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10 Mobile Commerce Trends That Will Dominate 2021

Mobile technology has changed the way we live. Our smartphones are seemingly always within an arm’s reach and dictate our daily habits. As a result, mobile commerce trends are evolving.

Consumer buying behavior has changed drastically over the years, and mobile commerce will continue to thrive in the future. 

Mobile commerce is on pace control 73% of the global ecommerce market share by 2021, up from 59% back in 2017. Over the last six months, 79% of mobile users made an online purchase using their mobile devices. 

As an ecommerce store owner, you need to stay up to date with the latest mobile commerce trends. Whether you’re using Shopify or another platform to sell online, you can’t ignore mobile consumers.

That’s what inspired me to create this guide. I’ve researched and analyzed the most recent trends in the ecommerce industry, and narrowed down the ones for m-commerce.

The following ten trends will dominate in 2021. Not only will I explain these ecommerce trends, but I’ll also give you mobile commerce tips for 2021 to help you prepare and adapt accordingly. 

1. Shopping via Mobile Apps

It’s no secret that consumers are using their mobile devices to buy online. We’ve already discussed how m-commerce is dominating the global ecommerce market share. But the way people are using those devices to shop is changing. 

In 2019, 57% of US consumers used a mobile retail app to learn more about a product. 

Rather than using an Internet browser, more than half of US shoppers went straight for a mobile app to accommodate their shopping needs. This is a game-changer for Shopify store owners. 

Yes, you obviously need to have a mobile-friendly website. But a mobile-optimized ecommerce site isn’t enough to have success in this space anymore. 2021 will become the year of mobile shopping apps. 

For starters, 85% of consumers prefer mobile apps to mobile websites. So by building an app for your Shopify store, you’re already giving the customer what they want.

But it doesn’t stop there. Mobile shopping apps actually convert at a higher rate than mobile websites. 

Mobile App Conversions

That’s right; a mobile app converts 157% more than a mobile web session. 

Think about that figure in dollars. How much more money would your ecommerce business make if a 157% higher conversion rate? 

Shopify owners have recognized this trend, and are adapting accordingly. Everyone has identified the importance of targeting mobile users, so they’re building apps for their ecommerce sites.

Apps are the future of m-commerce growth. To stay competitive, you need to have an app in 2021. Creating one now puts you on the fringe of the early adopter category. But if you wait too long to make this decision, you’ll quickly fall behind the competition. 

2. Sales From Smartphones and Tablets

With mobile shopping on the rise, it’s no surprise that sales from smartphones will dominate 2021. Consumers are doing more than just browsing via apps; they’re buying. 

The average order value from a mobile app is $102 compared to $92 from a mobile website. 

But mobile apps and mobile sites can be accessed from multiple devices. For the most part, you can segment mobile devices into two categories; smartphones and tablets.

Which devices are people buying from the most? Let’s take a look at the 2021 m-commerce volume forecast from Business Insider. 

Commerce Volume Forecast

As you can see, smartphones dominate this category. By the end of 2021, it’s expected that $221.2 billion mobile commerce sales will come from smartphones, compared to $41.8 billion from tablets.

Smartphones will continue to dominate tablet sales in the future as well. Based on these projections, tablet sales volume is actually on the decline.

Here’s a five year stretch of tablet sales as a percentage of mobile commerce volume:

  • 2018 — 20.5%
  • 2019 — 18.2%
  • 2020 — 16.9%
  • 2021 — 15.9%
  • 2022 — 14.8%

As tablets trend down, it means that smartphone sales volume is on the rise. These are the devices that consumers are using when they shop online. 

This is vital information to any ecommerce business owner. The way you communicate with your customers will vary depending on what devices they are using. 

For example, when you build an app for your Shopify store, you can contact app users by sending them push notifications. These messages should contain real-time offers based on factors like location or behavior. 

A push notification delivered to a tablet about a flash sale won’t be as effective as the same message delivered to a smartphone. The tablet message likely won’t be seen right away, whereas the smartphone notification will be seen immediately. 

I’m not suggesting that you ignore tablet users altogether. But based on these trends, smartphone users will be the primary target of m-commerce apps in 2021.  

3. One-Click Ordering

The shift to shopping from mobile apps will ease the checkout process in 2021. Placing an order online has historically required quite a bit of information from the consumer.

Think about what you need to process transactions on your ecommerce store. 

  • Customer name
  • Credit card number
  • Credit card expiration
  • Card verification number
  • Shipping address
  • Billing address
  • Email address

Manually entering this information each time a customer wants to buy something online is tedious. It’s extremely inconvenient from the small screen of a mobile device. 

abandon statistics

That’s one of the reasons why shopping cart abandonment rates are so high from mobile websites. 

97% of mobile site shopping carts are abandoned. But the shopping cart abandonment rate from mobile apps is just 20%. 

How is this possible? Both instances are occurring from the same device. Yet mobile apps have the lowest abandonment rates.

An ecommerce mobile app allows you to store customer information to their user profile. So when it’s time to buy, they don’t need to enter those tedious details every time manually. 

