Top 5 mCommerce Trends to Look Out For in 2014
With 2014 on the horizon, the steep upwards-curve currently being enjoyed by mobility within the enterprise is set to continue rising in the new year.
One aspect of enterprise mobility which has been particularly prosperous in 2013 is mobile commerce, especially over the recent holiday shopping season.
mCommerce has exceeded expectations and promises to go from strength-to-strength, due to the development of technology which has vastly improved the convenience of consumers' shopping practices. The number of mobile internet users is set to grow by 35% in 2014 (Shaun Gregory, Telefonica).
As with any technology which has the potential to make significant changes to the way society functions on a daily basis, mCommerce is experiencing a number of emerging trends at the moment, which are likely to flourish and mature over the coming year.
Here, we list the top five trends which we think will emerge within mCommerce in 2014:
A Surge in Website Designing for Mobile-First
The concept of mobility, from a business point of view, has had a huge impact on the design of online channels. With mobile devices needing specific optimisation for the drastically reduced screen sizes, retailers are being forced to re-think their priorities when it comes to online commerce, as mobile channels - such as native apps - must be more refined and user-friendly than websites can afford to be. It is no secret that consumers using mobile devices to do their shopping will not hesitate to look elsewhere if their experience is not as streamlined as possible.
Businesses must eliminate the differences of their services between channels in order to fully meet the requirements of mobilised consumers, says Esteban Kolsky, founder of Thinkjar.
As mCommerce continues to grow exponentially, more and more businesses will adapt their design processes to begin by optimising for mobile platforms first and foremost. The year 2014 will see more and more businesses paying respect to the importance of aligning their online presences with the needs of mobile consumers.
Enhanced Personalised User Experience
The increasing expectation of users to have their devices think for them is likely to cause the trend of personalised technology to escalate in the immediate future. Personalised search capabilities have evolved to allow search engines to predict web searches, in addition to apps predicting the browsing preferences of m-commerce app users. Pioneers such as Google have created advanced methods of providing each individual user with a search engine which is essentially aware of what they're thinking. Similarly, mobile shopping channels now offer a number of benefits for users who opt-in to authorise their shopping activity to be optimised by their past behaviour.
This allows for specified relevancy of products for every single individual; special offers and deals generated instantly by retailers, based on geographical location and certain interests; and shortened pathways to desired online destinations for users, creating an easier and more satisfying shopping experience.
An Increase in Wearable Technology
Despite the demand for smartphones which are now closer to tablets than traditional mobile phones in terms of size, it appears that smaller, savvier alternatives could dictate the coming year. Solution providers for mobile technology, namely Apple and Google, are pushing the boundaries of the imagination by attempting to introduce the ability to access online channels through items such as watches and glasses.
Wearable technology will soon begin to be considered an integral part of each consumer's identity. They will address the growing requirement to be connected to the online world at all times, and once refined and successful designs are finalised, they will deliver capabilities to users which surpass anything ever experienced with smartphones.
Essentially, these devices will allow brands to maximise their ability to reach consumers in innovative new ways, developing even more channels for retail promotions, price comparisons and transactions from virtually any location.
Location, Location, Location
Perhaps the most significant change which looks to be shaping m-commerce thus far is the introduction of technology which is specifically designed to eliminate the need for location-based payments. Consumers will soon be able to pay for anything, anywhere, through device connectivity, remote identification verification and virtual wallets.
Online payment giants PayPal are launching a new service [PayPal CheckIn] to strengthen their grip on the future mCommerce, a move which will put them in a fantastic position, with the mobile wallet market projected to reach $5,250billion by 2020 (Allied Market Research).
Elsewhere, new functionalities will come to the fore in the UK, most notably through the public transport system's integration of a contactless payment system for mobile users.
Furthermore, fingerprint payment functions, alongside their identification purposes, could soon be available on new devices such as smartphones in the near future. This method could revolutionise the efficiency and convenience of purchasing items through mCommerce channels in any location.
Reshaping Commercial Activity as We Know It!
The one undeniable trend within m-commerce, which is certain to continue in 2014, is the enormous growth rate which has been exhibited in recent times. As we reach the end of a record-breaking year for enterpise mobility, mCommerce growth is now outpacing traditional eCommerce growth by a staggering 200% (Baynote).
Additionally, mobile accounts for 100% of online sales growth in the U.K (Capgemini). The implications of that gulf in profitability can only suggest that consumers and retailers alike now have an established awareness of the power of mCommerce, in that it has the potential to reshape the way the world interacts in every commercial market.