The Future is M-Commerce
E-commerce is being pushed to the wayside because mobile devices are making a path for m-commerce. Mobile commerce is the way people are starting to buy merchandise and services. Mobile device users have transformed commerce into an emerging shopping experience. Mobile phones and tablets are their preferred marketplace access point, and it's changing the way companies conduct business.
Retailers like JCPenney and Sears have experienced a steep decline in sales in recent years and have had to close many unprofitable stores. They have to contend with the likes of Amazon and Target, and their failure to keep up with industry trends and buyer habits has cost them more than just revenue.
Technology has changed people's browsing and buying behavior. While people still go out shopping to inspect the quality and price of merchandise, they also use their mobile devices to research merchandise and compare other options while still in the store. Mobile apps make it quick and easy for consumers to read reviews and check product availability.
Statistics and trends of mobile shopping
The future is m-commerce. It's extremely convenient for consumers, which they love. According to Business Insider, mobile-based commerce in 2014 made up only 11.5 percent of the $303 billion generated in retail. In 2017, this number increased to 19 percent of overall retail sales, and the number is projected to reach at least 27 percent by 2018. By the end of 2017, there will be 2 billion people using mobile devices. Usage will continue to rise, and retailers must heed this trend or be left behind.
The first mobile commerce services started in 1997 with two mobile-enabled Coca-Cola machines in the Helsinki area of Finland. The first transactions took place via SMS text messages. That same year, Finland was the first to establish mobile banking. Statistics reveal the forecast for its future is tremendous.
In November 1997, Kevin Duffey became the first Executive Chairman of the Global Mobile Commerce Forum. This organization established many goals for the future of m-commerce. Duffey created a vision for the forum, stating the definition of m-commerce is "the delivery of electronic commerce capabilities directly into the consumer's hand, anywhere, via wireless technology." His vision is now coming to realization in the marketplace of the 21st century.
Get in the mobile commerce game
You need a mobile application to gain an edge on the competition and then some. Mobile applications change the shopping experience in several ways:
Mobile apps brings the customer closer to the seller using GPS technology
Mobile apps allow people to make fast, recurring purchases of single-use items
Virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa enable consumers to purchase items through a mobile application using voice commands
Mobile finance, cryptocurrency and banking are creating more opportunities for quicker purchases in stores
As technology progresses in mobile phone hardware, cryptocurrency, voice recognition and software, more consumers will use their phones and tablets to buy. It is imperative your business be accessible in that mobile space if you want to thrive. The members of the Grok Interactive team are experts in mobile app development. As visionaries who understand how technology is advancing, they can counsel you on the best approach for your business.
Image Credit: Main Image - Jason Howie