One-click ordering makes it possible for customers to complete the entire purchase process in, you guessed it, one click. 

This is a win-win scenario for both parties.

As the business owner, conversions will skyrocket. But the customer benefits because the pain points of buying have been eased. They can find what they need and buy it in a matter of seconds directly from a mobile commerce app.

That’s not all. Customers shopping in an app spend twice as much as customers buying from a desktop device or mobile website. 

One-click ordering virtually eliminates the checkout process. We’re going to see more ecommerce businesses implementing this technology in the coming year. You won’t be able to do this without a mobile app. So building an ecommerce mobile app will be the first step to following this trend in 2021. 

4. Social Commerce

Brands using social media to gain exposure and build brand awareness is nothing new. I’m sure (and I hope) that you’re already leveraging social media for your ecommerce business.

While social media has a tremendous amount of upside, historically, it’s been challenging for businesses to convert social traffic into sales. There’s always been too much friction between navigating from a social post to a product page.

But social commerce has evolved. 

With shoppable Facebook pages and Instagram shoppable posts, customers have a more direct way to buy products they see on social media. 

These features make it possible for businesses to tag products in posts, the same way that they tag a person. 

Social Commerce

Users can click on the product to buy directly, without being forced to open a new browser, navigate to your website, and search for the product on their own.

Similar to our last point, social commerce eliminates pain points in the conversion process. 

Here’s something else to consider; your customers are already using social media on a daily basis. It’s easier to reach them here as opposed to relying on them navigating to your website every day. 

Instagram is installed on their phone. That’s the advantage of facilitating ecommerce sales through apps. 

Do shoppable posts work? Absolutely.

A recent study suggests that brands using Instagram shopping have benefited from a 1,416% traffic boost and a 20% increase in revenue. 

Since shoppable posts are still relatively new, I expect them to continue trending upward in 2021. More brands will catch on, and consumers will be looking to buy directly from social media posts. 

5. Voice Shopping

Voice assistants like Siri and Alexa have been growing in popularity over the years. Furthermore, the way voice search is being used has shifted as well.

At first, people used voice search for things like weather-related questions. Or maybe telling their smart speaker to play music. 

In 2021, voice search has penetrated the ecommerce market. Voice shopping is expected to reach $40 billion by 2022. That’s up from a modest $2 billion in 2018, which is a 1,900% increase in just four years. 

This will have a significant impact on mobile commerce, considering the fact that 40% of adults use voice search at least once per day. 20% of all searches on mobile devices are voice-based.

How are consumers using voice search to shop online? Let’s take a closer look. 

voice shopping chart

51% of people use voice commands to research products. 22% of people use voice search to make a purchase.

We’ve just barely scratched the surface in terms of what voice assistance can accomplish. As a Shopify store owner, you need to take this into consideration when making crucial business decisions.

For starters, your website must be optimized for voice search. But you should plan on making your mobile app friendly for voice shopping as well. 

Even consumers that don’t own a smart speaker still have access to voice search and voice assistance from their mobile devices. That’s why voice shopping will have a profound impact on the mobile ecommerce trends of 2021. 

6. Mobile Chatbots

Chatbots have been around for decades. You’ve likely interacted with chatbots in your personal life for a wide variety of reasons. 

In fact, some of you might already be leveraging chatbot technology on your ecommerce website. It’s one of the best ways to provide customer service, and it’s increasing in popularity. 

While chatbots have become a regular part of life, surprisingly, they haven’t fully penetrated the mobile world. Most apps on the market today are not using chatbots, but that will change in 2021.

Think about all of the benefits of chatbots. If you’re already using bots on your website, you’re likely benefiting from most of these.

chatbot benefits chart

Take a close look at this list. Is there anything on here that would change if chatbots were used on a mobile shopping app? Absolutely not.

All of the benefits of using chatbots on the web can have a seamless transition to an app. So it’s only a matter of time before ecommerce store owners start adding chatbots to their m-commerce apps. 

54% of people say they would always choose a chatbot over a human rep if it saves them time. 

It’s not uncommon for customers to need assistance when they’re shopping online. If you have an ecommerce website, you already know this.

Getting those questions or problems resolved as quickly as possible will not only improve the customer experience, but it will also save you a ton of money. Mobile chatbots will be used more than ever before to facilitate ecommerce transactions in 2021. The popularity of mobile commerce chatbots will continue to grow in the future as well.

7. VR & AR

Virtual reality and augmented reality have been popular buzzwords in the tech space for quite some time now. The use cases for this type of technology have endless opportunities.

Mobile shopping apps have already started to use AR to improve the customer shopping experience. 

For example, a business that sells furniture online can use augmented reality to showcase what a product would look like in a customer’s home. This makes it possible for people to choose a color and see if an item will actually fit in the desired space.

AR for online shopping is much easier than the alternative. Without these mobile commerce apps, customers are forced to buy with trial and error, which is never ideal. The last thing someone wants to do is buy a couch or a table online, only to discover that it doesn’t properly fit in their living room or kitchen. 

