As mobile technology continues to evolve, today's consumer is more empowered than ever. No longer bound by the shackles of physical location, it’s now possible for consumers to conduct product research and make buying decisions anytime, anywhere.
The world of mcommerce has seen an incredible rate of growth over the past few years, with an estimated two billion mobile users expected to make some form of transaction by the end of 2017, compared to 1.4 billion in 2014.
Now, despite mobile-based teething issues including inconsistent web connections, smaller screens, and poorly optimized websites contributing to poor user experiences, mobile shopping has continued to thrive, remaining the most significant source of retail revenue growth over the past several years. And as more brands and businesses are beginning to understand the power of mcommerce as well as its many sustainable money-making opportunities, the industry-accepted belief is that mobile shopping will go from strength to strength.
With the holiday season just around the corner, consumers the world over will be gearing up to buy gifts for their loved ones – and this year, the festive shopping experience will be more mobile than ever.
Here are the innovations that will shape mobile retail’s continued growth this holiday season.
Biometric mobile payments are expected to hit the $2 billion mark by the end of this year. First popularized by Apple Pay, the ability to pay for products in-store or through mobile apps using fingerprint recognition is on the rise, and the growing success of Mastercard's Selfie Pay technology suggests that in the not so distant future, biometric payments will become commonplace in the retail word. The iPhone X will extend biometric IDs to facial recognition. Today's consumer demands a swift, seamless user experience, and when it comes to making mobile transactions, paying with your face or fingerprints is about as intuitive as it gets.
It is no secret that Apple has always had its finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to mobile technology, and the new line of iPhones complete with its cutting-edge iOS 11 operating system is no exception.
Developed with depth sensing cameras that enhance VR and augmented reality-based technology, it's now possible for Apple smartphone users to tap into exciting virtual content and enjoy high-quality immersive shopping experiences while on the go. The ability to browse products, interact with brands, and gather information as if you were there in person will hugely enhance mobile shopping, and as more tech providers follow suit, expect some incredible innovations to emerge in the not so distant future. Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping will never be the same again.
Amazon's 1-Click Checkout Patent Expiration
A cumbersome checkout process is one of the number one drivers behind generally observed lower mcommerce conversion rates; the modern shopper will not stick around if merchants don't deliver a quick and fuss-free shopping experience.
With its 1-Click checkout function, Amazon led the way regarding a quick and simple checkout experience - and its patent meant the company was able to monopolize the feature, blocking other retailers from launching it on their sites - until now.
Amazon's 1-Click checkout patent has recently expired meaning that mcommerce retailers the world over will be able to use this functionality to their advantage. This development will enhance the mobile shopping experience on a global scale and, in turn, propel the growth of mcommerce to new and dizzying heights – just in time for the holiday season too.
Voice Assistants and Visual Search
This holiday season, many mobile shoppers will be able to benefit from the virtues of visual search and voice assistants. By facilitating the process of searching for ideas, information, and products within images, users are now able to delve deeper than the regular Google search results when it comes to sourcing memorable gifts for their loved ones.
What's more, vocal shoppers will benefit from refinements in voice-assisted technology from the likes of Siri, Echo, Alexa, Google and more, with machine learning capabilities making them smarter, more accurate and more helpful than ever before. Last year, Google reported that 20% of its overall queries came from voice search, and as more innovations hit the market, this number is likely to increase significantly.
Mobile shopping is on the rise, and as the holiday season ramps up, so will innovations within the mcommerce sector. We are living in exciting times, and those that utilize mobile shopping technology to their advantages will reap great commercial rewards today, tomorrow and long into the future.