Smartphones have become a necessity these days with 82% of people in the world owning a mobile device. Our phones play a central role in our lives when it comes to socializing with friends and family, joining meetings for work and even playing games. Social apps such as TikTok and Instagram have integrated shopping for items you see from a post directly in the app. When you are at the check stand buying groceries, you can tap your phone to pay and never pull out your wallet. In 2019 we saw a surge in direct to consumer brands (DTC) establishing their retail store through services such as Shopify, which has over 2 million merchants. This in turn led to services that convert Shopify web storefronts into standalone m-commerce apps. As a product of this boom, we’re seeing even more purchases made through a mobile phone.  

In 2022, mobile commerce (m-commerce) sales are on target to surpass $430 Billion in the United States, nearly a twofold growth since 2019. On Cyber Monday in 2021, 54% of visitors were from mobile devices with 33% securing a purchase from a mobile device. To put it in context, this number is up over 40% from the past few years. According to eMarketer, by 2025 m-commerce apps will account for over 10.4% of total retail sales (brick & mortar and online) in the United States.

mobile commerce trend

Source: Oberlo

With so many people opting for mobile shopping versus in person or on desktop, there are many opportunities to optimize mobile campaigns and drive users to make purchases through their devices. 

What is M-Commerce?

E-commerce and m-commerce are similar in that they share the same  goal of buying and selling with the help of the internet. However, there are some significant differences. On a very rudimentary level, m-commerce is specific to shopping through a mobile device, while e-commerce involves shopping online through your computer. 

Convenience is the backbone of e-commerce. Purchases can be made when and where it is convenient for the shopper. However, it also lacks flexibility in mobility as it is tied to a website.. Mobile commerce, however, allows shoppers to make purchases from anywhere in the world. This convenience makes m-commerce extremely appealing to consumers on the go or who want to make a purchase quickly. Another difference is the use of social media when it comes to m-commerce. Most users interact with social media through their smartphones and m-commerce apps have a distinct advantage over web based platforms. They can serve ads directly to social media users without them having to change devices. Influencer marketing plays a key role in m-commerce with social media stars linking their platforms to specific shopping apps. 

Capitalize on M-Commerce App Trends

M-commerce is getting more popular as we rely on our smartphones for daily tasks. This is a perfect time for marketers to capitalize on these trends and for retailers to shift their focus to mobile. Learning how to build a mobile customer experience that increases engagement and is tailored to the target audience is key to winning more business in this fast growing space. Honing in on accessibility, location tracking, push notifications and the optimal payment methods are the secrets to success in the mobile commerce ecosystem. 

M-Commerce App Benefit #1: Ease of Checkout

Cart abandonment is an e-commerce term to describe the act of shoppers adding items to their shopping cart and leaving without completing the desired action. This act rarely occurs in brick and mortar stores where a shopper loads their shopping cart with items and leaves the store without completing the purchase. There are significant differences between an online shopper from an in store shopper. This creates a unique set of challenges for m-commerce apps to define different user journeys and implement solutions to not only win but also retain a user. 

Cart abandonment is a problem specific to mobile or e-commerce space. When shopping in person, customers wouldn’t get to the cash register only to drop all potential purchases at the counter and then leave the store. The online or mobile shopping environment is vastly different from in person shopping, creating a unique set of challenges for m-commerce apps to develop solutions to win and retain customers.

The average online shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.8%. This means that roughly seven out of every 10 shoppers do not complete their purchase This implies that the entire  user journey is extremely important for m-commerce apps to inspect and optimize. The default check out process contains 23 elements and a requirement to create an account. Both of which are the top reasons carts are abandoned. Combating this staggering number is not an easy undertaking but making optimizations and simplifying the checkout process for users can be the difference between an action and an abandonment. A short, clean and user friendly checkout process allows customers to feel at ease at this final stage in the purchase journey.

Buy now, pay later strategies help commerce build loyalty.  Integrating payment plans and other payment apps lowers the likelihood of customers dropping off because the cart total can be daunting and prevent shoppers from committing to their items. This is managed through a third party service such as After-Pay or Klarna. The payment option allows the shopper to pay for their purchase in installments over a set time, better fitting their needs. Additionally, offering user-friendly payment options such as Apple or Google Pay creates a fast and efficient checkout experience. The more payment options available to customers, the less likely the shopper will drop off during the checkout process.

M-Commerce App Benefit #2: Location Tracking

Unlike e-commerce sites, m-commerce apps can track and identify user locations in real time granted that the user has opted in to location services. Because of the access to location information, m-commerce apps can provide location specific personalized recommendations and content to their audience. Studies show that 80% of customers prefer buying from brands providing customized in-app offers. A carefully planned personalization strategy, based on location data, can drive customer satisfaction to higher levels.