By 2025, the AR and VR industry is expected to reach $35 billion. 

VR AR chart

It’s estimated that $1.6 billion of that market will be used for retail purposes. Mobile commerce definitely falls into this category.

I understand that this is just a fraction of the expected market for AR and VR in the next five years. But to get there, we need to start somewhere. 

I believe that 2021 will be a defining year for AR and VR mobile commerce trends. The potential applications of this technology can penetrate a wide range of industries.

For example, let’s say you sell clothing on your ecommerce website. With a retail mobile app, you can use AR to measure customers and recommend the perfect fit. You could even customize orders based on a person’s exact dimensions. Think of it as a virtual tailor. 

We’re going to see more of this out of the box creativity for AR and VR in 2021.

8. Omnichannel Mobile Shoppers

In simple terms, omnichannel retail is the practice of selling products through multiple channels. An ecommerce website, mobile app, and physical store would all qualify as different mediums here.

When was the last time you bought something online by impulse? More often than not, you probably had an idea of what you wanted to buy ahead of time. 

Ecommerce store owners need to recognize that buyers are obtaining information from a wide range of different sources before they buy. If you have a physical retail location, that in-store experience can change the way people buy online. 

73% of consumers shop using multiple channels. 75% of people expect those experiences to be consistent across each channel.

Furthermore, 73% of people are willing to switch brands if they aren’t getting a consistent omnichannel experience from one company. 

For those of you with a physical retail presence in addition to an online store, you cannot treat those customers differently. According to Shopify, more than eight out of ten customers consult their smartphones to make in-store purchases.

So how can you prepare for omnichannel mobile shoppers?

Here’s an example. If you have an ecommerce mobile app, you can trigger a push notification when an app user enters one of your retail locations. The discount or promotion can give that person an extra incentive to buy. There’s a good chance that they’ll be consulting their phone anyway, so this provides the customer with even more motivation to convert.

You can take that one step further and give the user a personalized promotion or recommendation based on their browsing behavior.

Let’s say they recently researched a specific product on your m-commerce app. The next day, the customer walks into a retail store. You can trigger a discount for that exact product to provide a smooth omnichannel shopping experience. 

9. Mobile Fraud

Unfortunately, cybercrime has become a real concern for everyone today. Consumers are hesitant to provide personal information to third parties that don’t have an established reputation as a brand that is trustworthy.

This can be a problem for smaller boutique ecommerce shops. If you’re selling products similar to well-established brands, a customer might feel more comfortable buying from a name that they recognize.

That’s why it’s crucial for every ecommerce business to prevent fraud on every channel, including mobile devices. 

65% of fraudulent transactions come from mobile devices. This is up from 39% back in 2015.

With mobile usage trending upward over the years, it makes sense that mobile fraud would follow suit and increase as well. While no person or business is ever 100% immune from fraud, there are definitely steps you can take to prevent it.

Creating an ecommerce mobile app for your Shopify store is the first step.

Apps are less susceptible to phishing scams and other common attacks that occur from mobile web browsers. By nature, the anatomy of an app is more secure as well. 

Customers won’t have to manually enter their payment information for each transaction, as we discussed earlier. An app can safely store all customer and payment data to protect it from a possible breach. 

Apps can set up security features like two-factor authentication as an added layer of protection. 

As mobile fraud continues to rise, consumers will be looking for the most secure way to shop online. A mobile app is much more secure than a mobile browser. 

10. Mobile Payments

Over the past few years, mobile wallets have been increasing in popularity. This holds true for both online and in-store purchases.

Consumers are using mobile wallets like Apple Pay or Android Pay to checkout when shopping from a mobile retail app. It’s a quick, safe, and secure way for them to shop. They also use these wallets at participating in brick-and-mortar locations with touchless pay capabilities. 

Wearables, like Apple Watch, can even be used to facilitate mobile wallet payments. 

It’s not quite the new norm or standard in transactions, but we’re definitely heading in that direction. According to Statista, mobile payment volume is growing at a rate of 62% annually. 

There will be over $274 billion in mobile payments processed by the end of 2021. That’s a $60 billion jump from 2020. 

If you’re selling online, you need to adapt to this 2021 mobile ecommerce commerce trend. The best way to do so is by integrating mobile wallets with your app. 

This will allow customers to buy using their preferred payment method. It’s also a fast and safe way to process transactions online. 

Conclusion

Mobile trends will continue to play a significant role in the ecommerce industry for the foreseeable future. As an ecommerce store owner, you need to keep a close eye on mobile commerce trends to plan accordingly.

If you look at the m-commerce trends that I’ve listed above, you’ll notice a common factor in each one; apps integration. 

The easiest way to keep up with the times and changing technology is by building a mobile app for your ecommerce website. This is how consumers prefer to shop in 2021. 

All of the mobile ecommerce trends are pointing in this direction. Follow the tips and best practices that I’ve explained in this guide to dominate mobile commerce in 2021. 

