Market experts have predicted eCommerce in the US will this year grow to US$666 billion and to US$845 billion by 2022. Mobile commerce is expected to drive almost 50% of those sales, which is why it is vital that businesses understand how to prepare.

International powerhouses like Zara, Sephora, and Depop have harnessed the power of mobile commerce, tapping into their core market through their ideal customers’ favourite device.

For businesses that want to harness the online market, being mobile-ready is the next important step in eCommerce that must be catered to.

Increased data storage, unlimited data plans, ease of use and consumer confidence means that more people are using their phone to research, select items and complete purchases. One of the best ways for retailers to ensure that their products are placed in front of their desired audience is to ensure their website is mobile compatible, and that the app is easy to use.

App development should focus on converting the shopper to a purchaser with high-level UX and elements of personalization. For some larger retailers that have the workforce and funding, a more complex app that includes AR or AI might be appropriate, however, for smaller operations, focusing on an app that is functional, reliable and easy to use will lead to more sales conversions.

Shopping apps have evolved in the past 10 years and now include features like augmented reality and machine learning to personalise the shopping experience. For example, Sephora include features that allow customers to take a photo then virtually apply makeup and decide if the suggested products are what they want to purchase.

However, merchants face a challenge when providing these services; how to convert app users from browsing to spend. Many of the AR and ML included in the apps are fun, and people want to play with the features, but they don’t necessarily want to make a purchase.

In the 2019 holiday season, 75% of eCommerce shopping was done on a mobile device but only around 40% converted to a sale.
In 2021, mobile sales will own a 72.9% market share. Approximately three out of every four dollars spent on online purchases is through a mobile device.

Consumers are becoming more comfortable with using mobile devices for purchasing. Check out processes have been vastly improved, and store information that is kept in a secure location can be easily accessed to make purchasing from trusted sites fast and convenient.

As 5G is rolled out, the high-speed networks mean improved connectivity allowing shoppers to quickly view products, stream HD videos and consume content making mobile devices more powerful and convenient. People will no longer need to move from their mobile to a laptop or computer to continue researching or finalising purchases. Chatbots, payments and personalised features will be more powerful and convenient on mobile devices prompting people to use them more for simple and complex purchasing.

Over the past year, large retailers have focused on objectives to become fully digital. This would include cross-synergies between digital and physical shopping preferences, seamless browsing across channels, and interchangeable features between technologies putting the customer at the centre of the shopping journey. While these complex features are beneficial to megapolis like Zara, H&M and Pull and Bear, for smaller retailers such expensive and time-consuming technology could pose a potential threat to the security of the business.

One of the most successful P2P apps of the current era is Depop, a creative community’s mobile marketplace. The apps employ an eBay meets Instagram strategy and is a favourite of influencers peddling products to an instant gratification audience. Depop is easy to use, giving users the ability to make seamless transactions on a creative app platform.

It is these changes made by developers, merchants, retailers and marketers that are leading the changes to eCommerce that make it more convenient and easy for people to shop.

M-commerce means shopping on a mobile device (typically a smartphone).
The sector reached US$284 billion, or 45% of the total US eCommerce market last year.