Why is Mobile the Future of Ecommerce?

By Jeremiah Abuan

Commerce reached its greatest transformation when it came in the online world, and once again it’s entering another phase. The change shifts you from shopping on your desktop to shopping at the palm of your hands. This is actually a good thing for both the company and its customers.

For Business Owners

Having a mobile strategy means you have the ability to immediately notify your customers of new products with push or pop-up ads as opposed to sending periodic emails, translating into higher retention.

Aside from advertisements, transitioning to a mobile platform allow users to shop anywhere, thus translating to more purchases; and adding a social function gives you more possible shoppers. With this change you can also have a better idea of the customer’s buying behavior, which means you can offer them items that they are likely to buy and not just swipe over.

For Customers

Smartphone apps are much more streamlined and designed to include everything that you would want to do before a purchase such as comparing prices and reading reviews without the hassle of having to open multiple tabs on your mobile browser. Since buying pattern is being observed, the app is more likely to push items that people are actually interested in and can send notification via pop ups. These are greatly advantageous for us since they often come with incentives such as discounts and promotions.

Win-win!

So what are the signs that indeed, smartphones and tablets are taking over PC when it comes to e-shopping?

1. Websites Adjust to Your Screen

Desktop sites or websites that you visit on a PC used to have separate URLs to be properly viewed on a smaller screen, but now, they are developing sites that are Mobile-First Responsive with HTML5. Notice that some desktop sites, like blogs and relatively new ecommerce sites, have automatically rearranging layouts to suit your browser screen. They prioritize smartphones over big-screens now!

2. New Payment Services Emerge

Having to manually input your credit card number and shipping address into forms could just be one of the most challenging parts of shopping on an online marketplace, but this is changing with the appearance of new tap-to-pay services in addition to the established ones like Paypal and Amazon Payments. Since your billing info and shipping address have been entered into these services beforehand, there’s no need for you to enter them again in the future. Add an item to the shopping cart, choose your payment service at checkout, then sit back and wait for your goods.

3. Website UI Simulate Apps

There are generally fewer buttons to click on sites unless you want to refine your search. Price comparison is fully automated now, where the item you’re viewing also shows information about how the same or similar item is priced on a competitor’s online shop. Retail price and shipping fee are combined before being shown to the customer for them to make a more intelligent purchase. What’s more, product reviews from previous customers are readily available in the interface of a site. How can this experience be made even more consistent? Turn the site into an app.

Currently, data from the Global Web Index state that 80% of internet users own a smartphone. Additional information from eMarketer says that by 2017, ¼ of online sales in the U.S. will be made on mobile devices which include smartphones and tablets. The top ecommerce companies like Amazon and Snapdeal are hesitant to abandon their desktop websites, although the former has already reported that nearly half of its traffic comes through mobiles. With this knowledge, it would only be business-wise for companies to jump in the wagon and also adopt, at least in part, a mobile strategy for their ecommerce biz.