Industry Insights

The Goods Part 2: The Future of mCommerce and Mobile Apps

In the second installment of our four-post series, we dive into the report from GoodFirms on their ultimate guide on eCommerce apps. Missed our first post in this series? Take a read through The Goods; SEO Strategies, Techniques, and Trends."

Uber, Instacart, Postmates, SkipTheDishes, Wish, or even Amazon Shopping are the top eCommerce companies that started as an app or have expanded their platforms to include an app. It should come as no surprise that mCommerce is one of the hottest trends in the industry today.

What is mCommerce?

mCommerce is precisely what it sounds like; mobile commerce. The buying and selling of goods and services through mobile devices, including web and apps. mCommerce is the next generation in eCommerce and is growing as not only an option but a demand from customers. Just look at these facts:

  • Over 1.2 billion people worldwide access the internet from their smartphones.

  • Roughly four out of five Americans are now online shoppers with more than half having made purchases using a mobile device.

  • 55% of consumers have bought something online after discovering it on social media. This is a great motivator to tag your products on Instagram.

  • Users who have a negative experience in your mobile store are 62% less likely to purchase from you in the future.

  • mCommerce sales on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2018 surpassed US$2 billion, breaking the previous records set in 2017.

  • The future of mCommerce is blindingly bright. By 2021, mobile is predicted to dominate online sales, driving 54% (or US$659 billion) in sales.

  • 70% of mobile searches lead to action within an hour. For comparison, it takes desktop users a full month to reach the same percentage.

  • 67% of consumers admit to “digital window shopping” for fun on their smartphones, with 77% of those making impulse purchases when they do. Improving your store’s SEO will help you cash-in on these impromptu purchasers.

Still, even with these stats, the most successful e-business concepts always include the implementation of a critical online retail strategy, the personalized, user-focused online experience. Users—shoppers nowadays—are seeking a more personalized way of shopping along with the convenience of doing so online and more quickly via an app.

8-Point Summary of the Survey

GoodFirms surveyed over 250 shoppers globally to learn about how psychographics impact eCommerce apps during the purchase lifecycle. No, this is not a new way of thinking when looking at eCommerce apps (Hello, user-personas), nor to quantify users’ comfort level in online shopping. That’s evident.  It’s actually to gather data and find requirements for preferred online shopping.

  • The majority of the customers, though not by a large margin, prefer to shop online via an eCommerce app or the online shopping site.

  • Customers tend to favor the app more due to the flexibility offered in time-saving surfing along with discounts and easy comparison of products.

  • High-definition images and past positive experiences influence the buying decision of shoppers exceptionally. Additionally, promotional notifications and loyalty points earned give a boost of buying decision power.

  • The main reason for cart abandonment while shopping through the app is due to the lengthy check-out process

  • The top four features that consumers love in eCommerce apps are sort, filter, guest check-out option, and product recommendations.

  • When it comes to payment options, debit and cash-on-delivery are top choices for shoppers.

  • Most of the buyer-pools compare products on different apps before final purchase.

  • The future-technology buyers are eagerly awaiting augmented reality and voice shopping.

GoodFirms sought to survey shoppers through multiple-choice questions to understand human behavior and top-of-mind reactions towards the eCommerce trend of online buying with the goal to provide insights into the creation of eCommerce apps.

Where do customers prefer to shop?

It was a very close decision, but eCommerce apps came out ahead at 54.5% over online shopping sites, which, in contrast, scored a 45.5%. This result fundamentally demonstrates to businesses that they should make it a requirement to have a personalized store that is easily accessible to buyers as it increases ROI and overall revenue.

Why do shoppers prefer to buy products on eCommerce apps?

With the main focus of the questions being around customers’ reasons for shopping, flexibility in surfing came in as the top answer, with 72.7%. Following that was time-saving at 63.6%, special deals and discounts at 54.5%, and easy to compare products 36.4%. Other reasons, such as an easy comparison of products, and personalization of the app are some of the top growing preferences among the customers. Hence, businesses should invest in creating fast-loading apps that interact efficiently on a mobile phone.

What boosts your online purchasing decisions?

With the sheer number of online stores, many of which are selling the same thing, businesses need to ensure they stand out. With that being the case, there is one important strategy that all eCommerce sites can execute to boost purchasing decisions; High-Quality Images. With an outcome of 81.8% of the votes, good imagery consistently caught the attention of buyers and was a critical factor in making or breaking a sale. Following the images result—high results in their own right—past positive experiences was second with 76.3%, promotional notifications were third with 63.6%, and last, but not least, is loyalty points at 54.5%. Businesses could quickly see an increase in sales by simply investing in top-quality images, and for an even greater impact, 360° views and interactivity.

Why do customers abandon carts?

Cart abandonment is one of the most important survey questions for businesses and marketers; what are the driving factors in eCommerce apps that cause users to desert their transaction? Too long of a checkout process. With no surprise at all, at 72.7% of the votes, the patience-level of users is demonstrably declining. While filling the cart when shopping is fun, a lengthy, multiple input and review checkout is not. An acceptable, cart abandonment reducing checkout process is a simple, three-step process:

  1. Shipping and billing address

  2. Payment

  3. Order Confirmation

Tied at 36.4%, the other reasons given for quitting the transaction before completion were comfort levels with payment security, superfluous promotional offers, the ‘products not available in the region’ message, and window-shopping. The lack of payment options resulted in a mere 18.2%.

What features do buyers love most?

Nowadays, people navigate the web via search. When it comes to eCommerce, the next level for buyers is sorting and filtering based on their wants and needs, or more like size and prize. With a resounding 90.9% of the votes, a comprehensive, refined sort and filter experience for buyers is paramount, and businesses should invest in developing and providing these components. Tied for second of most adored features were product recommendations and guest check-out options. Wish lists came in at 36.4%, and surprisingly, live chat integration scored only 18.2% of the votes

Which payment options are the most convenient?

In the digital world, there are many payment options available, from cash-on-demand, Interac transfers, third-party platforms, all the way to cryptocurrencies. But, which option did the buyers favor? The much-beloved debit card, always readily available in the wallets of the shopper, turned out to be the winning choice, with 47.8%. Cash-on-demand took second place with 32.6%, and credit card only at 10.2%. Interestingly, cryptocurrencies didn’t even receive a single vote, a cautionary result which shows business may need to rethink the need to invest in developing this option.

Do buyers compare products on different shopping apps before purchasing?

Indubitably. Next?

What future technologies do consumers want?

Hands down, the definitive winner is augmented reality. Reality is one of the hottest trends in digital, and will soon be the norm in online shopping experiences that deliver the truly ultimate, personalized experience to the customer. Voice shopping is also a rising on-trend and will eventually be required given the growing popularity of Google Voice, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri.


Lynette Sawyer

Lynette Sawyer

Lynette Sawyer is a Web Project Manager for Falcon-Software, a digital web agency founded in 1994. For the last 13-years Lynette has been in various digital capacities and her expertise goes beyond Project Management. Lynette brings experience and knowledge in graphic design, marketing communications, project management, product management and engagement.

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