For example, targeting users near the beach for swimwear or beachwear ads would be a location based strategy that would benefit users in the area. Or consider promoting local ski shops to a user near a winter resort, allowing them access to gear, lift tickets or sledding bookings, making it easier for them to access this type of information. Taking into consideration the geographic placement of users makes it easier to serve relevant information, making user’s lives easier while earning their trust. 

M-Commerce App Benefit #3: Mobile friendliness

Organizing the app similar to the website benefits not only customer experience but also reinforces brand adoption through familiarity and consistent interaction with the brand. Designing a mobile friendly shopping experience is different from creating an organized web experience, although they should be somewhat related. Take into account that a mobile device is much smaller than a computer screen and so the way users interact with the app is extremely different than interacting with a storefront set up on the web. Both the website and the m-commerce app should incorporate a well-designed interface that is easy for customers to navigate. A mobile app that is overly complex with slow page load times will cause customers to drop off along their path to purchase. 

Utilizing search functions can also be helpful to drive m-commerce purchases. Search can help customers find the products they are interested in,  especially beneficial to users on a smaller device. Search accounts for 4.63% of conversions, contributing 13.8% of the overall revenues driven through the app. Having the search bar at the top of your mobile interface, or any place easily seen and accessible to the mobile user allows them to conveniently find and purchase an item through the app.

M-Commerce App Benefit #4: Notifications

Taking advantage of push notifications can be highly effective when optimizing your m-commerce app strategy. Emails are effective, however sometimes customer inboxes get bombarded causing it to simply be ignored, or the email may end up in the spam folder. Push notifications are less intrusive and have a higher engagement rate. Notifications from m-commerce apps can deliver information more effectively and efficiently than emails, simply because the vast population isn't checking their emails as often as they check their phones. The majority of m-commerce apps have adopted the ‘less is more’ rule and have found the best results with only 1–2 push notifications per day.

Success with push notifications comes down to timing, while focusing on how often users receive these notifications. Over use of push notifications can generate an unpleasant user experience, keeping this down to a conservative number is the best use case. Try to stay relevant with your messaging and personalize whenever possible. Keep your messaging light and as “human” or trendy as possible by utilizing emojis and friendly wording. 🙂

M-Commerce App Benefit #5: Retain Customers

To retain spending customers, optimize your retargeting strategy by focusing on the most active in app users, tailoring the message based on location, interests, and previous in app behaviors, at the appropriate time. 71% of customers agree that they would prefer ads that are tailored to their personalized interests, shopping habits and geographic location. Segmenting active users, and offering personalized shopping experiences, discount codes and rewards is an easy way to ensure user interest as well as gain loyalty.  

Offering discount codes, seasonal deals, or featuring any product the user has previously shown interest in is a great way to win back users who may have stopped interacting with your app. Including creatives that are bright, with a clear call to action and simplified messaging specific to your growth goals is another great way to drive customers back into the app and start shopping again. Additionally, try gamification techniques or incentives such as awarding points for customers that have spent a certain amount of money within the app or shopped during certain times of the year. Combining segmentation and creative excellence, with a m-commerce retargeting campaign, will benefit by retaining customers for the app.

Takeaways on M-Commerce App Trends in 2022

Consumers have turned to mobile devices to make their online purchases. It is important for marketers to use m-commerce app trends to create value and benefits as they continue to gain popularity. 

  • Ease of Checkout - Cart abandonment is a problem almost exclusive to mobile or e-commerce space. In order to mitigate this drop-off, it is crucial to simplify the checkout process. Working with partners that operate under the “buy now, pay later” process or offering user-friendly payment options such as Apple or Google Pay creates a fast and efficient checkout experience. 
  • Location Tracking - Unlike e-commerce sites, m-commerce apps can track and identify user locations in real time granted that the user has opted in to location services. This creates an opportunity for personalization based on location. Serving ads based on where a user is geographically will not only be more appealing to a consumer, but create trust between you and the user by serving them relevant information. 
  • Mobile friendliness - Make sure that your mobile platform is just as well organized as your website. Take into account that mobile screens are much smaller than computers and users operate their mobile devices in a different manner than they do web platforms. Create a user friendly mobile interface with search functions so users can easily find what they are looking for!
  • Notifications - Push notifications from m-commerce apps can deliver information faster and more efficiently than emails. The key to succeeding with these notifications is to not be perceived as annoying. Try to stay relevant with your messaging and personalize whenever possible. For example, use holidays to wish a user well and offer them a discount of some sort 🎁
  • Retain Customers - To retain spending customers, optimize your retargeting strategy by focusing on the most active in app users, tailoring the message based on location, interests, and previous in app behaviors, with creatives at the appropriate time.

Interested in retaining quality users for your app? We'd love to connect and hear more about your team's growth goals.