The shift to mobile is undeniable.
That means mobile is making its mark on the eCommerce world, too.
And if you don’t start catering to this new wave of shoppers, you could be missing out on tons of new customers–and potentially thousands of dollars in sales.
In this guide, I’m sharing why this shift to mobile commerce plays a huge role in your retailer strategy–along with seven trends you need to jump on in 2019.
What is Mobile Commerce?
Also known as mCommerce, mobile commerce is a type of online selling.
The only difference between that and traditional eCommerce is that it takes place exclusively on mobiles, rather than desktops or PCs.
It doesn’t sound like a huge difference, right?
But mCommerce consumers have entirely different purchasing habits, expectations, and preferences.
You’ll need to make sure you have an mCommerce strategy that’s optimized for these people if you want to cash-in on the mobile shopping revolution.
The Importance of mCommerce as a Retailer Strategy
I know what you’re thinking.“Elise, I’m already optimizing my website for mobile visitors. Isn’t that enough?”.
My answer is simple: No.
Demand is high, and with brands (including your competitors) ploughing millions of dollars into incredible brand experiences, you need to beat them to stand out.
A mobile-optimized website isn’t enough.
You need to do all you can to build an omni-channel marketing strategy, and make it easier for people to purchase products from their mobile phone they’ve viewed anywhere.
If not, they’ll head elsewhere with their cash.
7 Trends to Look Out for in 2019
Ready to start making a dent with your mCommerce plan?
Use these seven trends to fuel your mCommerce strategy in 2019 and beyond:
1. Proximity Marketing
Do you have a brick and mortar store, with a steady flow of foot traffic in the nearby area?
Take advantage of proximity marketing.
This happens when you’re targeting people within a certain radius of your store by creating ‘beacons’–small devices that send Bluetooth signals to the mobile device of nearby customers who’ve downloaded your app.
These mobile notifications, like this example from Hotel Chocolat, encourage people to visit your store when they’re nearby:
Worried your customers might be put-off from enabling their location? I don’t blame you. The world has gone mad for privacy (and rightly so).
But 88% of customers would share their location if they’re being provided with something they’d consider valuable.
That means offering value–such as discounts, offers or in-store coupon codes–could be the thing you need to drive more foot traffic to your brick and mortar store.
That’s critical if you want to make more sales.
You can’t make sales without people to sell to, right?
2. Take Advantage of Shoppable Tags on Instagram
Social media should play a key role in your mobile commerce strategy.
But don’t just post a few photos to your Instagram profile and hope for the best.
Take your mCommerce strategy further and take advantage of shoppable tags–a tool that allows brands to send their followers directly to their website from an Instagram post.
Here’s an example from Coach:
Shoppable tags are a great workaround for brands to drive traffic from the platform since Instagram don’t allow links in captions; only one in the bio is permitted.
Want to get in on the action?
- Head to your Settings and double-checking you’re using a Business Profile.
- Agree to Facebook’s merchant agreement terms.
- Add a payment method to Facebook’s Business Manager.
- Connect your Product Catalog to your Business Manager.
- Wait for Facebook to approve your new account (this can take a few days).
- Turn on product tagging on Instagram when approved.
Then, you should be good to go!
3. …And Shoppable Tags in Google Ads, Too
Why not take shoppable tags a step further and take advantage of a new Google Ads’ feature: Showcase Shopping ads?
These new formats are designed to help retail and brand advertisers to attract even more customers through their PPC campaigns–especially when targeting people who’re browsing through mobile devices.
That’s because the ads you’re displaying on a third-party website take your audience to a Google-hosted landing page, containing live promotions, product descriptions, prices and products from your product feed.
Since Google know how much site traffic is coming from mobile (almost 60% of all search queries, to be exact)–they’re bound to do the mobile-friendly optimization for you.
Plus, research by Google found ads taking the Showcase slot drive a 3.6x higher click-through rate than standard ads, and they receive 20% more conversion credit with first-click attribution.
The even better news? Showcase Shopping ads were only introduced for the holiday season of this year, meaning there’s plenty of time to get to grips with the new features before 2019 arrives.
Head over here to find Google’s rundown of creating your first Showcase Shopping ad.
4. Provide Omni-Channel Experiences
These days, consumers want seamless shopping experiences–regardless of where, how or why they’re shopping.
You’re probably the same. Think about it: How many times do you browse products on your lunch break using your PC, then purchase the same product via your mobile phone when you get home?
Almost all (98%) Americans switch between devices in the same day, so I’ll bet your answer is “a lot”.
