It can now be said that mobile commerce came of age with a whole range of technologies geared towards making the mobile shopping and transaction experience better. With the launch of Apple Pay followed by Google Pay and with an array of geo-location based technologies offering marketers more contextual and location based buyer information, mobile commerce is all set to be the main face of digital shopping and commerce. This new breed of transaction friendly technologies has opened new opportunities for mobile app development companies as well. Integration of NFC technology with easy Point of Sale (POS) transaction facilitated by Apple Pay and Google Pay revolutionized the way we transact through mobile devices. In many ways it quite supplanted the real world store experience for the buyers.
If mobile wallet represents one frontier of mobile commerce technologies, then obviously there are other significant changes that continued to make mobile commerce better and richer. There are various facets of this new wave of technologies and focus areas that are continuing to add value to overall mobile commerce experience. From POS devices to typical tap to pay systems in certain stations to in-app purchases to mobile ecommerce websites to latest mobile payment technologies, technologies and trends are overlapping into one another to create robust mobile experience for shopping or transacting.
Let us have a look at the top 6 trends that shaped mobile commerce experience.
1. In app purchases through third party payment apps
In 2015 we have seen users being more at ease with in-app purchases. This is mainly due to the popularity of mobile apps and their app ecosystem. But in spite of the popularity of in-app purchases across platforms actual number of transactions still remained low compared to the number of users and apps. This happened because there are only few apps that enjoy higher traction and user loyalty while most apps just do not make enough users for survival. Number of apps that users actually interact with did not increase over the years.
Third party mobile payment services in this context played a significant role in boosting in-app purchases. Now, most mobile apps prefer to incorporate third party mobile payment service to provide ease of transaction to the users. Except platform specific mobile payment services like Google Wallet and Apple Pay many business apps have come with their own mobile payment solutions.
2. Online shopping getting benefited from localization technologies
Is mobile shopping only about making purchases using the mobile device? With the latest array of mobile specific technologies for push notification, interactive and contextual messages, marketers can utilize mobile commerce even more to their advantage. Now, mobile shopping offers an altogether different experience capitalizing more on the ability of devices for customization.
From sending notifications based on user location to addressing users more contextually according to their preference, buying habits and patterns of uses derived from diverse device sensors, the mobile experience for buyers is continuing to be more tailor made and custom suited.
3. Mobile web is going to beat native apps
Though there is no end to the craze over native apps mobile websites with mobile friendly design and mobile browsers are actually becoming better alternatives. Mobile websites are great for placing orders or selecting your preferred choices for future transaction or for browsing product categories. Fast paced mobile browsing experience and responsive design made mobile web more popular than native apps these days. Mobile web is going to be stronger with every passing day because mobile is garnering more focus from users, businesses and developers than all other computing devices. Naturally, mobile commerce is banking upon mobile websites more than the native apps.
4. Mobile is turning into digital wallet
The new range of mobile payment technologies revolutionized the way we transact and make payment online. NFC and other mobile payment technologies are increasingly playing major role in boosting transaction volume and sales. These new technologies offer optimum capabilities in processing secure, properly authenticated, glitch free payment processing for an array of online transactions.
NFC chips are provided inside most advanced mobile devices. These chips gather and provide the banking data of customers to the merchant site easily. Interactive processing of payment is the main strength of this new technology. While users feel tapping a device more comfortable than swiping a bank card, mobile payment is going to be the principal mode of transaction for mobile commerce websites and apps in the time to come.
5. Easier mobile app conversions
Mobile apps are increasingly being viewed as the new horizon of digital opportunities for small businesses. Most small businesses these days are willing to have their own mobile apps and their eagerness increased particularly because of the decreasing constraints in converting their websites to robust native apps. The cost for building a mobile app has been decreased significantly over the past few years and converting mobile websites to feature rich native app has also become easier thanks to an array of developer friendly tools and frameworks. There has been a significant change compared to the earlier time when the cost for converting a mobile website into native app used to outweigh the benefits.
Mobile app conversion has become easier now because there has been significant improvement in the tech maneuvers to incorporate some crucial website specific elements into native apps. For instance just a little more than a year ago apps could not support links but ever since mobile apps became able to make use of links to guide users to company’s homepage, in-app purchase got a significant boost.
6. Greater focus on the core product
In the early era of small businesses taking interest into mobile commerce, specific offerings for mobile consumers sometimes even underplayed their core business offerings. Small businesses were primarily focused on meeting the tech standard and user expectation from their mobile apps. But as mobile commerce and native apps continued to garner widespread adoption from small businesses of various niches and sizes across the world, the importance of focusing on the core business have become important.
At the end of the day mobile commerce can help you connect your customers better or can help you garner more patronage from customers, but until and unless your products and services do not serve up to their taste and preference all these digital exercises are going to be futile. A food chain can help their customers to find their stores through a mobile app, but it has to serve great food and build their reputation on the food quality and service, a great mobile app alone cannot do all of these. Down the line in few years from now a major portion of products delivered by small businesses will be ordered through mobile. Naturally, there would be a level playing field as far as offering mobile apps is considered. So, at a time when almost all your competitors are having a good mobile presence, you can only strive to have an edge through qualitative focus on your core business products or services.
Juned Ahmed is co-founder of IndianAppDevelopers, a fastest growing android app developers company. Juned has a passion for mobile technology and avid writer and contributes his knowledge on various blogs and websites.