Though the smartphone market is increasingly maturing with fewer innovations year to year, it’s clear that there’s still a great deal of potential in the mobile space.
Indeed, earlier in the year, Samsung announced its first foldable smartphone, which unlocked a whole host of new possibilities for developers, whilst the introduction of 5G in the year ahead will no doubt lead to a mobile revolution, changing the way we use the internet and prioritise our devices.
For e-commerce businesses, great opportunities lie ahead.
As smartphones become more advanced and capable, consumers will increasingly spend money on the go, with mobile e-commerce sales expected to climb to an eye-watering $2.29 trillion (£1.77 trillion) by 2022.
Below, we’ve put together some of the trends you should take into consideration…
Speed has never been more important
Mobile e-commerce has exploded in popularity in recent years, but consumers still prefer to buy from their desktop devices.
Why? Because most e-commerce companies offer a better user experience on laptops and PCs than they do on smartphones and tablets.
Many mobile shoppers may be browsing your store during their lunch break or on their train journey home from work.
If you want to encourage them to buy from you, then you must not only ensure your website loads quickly but that they can complete a purchase without any hassle.
Cut down the number of form fields required to purchase from your store and accept mobile payment methods such as Apple Pay and PayPal, cutting out the awkward credit card fields on small devices.
Better yet, offer a Guest Checkout and ‘one-touch’ payments where users don’t have to type in their email, address, or contact information to reduce friction even further.
Searching must be improved
As your e-commerce store expands, navigation can quickly become an issue.
On mobiles, it’s often tough to find the products or information you require without endless scrolling.
To increase sales, make sure you cut out any unnecessary navigation elements – for example, users probably don’t want to read your blog or about us page on their mobiles – and make product pages dynamic with large clickable buttons, images, and calls to action.
Adding an autocomplete feature in search fields could also help to push visitors to the right product pages, and using “We Recommend” or “Users Also Bought” tags can increase the likelihood of users making impulse buys, so add them to your product and checkout pages.
If you’re struggling to compress your entire e-commerce store into an easy-to-use mobile website, consider the benefits of building an e-commerce app for your business.
At Zudu, we specialise in app development in Glasgow, helping companies realise the potential of their e-commerce brands on smaller displays.
Invest in an iOS and Android app, and you could take your business to new heights, or at least improve usability with a custom piece of software.
Augmented reality integrations
The rise of Pokémon GO, Instagram Stories and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite have helped to encourage the adoption of augmented reality technology.
Overlaying digital imagery on a view of the real world is a great way to sell your products in new and exciting ways – especially online, as competition heats up.
Fashion retailers, for example, could allow customers to “try on” their clothing by asking for a selfie, or by superimposing clothing onto a live image, whilst furniture stores could show users how a desk or armchair could look in their home, as IKEA and Apple have done.
With Apple and Google supporting augmented reality apps and offering developers access to templates and toolkits, you don’t have to spend thousands of pounds on hardware and development – some basic AR functionality can be added to your app in a single afternoon.
Chatbot customer service
Artificial intelligence is another growing trend in the world of e-commerce, with major brands adding chatbots to deal with basic customer service enquires, offering a realtime response.
With the right copywriting and programming, you can build a chatbot that offers users advice on the right clothing for special occasions, information on your food box deliveries or even the ability to book events and training courses without any human interaction.
For consumers, that leads to improved user experience, especially if you integrate your chatbot into a popular messaging app such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
And for e-commerce businesses like yours, chatbots reduce customer service expenditure.
However, be sure to use them sparingly.
A recent study from PwC shows that 59% of customers globally feel brands are so myopic about automation and trendy design, they’ve “lost touch” with the human element of creating a great customer experience. Back up any automated offering with human being support.
Voice search is growing fast
The meteoric rise of smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Echo have changed public perception of talking to their computers in just a few short years, and now, consumers are increasingly using voice commands when browsing the web on their phones.
When it comes to e-commerce, more and more consumers are asking helpers to place their online orders – Amazon’s Echo being a great example of this, allowing users to order products without needing to look at a screen or press a single button.
If you’re not ready to build an Alexa Skill or Google Assistant app, make sure you offer voice search on your website using the HTML5 Web Speech API, or integrating Google Search.
And make sure that your web copy has been worded to match vocal queries, and offer natural, conversational responses.
Building a personality around your brand is a great way to capitalise on the growing smart speaker trend and increase brand loyalty and recognition.
There you have it – just some of the ways smartphones are changing e-commerce.
As we race towards 2020, consider the trends we’ve outlined above and implement some of the features to increase the competitiveness of your e-commerce store.
If you’re looking for help, reach out to the Dundee e-commerce web design experts here at Zudu on 01382 690 080.