15 Features Every Mobile Commerce App Needs to Have

Building a mobile commerce app is one of the best ways to drive sales for ecommerce businesses. That’s because mobile apps convert higher than the mobile web.

But simply launching an app isn’t enough to make it successful.

The best ecommerce apps on the market have certain features in common. These specific elements are all focused on improving the customer experience, driving sales, and increasing conversions.

Whether your app is live or still in the early development stages, adding the right features will lead to prosperity, success, and profitability.

After researching the latest mobile commerce trends, mobile commerce tips, and best practices, I’ve identified the top 15 features your m-commerce app must have.

1. Push Notifications

A significant benefit of your mobile commerce app is the ability to communicate with app users. You don’t have this advantage with your mobile site or desktop site for that matter, either.

When leveraged correctly, sending the right push notification at the perfect time can lead to sales.

Push notifications can be treated like your email marketing campaigns. You can send product updates, discounts, promotions, and other offers as well. Except push notifications should be reserved for your best offers.

If the offer is so good that you’d send a text message to your customers about it (since you basically are), then send it as a push.

Power of push notifications

70% of app users find push notifications useful. 40% of people engage with push notifications within an hour, compared to just 8% who ignore them altogether.

Here’s a breakdown of the most desired that content app users want from a push notification:

  • Promotions — 34%
  • New developments — 26%
  • Geotargeted information — 26%
  • Other — 14%

Running a flash sale? Send a push notification. Are you releasing a product with limited availability? Tell users with a push.

Consider using push notifications to update customers about their orders. For example, you can send a “package delivered” message when the order arrives at the front door.

2. Location Tracking

As I briefly mentioned, 26% of app users want push notifications relevant to their locations. Furthermore, 53% of people agree to share their location with mobile apps.

Use this crucial data to your advantage to improve your mobile commerce marketing strategy. There are so many different ways to leverage location tracking for mobile apps.

Here are a few basic examples to showcase how versatile location tracking can be.

For those of you with physical retail locations, you can have a “store locator” feature within your app. Users can use this to find the closest store to their current position.

According to a recent consumer survey, the ability to locate physical stores from an app is one of the most valuable features of a mobile commerce app.

Most valued feature for shoppers

In addition to your store location feature, you can use geofencing technology to send relevant push notifications.

If an app user walks by one of your stores, you can immediately send them a push notification enticing them to buy. Even if you don’t have any physical stores, geofencing can still be extremely useful.

Here’s an obvious example to illustrate my point.

Let’s say your business sells sports equipment. If an app user goes to the beach, you can send them an offer related to surfboards and kayaks. If a user goes to a ski resort, you can send offers related to snowboarding and skiing.

A person’s physical location can also be used to personalize their app home screen.

Customers living in New York City shouldn’t be seeing the same offers as customers living in Los Angeles.

3. User Profiles

Allowing users to log in and make purchases from a customer profile is the ultimate advantage of having a mobile commerce app.

This feature has countless benefits for you as well as your customers.

For starters, a user profile gives you so much insight into the mind of each customer. You’ll be able to recommend relevant products based on their purchase history and browsing history.

Customers are happy because they are getting personalized offers, and you’re pleased because those recommendations will lead to sales.

90% of people find personalization appealing.

affinity towards personalization

As you can see, 80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with brands that offer a personalized experience.

Personalization aside, customer profiles make the lives of app users much easier.

Since all of their information is saved to the profile, they can shop and checkout in seconds. Think about how much information is required to complete a transaction. At the bare minimum, you’re asking for things like:

  • Customer name
  • Credit card number
  • Billing address
  • Shipping address
  • Email address

Each additional step a customer has to take reduces their chances of converting. From a mobile device, entering all of this information is tedious.

However, app users only have to do this once. Then the information can be stored and used for future purchases.

4. Social Media Integration

74% of shoppers are influenced by social media when it comes to purchasing decisions.

I’m assuming (and hoping) that your company already has an active presence on social media. So integrate those channels with your mobile commerce app to get the most out of them.

Here’s why. It’s possible that customers who installed your mobile app do not follow you on social media. Even your top customers won’t be opening your app every day, but it’s likely that they’re using social media daily.

Adding your Facebook wall or Instagram feed to your app can encourage users to follow you.

On days when they aren’t shopping on the app, you can still engage with those people via social media.

Social media integration also saves you time when it comes to adding content to your app. For example, if you install a YouTube plugin, any video uploaded to your YouTube channel will automatically appear in the app. So you won’t have to upload it twice.

5. Discounts and Promotions

Everyone loves to feel like they got a great deal when they’re shopping. So give your customers an incentive to use the app by offering exclusive discounts and promotions.

According to a recent study, 65% of people use ecommerce apps to receive exclusive deals and offers.

use of ecommerce apps

As you can see from the chart, this ranked first on the list of reasons.

This feature will obviously have a lot to do with your brand’s overall image and pricing strategy. I know that some luxury brands never offer discounts or anything like that.

But for the majority of you, this feature will be essential for success.

