Mobile applications are totally immersed into users lives, not only in terms of daily use but also in terms of business objectives. Companies are battling with competitors to provide the most consistent customer journey. Factoring in that point, they should offer relevant information, using the channels of communication that are most convenient for their customers.
With the advent of e-commerce, the purchasing process has become much easier due to a reduction in time and costs. However, with ever-growing user needs and companies’ plans to expand their opportunities, it would be better to find alternative sales options, or at least adapt existing ones.
Almost 40% of all eCommerce purchases during the last year were made on mobile devices - users are becoming more loyal to online purchases on-the-go. Therefore, business owners should determine how crucial it is for them to retain existing customers, as well as attract new ones, by conducting eCommerce business through mobile platforms.
What is M-commerce?
M-commerce (mobile commerce) is a form of e-commerce that facilitates the running of online shops, making payments, or banking via mobile devices. An m-commerce app performs the same features as the desktop platform, but helps to make shopping and purchasing more convenient for customers. Adapting to market trends and customer preferences, companies have to focus on what makes it possible to justify their expectations of customer engagement and achieving the desired results.
To better understand customer habits when shopping, let's take a look at the research by Google, which highlights top shopping activities.
According to this research, more than 68% of people prefer to browse or look for products using smartphones or tablets. Mobile commerce, as a part of the multichannel buying experience, is becoming more and more powerful, as customers can obtain the desired products in just a few clicks.
Maybe better to stay with e-commerce?
Most companies prefer a web e-commerce platform, looking at m-commerce apps suspiciously. In most cases, this is due to a mis-informed belief that the number of features that mobile applications can offer is limited, in comparison with e-commerce platforms. We will attempt to demystify m-commerce by presenting the facts in favour of such platforms.
Devices allow retailers to reach more people, as they are portable and can be used anytime and anywhere. A mobile app is the preferred way to buy products, as users are becoming more engaged in mobile shopping due to its convenience and high accessibility.
Using a mobile commerce app, customers share their personal information, social profiles, interests, preferences, etc. With the help of a mobile app, retailers have an opportunity to track user data and provide tailored content, which helps them to gain a better rate of conversions, leading to purchases.
- Payment opportunities
According to the research "A Global Perspective of Mobile Commerce," 24% of people in the UK use mobile wallets to pay for products or services. A mobile wallet allows customers to maintain a prepaid account and, if they want, write off the amount of money for the purchase just in one click. Payment transactions do not require third-party payment gateways and are placed on the platform itself.
- Customer awareness
Providing customers with targeted content, regular promotional offers and discounts based on gathered data and previous buying habits is a more effective method of control brand awareness and customer acquisition, as opposed to sending information by email or to a personal account. Devices give us an opportunity to keep in touch with customers and send them relevant content all the time.
Customers are still afraid of providing personal information online, let alone providing their credit card number. The security capabilities of mobile devices are broader than e-commerce ones. In addition to the usual security measures like multi-level and two-factor authentication, we can add biometric authentication (face, retina, fingerprint or voice recognition) for added peace of mind.
Willingly accepting m-commerce
People are already accustomed to shopping using mobile devices. As you can see, transactions are carried out in many different scenarios and for different categories of goods.
From the perspective of consumers, there is one very crucial factor in favour of mobile commerce development - data. Being active on social networks, participating in loyalty programs and using retail applications, consumers share information about themselves and their buying habits - this allows retailers to understand their target audience better and to create tailored offers to achieve maximum conversion and maximum interaction.
What should be included in an M-commerce app?
According to research by PwC, more than 30% of potential clients get frustrated by a poor mobile experience. This figure shows just how crucial it is not only to develop and launch an app, but also to ensure a pleasant user experience and regular maintenance of the app. Based on our expertise in delivering mobile applications for ecommerce businesses, we would like to consider the m-commerce application development in terms of the two most crucial aspects.
Follow the key principles :
Simplicity is our friend.
Mobile commerce apps are created to lead customers to make a purchase... and that is all. Sometimes people forget that. It is better to avoid using too many vivid and bright colours, as it can divert attention away from the main point - purchase accomplishment. People come on a site, or use an app, with particular goals in mind, so it’s better to make the design simple, clear and understandable for them.
