Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Rise of Mobile Commerce

I am coming to you today, as a self-diagnosed online shopping addict, to tell you that you need to make your products easily available on mobile devices. As we continue to live in a world dominated by a pandemic, eCommerce is already skyrocketing. And along with the rise in eCommerce, we are also seeing a rise in mobile commerce. As consumers are sitting at home all day with their phones always in arms-reach, it is easy for us to accidentally pick it up, scroll through Instagram, and buy a new shirt even though we have no place to wear it to (it’s possible that I’m speaking from experience). And I promise I’m not the only one doing it.

The Move to Mobile

We all know how prominent mobile is in our daily lives. Almost anything we can do on desktop, we can do on mobile. So it only makes sense that consumers are shifting their buying habits to their mobile devices. And as smartphones continue to become more advanced, data becomes more secure, and eCommerce continues to grow, more and more consumers are going to turn to their mobile devices to shop. The eCommerce industry is currently at $666 billion, and by 2022 is expected to reach $845 billion. It is also expected mobile commerce will drive 50 percent of those eCommerce sales by 2022. Clearly the move to mobile commerce is happening whether you are with it or not. So the best advice I can give you is to start developing a mobile commerce and mobile messaging strategy sooner rather than later.

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Social media has also been a driver for mobile shopping, and offers a huge opportunity for brands to start selling on mobile. Both Instagram and Facebook are great examples of this. Instagram has created shoppable posts where brands can place product tags directly on their posts  what the product is and how much it costs. Users can click on the tag and it will take them to the product, then the website, and next thing you know you bought the product and it’s at your door within a week (this has maybe happened to me one to many times…). Target is one brand that has been doing this really well. They have been using shoppable posts to promote their fashion, makeup, home decor, and food products, and by doing so they are turning passive scrollers into active buyers.

Facebook has also introduced Facebook Shops. This is basically an online marketplace (but different from Facebook Marketplace), where businesses can easily set up an online store, for free. The businesses can create an entire online storefront complete with branding, customized color schemes, and a selection of products. They can also easily communicate with customers through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram direct message. Taking advantage of Facebook Shops is basically turning your social media presence into an online store.

Embrace the Opportunity

As consumers are moving buying behavior into the mobile space, there is a huge opportunity for businesses to reach more consumers than ever. As mentioned earlier, mobile commerce is expected to continue to be a driving force of eCommerce. Therefore, it would be silly for brands to pass up the opportunity to reach buyers on mobile devices. 92 percent of millennials and 97 percent of Gen Zers have said social media is their number one source for shopping ideas. So imagine how many more customers you could convert if you make it possible for them to easily make that purchase from their mobile device. Plus, in addition to social media, there has been a rise in mobile apps being used for retail shopping (Progressive Web Apps are great for this). Both Zara and Sephora have developed apps as a way to move into the mobile commerce space, and have seen great results.

Between social media, apps, and the amount of time consumers are spending on mobile devices these days, the opportunity to convert customers on mobile is endless. If you haven’t moved your brand onto mobile yet, the time to do it is now.