I like the idea of using a discount or promotional offer as a way to drive app downloads from the beginning. For example, you could offer $20 off or 20% discount off the first purchase using the app.

But beyond the initial offer, discounts are still a great way to drive mobile commerce sales. This is especially true for time-sensitive offers.

Send push notifications for flash sales or deals expiring soon. If you can create FOMO (fear or missing out), it will entice app users to act quickly. People want to get a discount before it’s too late.

6. Customer Loyalty Program

An app is the perfect platform to facilitate your customer loyalty program.

This is a great opportunity for those of you who already have an existing loyalty program, as well as brands starting one from scratch. A mobile commerce app makes it easier for customers to track their loyalty status through their user profile.

There are lots of different ways to promote customer loyalty. All of which entice consumer spending.

You can reward customers based on purchase frequency, total spending, or a combination of the two.

What makes a loyalty program better on an app? Take a look at the results of this recent study by CodeBroker.

customer loyalty program

The vast majority of consumers are more likely to participate in loyalty programs if they can easily access information from their smartphones. Nothing makes this easier than a mobile app.

Mobile ecommerce loyalty programs address other customer wants and needs that we previously discussed as well. Earlier, we learned that the number one reason why consumers use ecommerce apps is to receive exclusive deals and promotions.

A customer loyalty program delivers exactly what those individuals want.

7. Lots of Payment Options

Let me take a moment to paint a picture for you.

Imagine that a customer just got acquainted with your brand. Maybe they stumbled upon a social media advertisement or heard a friend’s recommendation. The customer visits your website, learns about your app’s first purchase promotion, and decides to download it.

With the app installed on their device, the user browses for products and adds a few items to their shopping cart. Time to checkout, right?

As the user continues through the purchase process, they quickly discover that you don’t accept their preferred payment method. The user abandons the cart, and you probably lost them forever.

Don’t let this happen to you. Think about how much work that user just went through and how disappointed they were when they couldn’t complete the order.

You can’t assume that everyone wants to pay with a Visa or Mastercard. Even if the customer owns one of those cards, they might get better rewards or benefits by using an alternative method.

Every ecommerce mobile app should accept:

  • All major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express)
  • Debit cards
  • PayPal
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Venmo

We haven’t quite reached the point where you need to accept cryptocurrencies, but that might change within the next five or ten years.

8. Speedy Checkout Process

Let’s continue talking about your app’s checkout process. In addition to accepting multiple payment methods, the checkout must be as fast as possible.

The perfect mobile commerce checkout can be completed in seconds. Users should be able to complete the purchase process in one or two clicks at most.

According to Forbes, fewer form fields yield higher conversion rates.

Conversion rates by optimized forms

Think about the information you’re asking from your customers. You don’t need to know their favorite color or mother’s maiden name to complete the purchase.

Earlier, we talked about the significance of user profiles on a mobile app. This gives you a major advantage over your desktop site or mobile site.

After a customer buys something once, you can store their information for future purchases (with their permission, of course). This can drastically reduce checkout times and yield sky-high conversions.

App users will have the ability to checkout in seconds with just one click.

9. Product Search

How do users find what they’re looking for on your app?

Some of you might be selling a handful of products, while others are selling hundreds or thousands. No matter how many products you’re offering, the customer needs to find what they’re looking with as little friction as possible.

Just make sure that your app has an advanced search and filter system. These are the biggest pain points associated with retail site search.

Shoppers biggest frustrations

While this particular study is focused on websites, the same concepts can be applied to mobile commerce apps. If your search isn’t displaying relevant results, it can do more harm than good.

With that said, adding search functionality to your mobile app can yield exceptional results.

Conversion rates from users using the search feature are typically two to four times higher compared to those who don’t. Up to 60% of all transactions come from sessions that used the search function.

Here’s something else to consider. Take a look at the most popular shopping apps in the United States.

Most popular shopping apps

Global giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Target lead the way. What do these apps all have in common? They all have an advanced search and filter function.

Even though thousands of products are sold through these apps, customers can still find what they need with a quick search.

10. Customer Support

No matter how simple your app is, people will always need assistance. Whether it’s questions about particular products, returns, payments, or navigation, you must be available to assist your customers.

Don’t look at this as a negative thing.

86% of users are willing to pay more for great customer service. Excellent service creates customer loyalty and retention as well.

According to HubSpot, 77% of happy customers share positive brand experiences with other people. Your customer service can ultimately lead to free referrals.

With all of this in mind, your app must have features for customer support.

Whether it be live chat, email, ticket support, or phone calls, customer support should be easy to find for all app users.

According to VentureBeat, 77% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 use their smartphones to contact customer support. So it’s only natural that your ecommerce mobile app should have support functions built-in.

11. Retail Integration

This is another feature that’s a must-have for anyone with a physical retail presence.

Your app and stores should not be treated as separate entities. Allow each one to compliment the other. This is something that you can’t really accomplish with a desktop site or mobile site.

