Mobile Ecommerce Trends 2018: The Customer Rules

Mobile app developers know they’re onto a good thing — especially those planning to monetize app ideas. Consumers love apps, including apps used to shop for all sorts of treasures.

Retail experts at Forrester predict mobile payment transactions to account for $282.9 billion (in the U.S. alone) by 2021. Indeed, they predict a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.3% until then.

Forrester also highlights benefits of customer loyalty and engagement ROI that accrue to retailers either setting or following mobile commerce trends.

Clearly, you’ve joined the m-commerce movement at a great time.

And like any good retailer, it pays to keep up with the trends influencing both consumers and competitors. One thing’s for sure in 2018: The Customer Rules.

But what mobile commerce trends might affect your success this year? Let’s take a look.

Smartphones & Tablet Users Hail Apps 5 Hours Per Day

Does anyone even remember the days before smartphones and tablets? No quick peaks at Facebook or Twitter between meetings. No email shadowing you everywhere, twenty-four/seven.

We’re talking only fifteen years ago. Yet it seems akin to “way, way back in time” when we made do with old-style mobile phones.

According to an MIT Technology Review article by Michael DeGusta, “The era of the smart phone in America really began in 2002, when existing PDAs took on the ability to make phone calls.” About five years later, Apple launched the iPhone.

MIT’s question at the time of their study (2012) was whether smartphones and other mobile devices were achieving mainstream adoption faster than any other technology in human history.

Unanswerable then and now, yet the number of users worldwide continues logging impressive growth. Tablet market adoption followed a fast track too. Mobile commerce trends both drive and benefit from garnering one third of most marketing budgets.

More to the point today, US consumers now spend five hours per day on mobile devices, with 92% of their time spent in apps. Page down a bit in that link, and you’ll see the breakdown of favored app categories, according to a study by analytics firm Flurry.

M-commerce shopping accounted for $22.7 billion (or 21%) of online spend in the 4th quarter 2016. No doubt 2017 results will outpace that. So, app developers: You’re in the right space at the right time.

Three Mobile Commerce Trends to Embrace

A Google search on “mobile commerce trends 2018” returned more than 2,000,000 results at the time of writing. Let’s review one.

Lacie Larschan, writing for Granify (purveyor of AI-based eCommerce tools) identified three customer-centric mobile commerce trends for 2018:

  1.  AI-Backed Everything
  2.  One-Click Payments
  3.  Blended Offline – Online Experiences

Mobile eCommerce (m-commerce) has come of age, providing opportunities for traditional retailers and eCommerce merchants alike.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

“AI-Backed Everything” might be an overstatement for small merchants today, but there’s no doubt that AI-backed m-commerce especially helps support high risk merchants in the fight against fraud.

Financial fraud is pervasive, and on the rise. Payment card issuers, payments processors, and merchants large and small go to great effort and expense to detect and prevent upwards of $8.6 billion in fraudulent payment card transactions.

AI-based solutions help m-commerce apps fight the good fight, using machine learning and real-time fraud prevention capabilities to detect potentially fraudulent transactions before they’re completed. Machine learning-based tools can also be applied to “increase revenue, save time, and reduce costs.” That’s a win for eCommerce merchants.

One-Click Payments

Everyone who’s shopped on Amazon even once since 1997 knows about one-click payments. Patent-protected since then, one-click purchase capabilities are now in the mix for all eCommerce vendors. Because Amazon’s patent expired.

App users frequently abandon their shopping carts because it’s Too Much Trouble to enter 30-40 characters to complete an order. But they’ll do it once to set up an account, and continue shopping. Labeled the end of an era by some, it’s good news for m-commerce.

Of all the mobile commerce trends in play today, one-click payments may increase revenues most directly for app developers who choose to implement their own one-click purchase capability. Simplify the user experience, and see your repeat customer revenue skyrocket.

Blended Offline – Online experiences

Consumers want consistent experiences from a retail brand, no matter where they shop. Known as omni-channel marketing, one example of blending offline and online experience is implemented through in-store mobile apps — one of the mobile commerce trends of 2018.

Retailers like Home Depot have led the way blending offline and online shopping experiences. Customers often need help finding the product they want within a huge hardware store. Mobile commerce trends to the rescue, blending offline and online experiences.

Home Depot provides a downloadable mobile shopping app that helps in-store customers find the aisle housing what they seek. Rushed customers unwilling to wait for a “live” customer support person to show them the way find it very helpful.

No longer do shoppers rely only on imagination when shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores. Brands like IKEA utilize augmented reality technology to bring a virtual kitchen to customers through their mobile devices. The IKEA VR Experience is in pilot now.

As offline and online marketing converge, app developers play a significant role implementing retail strategies. Mobile payment solutions complete the apps and allow them to generate revenues.


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PayArc wants to act as your payments advisor and consultant, not only your processor. Because you have a business to run… Our business is to help you run it better. Why not start processing with PayArc today?