Mobile commerce will rake in over $90 billion in sales in the U.S. by the year 2018. The growth behind mobile commerce is compelling and every online seller should (if they haven’t already) be evaluating the opportunity of selling on mobile. By the year 2020, Business Insider predicts that 45% of all ecommerce revenue will come from m-commerce.
Ecommerce sellers everywhere are attempting everything from creating mobile friendly websites, building apps, marketing on mobile to selling on mobile marketplaces. So what strategy should you employ and where should you start? Here are a few thoughts:
Leverage Current Mobile Players for selling
Seeing the success stories of mobile apps makes it very appealing to invest in creating an app of your own. We urge caution. Not only are you passively competing against customer’s smartphone storage (think videos, photos; customers do not have infinite storage space) but you are also competing against the big players in mobile commerce. Competing in the app store rankings is plausible if you are a known brand like Nike or Sephora but largely the traditional marketplaces own this space.
With larger assortments and marketing capital to boot, you should leverage these competing mobile marketplaces and join those that are most successful on mobile. Curious about who the top players are? Simply take a look at the Shopping category on your smartphone’s app store.
Build a mobile friendly site
Data shows that 84% of mobile shoppers rely on smartphones to help them when making a purchase at a brick and mortar store. This “webrooming” trend is accelerating. Be smart and make your store mobile friendly, with no usability concerns regardless of the device on which it is being viewed.
Search engines such as Google have made it clear that they will prioritize mobile friendly sites over their antiquated competitors and have even created a tool to help you test how mobile friendly your site is.
Better yet, go one step further and invest in developing a progressive web app (PWA) – PWAs are reliable, load instantly and respond quickly to user interactions with silky smooth animations and no janky scrolling. They are installable and live on the user’s home screen, without the need for an app store.
Design images for mobile screens
Gone are the days of transacting on a tube screen with a computer mouse and a keyboard. Today’s sales happen at the swipe of a thumb on a screen no bigger than the palm of your hand. Naturally the way customers interact with products has changed.
Sellers have very little real estate to display their product and thus engaging and clear photos are an absolute necessity. Our marketplace,Wish, thrives on such images to capture the attention of customers and stop them while they are scrolling down their feeds.
For sellers with a sizeable following on Instagram, consider enabling shoppable feeds which will allow Instagram posts to be tagged with items for sale. Instagram users who are interested in buying items can tap a link to view and buy it from the seller’s online store without leaving the app.
Shopping within messenger apps
Smaller businesses may want to add a personal touch by connecting and transacting with your customers personally over messenger apps. Larger businesses are also starting to invest in chat bots to provide a mobile concierge style shopping service to consumers in certain countries who prefer to shop and transact over conversations while on the go. Keep an eye on this trend, because it’s definitely growing!
While these are just a few thoughts, ecommerce sellers are coming up with innovative new channels of selling all the time. Evolving with the mobile commerce space requires experimentation and risks, but this is definitely a space you can’t afford to be ignorant about.