Clear customer journey
It’s crucial not to try to rebuild the entire structure of a standard application in order to stand out from competitors. Users have some experience in using other similar applications. As an example, the shopping cart is always placed at the top right of the screen on web platforms, so when using a mobile app for ecommerce website, customers expect to see it in the same place. If the shopping cart is located somewhere else (on the left, at the bottom, etc.), it can confuse the user and leave a negative impression about the app. Design has to attract, but not make people frustrated.
Follow the rules of 3 touches
In order to access the desired product, the client has to complete just 3 clicks.
Click 1. The user opens the site and goes to the home page.
Click 2. Clicks on the product categories.
Click 3. Selects the desired product from the category and goes directly to the page of the particular product.
Keep a balance between content and space
On each screen of the device, designers have to display the maximum number of goods. However, the product cards should be separated from each other using white space. It is very important to maintain a balance between space and content in the app - this is one of the fundamental rules of design, which helps to make a positive impression.
Users are accustomed to buying goods only if there is positive feedback on the product and on the store in which it is sold. Due to a lack of time, users are reluctant to write detailed comments, especially with a positive tinge. With the help of design, you can engage users to leave feedback. One of the most user-friendly ways is to ensure micro-interactions; for example, give users the ability to leave a star rating for a particular product.
Highlight crucial moments
Design helps the user to perform the desired action. It has to be understandable and straightforward, so the main points should be highlighted, and in view of this the user immediately knows "where to go."
9 points that are vital to consider when developing an m-commerce application:
When users create profiles in apps, they give some information about their gender, age, location, preferences, etc. Based on this personal information, the app can provide tailored product suggestions for particular users, which helps to show that each user is unique and can receive the desired products. Personalisation, in this context, is the key to increasing conversion and customer satisfaction.
As the buying process occurs remotely, the app has to ensure that the customer receives the necessary products and obtains post-selling services at the highest level; for example, a call back from sales representatives, communication through online chat or email. Customer support services directly impact brand loyalty and brand perception.
Providing users with alternative product options based on previous requests allows you to retain the customer and grow the number of purchases they make. Comparison filters provide an opportunity to offer a wider range of products or services, thereby helping to influence the purchase decision process of the user.
The opportunity to influence the users' choice depends primarily on how well you know them. A custom-designed mobile commerce application allows you to collect, store and analyse data about each stage of the customer's journey prior to their purchase. The built-in analytics features allow for the collection of necessary metrics in one place, report generation and the prediction of further actions, in order to optimise the purchase processes.
Interactive Push Notifications entice users and make them aware of new products, trends, discounts, etc. Separate the notifications by the goals that they need to accomplish, and send to the users. Make sure that you are the first one who shares news and the latest trends with your customers. It can form a positive brand image, as you provide the information based on users' interests, without selling goods directly.
Creating an autocomplete feature while using the search function in applications is a significant factor in the quest to improve user experience. Primarily, this feature helps to show results relevant to the user’s request, as it uses customer statistics to analyse previous experience with the app. Additionally, autocomplete offers suitable options without the need to continually enter a large query with the name of the desired product, thereby saving users’ time and patience.
Social Sharing Features
More than 85% of the total population is registered with at least one social network. It is evident that social networks are closely intertwined in our lives and have an impact both on society and business. People like to share their opinions on social networks - any mobile application should "use" this, thus involving more potential customers. Give users the opportunity to inform others about your products. Social sharing is a win-win solution in this case.
The app has to include a secure payment gateway to ensure protection of customer’s financial data. Give users the opportunity to pay using various payment systems, with the support of the most commonly used types of credit cards.
Users are afraid of large contact forms, sign in pages or order lists. They prefer to input minimal information and get maximum results. It would be better to leave only the most crucial points to fill in, in order to reduce the number of unclaimed forms.
People are loyal to buying through mobile. The research “A Global Perspective of Mobile Commerce” says that more than 50% of users in Europe prefer to buy products using m-commerce apps, as it is convenient for them. Convenience, in this context, means the opportunity for users to save time, to get their desired products immediately, to receive personalised offers, and to be confident in the safe purchasing process.
A mobile commerce app is a key method in grabbing customer attention. To stay up to date, to attract new customers and to retain existing ones, retailers require e-commerce mobile application development for their businesses.
By expanding the scope of interaction with customers via an m-commerce app, business owners have the opportunity to increase conversions and create a positive brand perception. Providing a user-friendly way to buy goods leads to customers making purchases more willingly and remaining loyal to the brand in the future.