Studies show that consumers are already using their mobile devices when browsing in physical stores. Take a look at how those devices are being used.

use of mobile phones in store

Your mobile app can make all of these uses much easier for your customers. Whether this leads to sales through the app itself or at your physical registers, it still benefits your business.

Some shoppers might research products ahead of time on the app, and wait until they see the item in person before making the purchase. Allow app users to create a wish list for this purpose.

Other users might do the opposite. They could see an item while browsing in-store, and ultimately decide to purchase it at a later date.

Remember earlier when we talked about using location tracking to improve your app? Retail store integration is another opportunity to leverage this feature.

Set up beacons throughout your store to track an app user’s movements. If you see that they spend significant time browsing in a particular aisle, you’ll have a better understanding of their needs.

For example, let’s say a user is standing in an aisle for makeup. You can send them a push notification in real-time for a discount on cosmetics.

12. Mobile Optimized Product Descriptions

Every product on your app must have a description. But these descriptions must be optimized for mobile devices.

Desktop users have the benefit of viewing product descriptions on a 13 or 15-inch screen. But that screen is just four or five inches from the app. So if your product description includes lengthy paragraphs, it will be challenging for users to read.

In a perfect world, your app and ecommerce site will have identical descriptions for products. But consider using an alternate description to shorten things on your mobile app. This mobile commerce tip will yield higher conversions.

I recommend short bullet points that render two lines at most from a mobile device.

Analyze your existing product descriptions and determine what can be eliminated to shorten the length.

13. Mobile Optimized Product Images

Let’s continue discussing the way your products are presented in an app. You must include mobile-optimized images as well.

The inability to touch and feel a product is one of the most difficult aspects of making an online purchase. Consumers rely on detailed and accurate photographs to eliminate this barrier.

Research shows that an inaccurate depiction of products is a leading cause of returns.

Product return reasons

Your app should include as many product images as possible. These must be high-quality and show the product from every angle.

If possible, find a way to show the items to scale. Show action shots and people modeling or using the product.

For example, let’s say you’re selling a shirt. A person wearing the shirt would provide more value to a customer than a shirt sitting on a table or plain background.

According to a case study from CXL Institute, product images with a 360-degree spin feature can boost conversions by up to 27%.

14. Simple Returns

In a perfect world, all of your customers will be happy with your products. But we both know that’s not the case.

Returns are part of running an online retail business. Don’t make this a hassle for your customers.

92% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand again if they experience a simple returns process. 67% of people check a company’s return policy before finalizing a purchase.

Furthermore, poor return policies are a leading cause of shopping cart abandonment.

abandonment cart reasons

Always offer free returns.

Allow users to facilitate the return process directly through the app. You can take a page from Amazon’s playbook and generate a QR code in the app. That code can be scanned and processed at UPS or FedEx store.

You know that returns are bound to happen. Making them easy for app users will keep those customers coming back to make more purchases in the future.

15. App Analytics

Use app analytics to make continuous improvements in your mobile commerce app. You can track things like:

  • Product page conversion rates
  • Most popular payment methods
  • Section of the screen that’s clicked the most
  • Geographic location of app users
  • Types of mobile device being used
  • Daily app usage per user
  • Duration of app usage per visit
  • App crashes
  • Bugs and error reports

The list goes on and on. This type of information is extremely valuable. You might learn something about the behavior of app users that could trigger a change in your app.

Don’t assume that your app is perfect the way it is. There’s a good chance that it’s not. App analytics will help you make significant improvements.

Conclusion

If you have an ecommerce mobile app, you need to add these must-have features if you want it to be successful.

All of the information above is based on actual research from high-performing apps.

Subscribe to the BuildFire blog to get insightful mobile commerce tips and best practices delivered to your inbox. We’re constantly publishing updated content to help Shopify store owners and ecommerce apps drive sales.

15 Refreshing Marketing Ideas For Shopify Apps

A new ecommerce mobile app is one of the best ways to drive sales for your Shopify store. Mobile apps convert higher than the mobile web, so generating sales from your app won’t be a problem. But the app will only have success if customers actually download it.

That’s why ecommerce mobile app marketing needs to be a top priority for your Shopify store. 

Whether your app is already complete, in development, or still in the pre-development planning stages, you need to start brainstorming marketing ideas for your Shopify app today. 

Marketing a mobile app for ecommerce isn’t necessarily the same as promoting a traditional product or service. You need to take a unique approach to this process.

I’ve personally overseen the launch for dozens of ecommerce apps. It’s abundantly clear which ecommerce sites were prepared with marketing ideas for their Shopify app. 

After learning from the success and the mistakes of others, I want to pass my knowledge to you. Use this guide to learn how to implement the best mobile app marketing tactics for ecommerce.

1. Build Hype Early

If you wait until launch day to promote your new ecommerce mobile app, it’s too late. You need to start promoting the app as early as possible, even if it’s with something as simple as a “coming soon” page.

Even if you haven’t started development yet, the sooner you can get exposure for your app, the more successful it will be. 

If you review the top reasons why you need an ecommerce mobile app, you’ll quickly learn that mobile commerce is trending upward, and consumers prefer to shop from apps. 

