The last few years have been a tipping point for mobile commerce as it has surpassed desktop in global Internet usage. In fact, Goldman Sachs predicts that consumer spending via this channel will expand to $626 billion in 2018. With those kind of figures, there’s no doubt businesses are seeking to improve their end-to-end mobile customer experience.
How Has Mobile Commerce Changed?
During 2008, the smartphone revolutionized customer’s online shopping experience. As an array of hand-held devices became available, the very first mobile sites were built with functionality being the key ingredient. Developers set to work designing sites around those customers making quick purchases. However, at this point, mobile devices just didn’t offer the same customer experience as a desktop.
Fast forward a little to 2011 and the introduction of transactional apps. These initially failed to meet shopper’s expectations and suffered a further decline in the satisfaction levels with mobile. Despite the majority of the population owning smart phones, retailers were struggling to optimize their sites for efficient customer use.
What’s Happening with Retail Apps?
Research has suggested that shoppers are not really receiving the same experience from mobile apps as they get with other digital channels. Rather, they seem to prefer visiting mobile sites like eBay and Amazon to make purchases instead of having to download the native app.
Companies like Facebook, though, have realized that apps as loyalty programs have great potential with repeat customers. Appreciating that customers tend to check available inventory and seek real-time promotions using apps has resulted in more retailers incorporating coupons, loyalty and in-store rewards.
The Mobile Experience Can Still Use Improvement
What has been evident in the last couple of years is the focus on simple and effective changes to mobile commerce. Those retailers who achieve positive, high multi-channel customer experience levels tend to have optimized all touch points to ensure the customer journey is not only functional, but inspiring too.
Customer’s high expectations has been the driving force for improvements to mobile commerce; however, technology innovations will continue to play a big role in future customer behavior.
With mobile payment technology evolving at a fast pace, there could well be other mobile capabilities that will help enhance the overall mobile retail experience.
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