What to Expect from M-commerce in 2018

M-commerce is growing far faster than overall e-commerce and discretionary retail spending. By 2020, m-commerce may account for close to half of all US e-commerce. Despite the growth and revenue potential in mobile commerce, there are challenges that retailers face in the mobile channel. Fraud is a growing concern, and what works for desktop e-commerce doesn’t always work for m-commerce. Also, conversion rates are still lower for m-commerce than for desktop e-commerce, in part because many mobile retail sites aren’t as user-friendly as they could be. That’s why many of 2018’s m-commerce trends focus on making the mobile experience better for customers and making m-commerce less vulnerable to fraud.

More retailers with storefront apps

Because mobile users overwhelmingly prefer browsing apps to sites in a mobile browser, and because apps outperform mobile sites at conversions and repeat visits, industry watchers expect more retailers to launch, refine, or upgrade their mobile storefront apps in 2018 in order to stay competitive. However, developing a storefront app takes time, because of coding, site compatibility, deployment, and maintenance requirements. Merchants who don’t want to wait on app development may want to consider another of 2018’s big mobile trends: progressive web apps. These web site-app hybrids give shoppers the app experience, can be pinned to users’ homescreens, and are faster to build and easier to keep up than traditional apps. Among the major brands that have progressive web apps are AliExpress, NASA, and the Financial Times.

More mobile messaging and chatbot help from retailers

When shoppers are browsing on their phones, they want instant answers to their questions. If they can’t find what they need, they’re likely to move on. That’s why mobile messaging and chatbots are trending as customer-support options. These options don’t require navigating through a retail site to the FAQ or making a voice call to customer service while trying to browse, so they’re ideal for helping mobile shoppers find what they need. Retailers can develop tools that work with platforms most shoppers have on their phones already, such as Facebook Messenger—which has more than a billion users.  Millennials are the group of consumers most comfortable with chatbots, and they spend some $600 billion each year in the US. Developing automated mobile customer service tools is a must for retailers who want to court these customers and who want to preserve their live customer-support resources for inquiries that require more complex responses.

More widely available one-click checkout

According to a recent Forrester report, about 66% of mobile shopping carts are abandoned, thanks to friction during the checkout process. One sticking point that may improve in 2018 is the payment part of mobile checkout. [To continue reading, please click here.]

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