Promoting the app as early as possible builds anticipation in the minds of your customers. This is an age-old psychological marketing strategy. When the app finally launches, they’ll be ready to download it and start shopping immediately. 

Just avoid publicizing a firm launch date until the app is actually complete. So if you’re starting to build your app in March, don’t start running promotions saying the app will be live in June.

Things happen during the development process that are sometimes out of your control. You don’t want to promise an app and not deliver, or worse, rush through development to meet a deadline that results in performance issues. 

2. Leverage Your Website For App Promotion

It sounds simple, but it’s shocking how many websites don’t have a direct download link for their app. Even more surprising, some ecommerce businesses don’t have any mention of their app at all on the website.

You just went through all of the effort to build a mobile commerce app. Don’t let those efforts go to waste by failing to promote it on your biggest platform.

Shopify owners make the mistake of thinking that customers will go to great lengths to find their app. But that’s simply not the case. You need to make this process as easy as possible for them.

Here’s a great example from the H&M website.

mobile app ecommerce marketing

H&M has a global presence. It’s always a good idea to follow the lead of companies that succeeded before you.

The menu on this ecommerce site has a direct link to download the app for both iOS and Android. 

Just saying “we have a mobile app” on your site isn’t enough. It forces customers to take extra steps to search for your Shopify app in the app store. Each additional step reduces your chances of getting a download.

But think about how much traffic your Shopify site gets each day, week, or month. Imagine if just 5% or 10% of that traffic downloaded the app. That’s how you get thousands of downloads at a time.

3. Showcase Your App in Confirmation Emails

You want to promote your app through distribution platforms that have the most exposure. So take advantage of your email list.

The best emails for mobile app promotion are confirmation messages. That’s because confirmation emails outperform every other type of marketing email.

value of receipt emails

As you can see from the graph, a confirmation email has higher open rates, click-through rates, and viewing time. They also generate the highest revenue per email sent. 

These are the type of confirmation messages that should include a promotion for your Shopify app:

  • New subscriber confirmation
  • Order confirmation
  • Shipping confirmation
  • Delivery confirmation

Each app promotion can have a slightly different angle, depending on the content of the message.

For example, “use the app for faster ordering” works well for an order confirmation message. But you could use something like “track shipping status directly in the app” for both shipping and delivery emails.

Here’s another reason why this mobile app ecommerce marketing idea is so useful; you’re targeting customers who are already interested in your brand. These are people who either signed up for email promotions or just purchased something from your Shopify store. This makes them the most likely candidates to download your ecommerce mobile app.

4. Offer an Incentive For Downloads

Why should someone download your new ecommerce app?

No, this is not a rhetorical question. You actually need to tell people why the app will benefit them personally. 

According to our app download and usage statistics page, the average person has between 60 and 90 apps installed on their device. However, 77% of time is spent on just three apps. 75% of apps are used once and then never used again.

Consumers know this. They aren’t going to download another app to clutter their phones unless they are given a good reason. 

Monetary incentives usually get the job done. You could offer something along the lines of 20% off the first purchase using the app. If you really want to make sure the app continues getting used, consider extending that discount for the first 30 days after installation. 

Target has a dedicated landing page on its ecommerce site to promote the app. 

all in one place

The page highlights some of the top features of the app, which gives users even more of an incentive to download it. Any feature, benefit, or advantage that adds value or makes the customer’s life easier needs to be mentioned when you’re marketing your Shopify mobile app. 

5. Look For Guest Posting Opportunities

Does your Shopify site have a blog? If so, you’re already on the right track to increase the exposure for your brand and app.

But only publishing blogs on your website limits the exposure to an audience that already knows who you are. While you can still use your blog for mobile app ecommerce marketing, the readers likely know about it already. 

Guest blogging allows you to increase the exposure of your app to an entirely new audience. You just need to find the right opportunities. 

Use Google search strings as a resource for finding these opportunities.

  • “Keyword” + “write for us”
  • “Keyword” + “guest blog”
  • “Keyword” + “guest post guidelines”

These are just a few examples of what you can search for. The benefits of guest blogging are tremendous and will help you drive Shopify sales with a mobile app.

Just make sure it’s not overly promotional. Most websites allow guest authors to include a handful of links to their website and other pages. So rather than promoting your app directly, simply include a download link embedded within the content. 

6. Use Influencer Marketing to Your Advantage

Influencer marketing and guest blogging have similar benefits, in the sense that you’re getting exposed to a new audience. The difference between the two is that you’ll likely have to pay for an influencer to promote your app.

With that said, this mobile app ecommerce marketing strategy delivers strong results and high returns.

According to a recent study, 28% of online marketing managers named influencer marketing the fastest-growing customer acquisition strategy. 

online customer acquisition

As you can see from the graph, this response ranked first on the list. Furthermore, 67% of brands say they plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets in the next 12 months. 

The reason why influencer marketing is so effective is because consumers trust these people.

