This can be searching for an item to buy on an app or mobile responsive website, looking for a store nearby, or for voucher codes at the cash register. In some cases, customers can even pay using their phones. Many retailers have also introduced one-click checkouts on their websites making it easier for shoppers to enter payment information once to make purchases.
There are factors however which may limit the mobile shopping experience compared to e-commerce. For example, smartphone screen size is much smaller than a desktop or tablet. In addition, sites that are not optimized for mobile make it more time consuming and difficult for customers to complete a purchase.
Despite these limitations, m-commerce is forecasted to reach $284 billion, or 45% of the total U.S. e-commerce market, by 2020. In China, the mobile commerce industry is expected to be worth $1.41 trillion by 2019 with over 1.3 billion mobile subscribers. Furthermore, 65% of Chinese people choose to shop on their phones at least monthly, compared to 28% globally.
While China may be leading the m-commerce trend, there’s no doubt that the rest of the world will follow suite. Consumers want instant gratification and to see, purchase and experience shopping on the go, anytime and anywhere. As such, brands and retailers will need to adopt more m-commerce strategies to provide a seamless consumer experience from purchase, to delivery, and sharing feedback all online.
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