eCommerce trends like AI-driven commerce,voice commerce, visual commerce, are on the rise, but do you know what’s leading the trends chart every year? Mobile Technologies. Yes, it is hard to miss out on mobile trends while talking about eCommerce.
Investments on mobile-centric technologies like apps and digital payments have topped the chart in the year 2019, and 2020 is no exception. Mobile-first solution is the first thing users expect from a brand, and hence the rate of adoption on mobile tech is always high.
The stats above backs the fact that retailers are showing interest more on mobile when it comes to technology spending. Without further ado, let’s cut over to 2020 mobile trends that will impact B2C and B2B.
Mobile Payments – Digital wallets, biometric payments
Digital wallets are the trends setters in improving the cardless or cashless checkout experience through mobile. Digital wallets like PayPal started the shift while other major brands like Amazon (Amazon Pay), Google Pay, Apple (Apple Pay), Samsung (Samsung Pay) jumped in to accelerate the digital wallet adoption further.
The surprising fact is that 50% of mobile wallet users are from the APAC (Asia-Pacific) region, with China leading the list. A major share of digital wallet payments goes to two major Chinese players: Alibaba (Alipay) and WeChat app (WeChat Pay).
The above facts suggest that there is a lot of room for the digital wallet market to expand in 2020 and the coming years.
Voice and biometrics enabled payment systems will also be on the rise in the coming years, but for now, they are more of a novelty. However, we cannot underestimate voice-enabled payments since voice-based digital assistants are available in millions of mobile devices through which consumers are more likely to shop.
On the other hand, traditional card payments are also jumping into technology-enabled digital payments. Bank of America is developing its own virtual assistant ‘Erica’ through which users can schedule payments and view bills through text and voice commands. Discover, MasterCard, and Visa have also announced their digital payment solutions last year in October.
Considering the growing consumer adoption, the year 2020 will witness an upward wave in digital payments. Though mobile payments are safe, brands will have to make this technology more reliable to the extent that consumers don’t have to think about it twice.
While there are multiple digital payment options for brands to implement, it is better to know what their target customers are expecting from them and invest in those digital payment modes first.
Visual Search – Simplifying product search and checkout with AI
One of the biggest pain points in online shopping is ‘Product Search,’ and with mobile UI constraints, search navigation becomes all the more challenging.
Thanks to AI and Machine Learning as these technologies are playing a significant role in improving the search capabilities. Visual Search and Visual Recommendation engines are the solutions that have stepped up to seize this opportunity.
Visual Search allows users to search based on the images of products they have viewed online or a picture they have clicked. Pinterest has been the pioneer in visual Search providing the capability to upload images and find a vendor selling the same or related products. Pinterest’s recent innovation ‘Shoppable Pins’ leads to checkout so that users can buy the product quickly.
On the other hand, Visual Recommendation engines equipped with Image Recognition and Data Science can understand users’ preferences. Recommendation engines learn users’ preferences better by analyzing patterns, designs, colors they are looking for, and provide appropriate product suggestions.
Vue.ai is an automation platform that is helping fashion brands like Macy’s and Diesel improve their product suggestions. Apart from product discovery, insights from such recommendation engines can help in other areas like personalized marketing to improve conversions.
Super Apps – Aiming mass markets by expanding products and services
Super Apps are those which enable users to do multiple tasks. Chinese brands like WeChat, Alipay, and Meituan pioneered the idea behind super apps.
Super apps serve as a one-stop solution where users can shop products, avail services, manage bill payments, and pay online through digital wallets. From booking flights to buying groceries, super apps can provide any product or service under their hood.
Facebook adopted this idea to jump into the Super Apps bandwagon. The social media giant that also owns Instagram and Whatsapp is in the process of adding eCommerce capabilities into its social media apps. Other social platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest (Shoppable Pins), YouTube (Shopping ads) are incorporating payment features to leverage the buying intent of users.
In addition to social platforms, major eCommerce marketplaces are experimenting on expanding the length and breadth of their products and services portfolio. Amazon has started penetrating the Digital Wallets market share, selling groceries, and adding services like ticket booking, utility bill payments, delivery services (competing with FedEx, DHL).
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) – For mobile web pages that load in a flash
The buzz around Progressive Web Apps started emerging in the year 2016. PWAs are advanced mobile websites that replicate a mobile app like experience. The technology back then was promising as it could serve as the solution for improving frontend experience for users, especially when mobile web traffic started rising rapidly.
However, the technology, during its early stages, could only cater to content-driven websites like online journals and magazines. After Google stepping up to improve the technology, SDKs for building PWAs got several improvements attracting eCommerce websites.
Starbucks was one of the early adopters of PWA. The brand experienced a 2x increase in daily active users. Alibaba witnessed results like 76% higher conversions across browsers, 14% more monthly active users on iOS, 30% on Android (Developers.google.com).
Of late, PWA adoption has picked up pace. eCommerce development platforms like Magento and SAP Hybris have started offering PWA solutions as a part of their eCommerce package.
With that said, the implementation partners of eCommerce platforms are widespread, providing multiple options (eCommerce agencies) for retailers to choose for handling their PWA project.
Demanding less development efforts when compared with native mobile app development, PWAs are serving as an easy solution to take on cross-device shopping behavior. It doesn’t mean that PWAs should replace your plan of building a mobile app. Considering the mobile market size that is expanding at a CAGR of 27% (2020-2025), both these solutions can coexist and provide a strong mobile presence for your brand.
Technology keeps evolving, and in the case of mobile, the innovations happen at a blistering speed. For retailers, it is worth investing in mobile technologies considering the healthy growth rate of the mobile commerce market. However, based on the maturity of your business and takeaways from consumer behavior, eCommerce retailers should prioritize the investments to reap the best results in a short span.