Your mCommerce strategy needs be omni-channel–a fancy word for seamless across various channels. That could include mobile, social media, website or Google Ads.
Luckily for you, creating a seamless shopping experience isn’t as tricky as you think. Here’s how you can get started:
- Using consistent branding across all of your platforms.
- Allowing customers to create user profiles that can be used across all platforms: For example, displaying the same products someone’s added to their PC basket when logged in using a mobile phone.
- Personalizing content based on the content they’ve viewed elsewhere: For example, if someone’s viewed a product on their mobile phone, display similar products when they’re browsing via tablet.
Take a look at how Disney use consistent branding to improve their omni-channel marketing strategy:
If you browsed the mobile website, I’ll bet you wouldn’t feel any different as you would if you were shopping online. No worries about privacy, no need to enter their information separately across various devices, and certainly no fear of a spammy replica website.
That’s the feeling you want to give your customers to boost engagement.
Companies with extremely strong omni-channel customer engagement retain 89% of their customers on average, compared to just 33% for companies with poor engagement.
Are you convinced to let it take pride of place on your 2019 mobile commerce to-do list, yet?
5. Enable One-Click Checkouts
Ever find yourself clicking an Instagram ad, and end up window shopping–adding products to your online basket?
You’re not alone.
One study found 67% of consumers admit to ‘digital window shopping’ for fun on their mobiles, with 77% of those make impulse purchases when they do.
You can cater to these mobile shoppers–and convince them to handover their cash–by streamlining your checkout process.
A fantastic way to do that is one-click checkout. Despite running the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, this lets people purchase your product with the click of a button.
Why’s it essential in mCommerce?
Well, more time spent filling forms, reviewing orders and entering card information gives these window shoppers more chance to think about their decision, and potentially leave your site without competing their order.
That’s only going to skyrocket your cart abandonment rate–and reduce your conversion rates, too.
Here are the docs you’ll need to enable one-click checkout on popular commerce platforms:
Fancy a bit of inspiration before making the switch?
Check out (no pun intended) how this company allow consumers to complete their order without too many pages complicating the process:
Stripe use the same concept for their own checkout pages, too:
6. Offer Augmented Reality Experiences
Augmented reality is a technique marketers can use to display digital items on a screen with clever camera tricks. The name comes from an “augmented view”–something that’s not an exact match to real life, but uses elements to make it believable.
By 2020, AR will dominate the entire eCommerce market, with $120 billion expected to be generated by the end of the year.
Fancy taking a slice of that cash? Offer some form of AR for mobile shoppers. You could:
- Create an app that shows your product in your customer’s home
- Allow customers to virtually “try on” products to see if they suit it
- Using a tool that displays extra information when scanning a page
Here’s how Argos do the latter with their mobile app:
AR performs better for mobile users than it would PC, desktop or tablet users. Why? Because augmented reality tends to be portable–devices need to be able to shift, move and adapt to get the full AR effect.
Just take this AR campaign by Converse, for example–which requires people to use their camera to see what shoes look like in real life:
I doubt you’d get the full effect by tilting your desktop webcam to view the shoe.
This AR campaign also worked so well because people can see the product (almost) in the flesh before committing to a purchase. Considering 22% of shoppers return products because they look different than expected, it’s a great way to reduce your mCommerce return rates
AR content helps to increase engagement, too. People are likely to spend more time with a fun, interactive app than they would static content–and the studies prove it.
7. Supercharge Page Loading Speeds
Earlier, I touched on the fact almost 60% of Google searches come from a mobile device.
These people will likely feed into your mobile commerce strategy. (If they don’t go omni-channel by browsing on mobile and purchasing via desktop, that is.)
You’re able to catch these mobile searchers–and push them to purchase right there–by optimizing your entire site for mobile-first, starting with improving your page loading speeds.
Mobile visitors will exit a page if it doesn’t load within three seconds.
I know, that doesn’t give you much wiggle room.
Check your current speed by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. This should give you a good indication of how fast your mobile site loads, and shows you areas for improvement:
Other tips to squeeze your mobile site into the three second window include:
- Compressing images before uploading
- Prioritizing important content above the fold
- Minifying unnecessary code
- Reducing the number of redirects on your site
Final Thoughts on Mobile Commerce in 2019
Are you ready to refine your mCommerce strategy and see more conversions, sales and customers in 2019?
I don’t blame you.
Remember to always think about user experience, and make sure your mobile strategy fits in with your omni-channel plans.
I can’t wait to see what you come up with!