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M-commerce Vs. E-commerce: Who Is Will Emerge As The Winner In 2018?

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E-commerce has been rising steadily for the last couple of years. However, its mobile counterpart, m-commerce ensures that e-commerce remains just a phase. M-commerce is the practice of shopping from mobile devices using online shopping applications and mobile sites; a practice all of us are well acquainted with by now. Research shows that people spend about 59% of their time browsing products from their mobile phones before purchasing. Ironically, most online retailers still draw majority of their revenue from desktop sites as m-commerce contributes to only 15% of their total sales.

Do we see a problem emerging?

A very recent survey conducted by BI Intelligence shows that most people have had sub-par experiences while shopping through their mobiles. This is partly because even now many ecommerce websites are not mobile optimized and partly because many shopping applications do not have optimized filters and sorting mechanisms that online shoppers are used to. An added factor is the payment gateways. Many users have reported feeling threatened or insecure while entering account details on their mobile devices. While mobile does give users direct access from any physical location, the data connection and speed of their Wi-Fi or LTE connections are huge challenges.

Is there a way to fix it?

There is quite a revolutionary way in which retailers have started combating there problems. Most social platforms including Facebook and Twitter have introduced “Buy Now” buttons that allow shoppers to buy featured products without leaving the secure sites. This makes them feel secured as well as ensures nifty execution of the payment and purchase process. There are one-click checkouts as well that requires shoppers to input their purchase information only once. Then they can use the same information to purchase from the site/app as many times as they want! This is a great time-saver for all those who love to shop on the go.

All hail the new king of online shopping -

Another very recent study conducted by LexisNexis demonstrates how m-commerce is becoming the next huge trend in online shopping. Currently, m-commerce influences about $44 billion in US retail sales. This is expected to exceed $284 billion by the end of 2020. A part of the same study also shows that out of 1000 merchants in the US 16% of them already have mobile applications and sites and a whopping 32% are going mobile by the end of 2018. Almost 80% of all online retailers who earn over $50 million in annual sales have mobile sites and mobile applications for customers in the US and abroad.

Now this was all about the stats and the current status of mobile shopping. What about the recent trends that have emerged in m-commerce that uphold m-commerce as the future of retail?

1.  An overlapping domain

Retailers all over the US have noticed a conspicuous overlap between the physical and online channels. This has given birth to an era of de novo online and in-store options including:

- Same day delivery – this is covered by Macy’s, Target, Walmart and Kohl’s. These stores promise same-day delivery for grocery and other household items bought from their online apps/websites

- Beacon- enabled features: 85% of the retailers have adopted beacon-enabled tech by the beginning of 2018. This usually includes targeted offers and mobile payments besides loyalty rewards.

- Perks of shopping online: besides purchases, many retailers can also make reservation for services like trial of clothes at Sears or tire changing services at Pep Boys.

2018 will be a year where retailers delete the boundary between in-store services and online shopping. This will be greatly made possible by mobile applications that are gradually replacing desktop websites and here the exact role of SEO consultant will start.

2.   Social traffic and online shopping

There is a close-knit relationship between social media browsing and online shopping. In 2015, about 500 of the top retailers earned around $3.3 billion from social shoppers. Study shows that Pinterest receives 66% of its traffic from mobile users and about 60% of all consumers who make online purchases are redirected from social media websites.

Currently, Pinterest hosts about 60 million buyable pins if not more. The Buy Buttons have gained immense traction on all social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. They perform significantly well during holidays and before special days like Valentine’s Day and 4th of July.

Almost all retailers who have an online presence and their dedicated ecommerce site are investing in the social Buy Buttons and this includes commercial brands like Kohl’s, Target and a couple of renowned designer brands as well.

3.     Native apps vs. the mobile web

Most of us still think that apps will outrun mobile web in 2018, but research shows that mobile web is here to stay. Native apps may be the next big thing, but they will have to wait at least another year to come into the limelight. Yes, it is true that over 85% of all mobile time is spent on applications. However, 80% of the time is spent on top 3 apps in an individual’s phone. This mostly includes stellar retailers like Amazon and Walmart. These two drive more than 50% of their total conversions through their apps.

For the rest, only about 20% of their total revenue was generated from their apps. Majority of their conversions still came from mobile websites. This is according to a study conducted by Forrester Research in 2015. According to the same report, about 56% of retailers saw that mobile apps don’t have a significant role in their mobile strategy at all.

Mobile apps are facing a really slow take off, especially mobile wallets and mobile shopping applications that involve multiple payment gateways. Retailers are losing as much as $18 billion each year due to cart abandonment and mobile applications has just made this problem worse.

Mobile apps may be the future of online shopping, but that is quite a distant future. At present when we talk about m-commerce vs. e-commerce, we are mainly focusing on mobile optimized sites. If you don’t believe us, check out the fate of Apple Pay that was launched by Tim Cook in Oct 2014. The app accounted for only 1% of all transactions in the US.

Mobile shopping is indeed the future of online shopping, but the near future will be definitely ruled by mobile optimized websites rather than native applications.

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Charlie Brown

Eighth Orbit is one of the leading digital marketing companies in the world. This company has been providing outsource digital marketing services for a very long time now.

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