You don’t need to work with professional athletes, singers, or famous actors to have success with this strategy. Instead, you can partner micro-influencers with a strong reach within your niche. This is also much more cost-effective.

Check out these statistics about the rates for micro-influencers:

  • Instagram post — 84% charge less than $250
  • Facebook post — 90% charge less than $250
  • Blog post — 87% charge less than $500
  • Twitter post — 90% charge less than $150

These rates are very reasonable. In some instances, you could develop influencer relationships without having to pay for anything. Try offering free merchandise in exchange for a post about your ecommerce mobile app. 

7. Use SEO Best Practices

We live in a world that’s completely driven by SEO. Every marketing campaign, including mobile app ecommerce marketing promotions, needs to be developed with SEO in mind.

Earlier I explained the importance of using your website as a promotional tool for your Shopify app. That strategy is useless if people aren’t actually visiting your site. 

93% of all website experiences start with a search engine. 

Take a moment to put yourself in the shoes of a current or prospective app user. If you want to do something online, where do you find it? Personally, I rarely go directly to a website. I almost always start with a Google search.

If you can apply SEO best practices to your app landing page and top-performing pages promoting your new ecommerce mobile app, it will drive traffic to those pages. As a result, this traffic increase will ultimately boost your Shopify app downloads as well. 

8. Create an In-App Referral Program

One of my favorite ways to market an ecommerce app is by letting your existing app users do all of the work for you. All you need to do is set up a referral program and let the rest take care of itself.

The best in-app referral programs are simple and straightforward. 

Using the “give $20, get $20” model is an excellent example of how to set this up. Allow app users to invite their friends to download the app in exchange for $20 per referral. The referred user gets $20 off of their first purchase, and the customer who referred them gets a $20 account credit once that transaction happens.

This mobile app ecommerce marketing strategy gives your current users an incentive to invite as many people as possible. If just five of their friends make a purchase, they can get $100 in credits. 

Another reason why I love this strategy is because referred customers are the best types of customers to have. 

referred customers

Furthermore, everyone trusts a referral. 92% of consumers say they trust a recommendation that comes from someone they know. 

If my friend, sibling, coworker, or cousin sends me a referral to download an app, I’ll probably download it. Other people have the same mentality. 

For those of you who are in a position where you’re comfortable giving away store credit for a download, it’s a great way to get downloads from people who will actually buy something from your new Shopify mobile app. 

9. Improve Discovery with ASO (App Store Optimization)

In addition to SEO, you also need to prioritize ASO. 

You want to make sure that your app is easily discoverable when a user searches for relevant keywords on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. 

While app store optimization isn’t the most exciting mobile app ecommerce marketing strategy, it’s a necessity. 

ASO best practices vary, depending on whether or not your app is available on iOS or Android. Let’s say you’ve previously built a Shopify app for Apple users, and now you’re thinking of developing one for Android. Don’t assume that those same ASO tactics will work on the Google Play Store.

I could write for days on how to implement proper ASO techniques for mobile app ecommerce marketing. But it will be easier (for both of us) if you check out these helpful guides instead:

Remember, you can always subscribe to the BuildFire blog to be the first to know when we release helpful guides for your ecommerce mobile app.

10. Run a Contest or Giveaway Promotion

Contests, giveaways, and other promotions are a great way to get people excited about downloading your Shopify app. That’s why it’s one of my favorite app marketing ideas for ecommerce.

This relates back to one of our previous ideas about giving people an incentive to download the app. But a giveaway has additional benefits, which is why it deserves its own mention.

I’d recommend a “download, share, and win” promotion via social media. Instagram is the best place to run a contest since engagement rates are so high compared to regular posts. 

instagram engagement

 

Here’s how it works.

To participate, users need to download your app, share it on their profile, and tag your company for a chance to win whatever you’re giving away. You can choose the parameters for the prize and how many winners you’re going to select.

Always include a deadline in these types of promotions. This creates a sense of urgency and gets people to start participating immediately. 

In addition to the initial users who download the app to participate in the promotion, other people will also be exposed to your Shopify app as well. Anyone who follows users participating will see the post. It’s essentially free marketing for your ecommerce app. 

I love this strategy because it combines the advantages of offering incentives, influencer marketing, and referrals into one campaign. 

11. Leverage Free Distribution Platforms

This piggybacks off of my last point. It’s always going to be in your best interest to find as many free app marketing ideas as possible. 

User acquisition doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Just enhance your presence on popular social media channels. Hopefully, you already have a profile set up on the following platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Twitter

Research your target audience to see what platforms they’re using the most. That’s what you should be prioritizing. 

If your Shopify app sells products intended for younger generations, you can even consider setting up accounts on Snapchat and TikTok. I definitely missed the boat on those platforms (I’m getting old). But if my customers were on there, I’d make sure to use them as promotional channels for my Shopify app.

12. Facebook Ads

While free app marketing is obviously ideal, there’s nothing wrong with paying for ads if it’s in your budget. This is especially true for Shopify store owners who don’t have a strong presence on social media yet.

If you have a new ecommerce app and haven’t established your brand name, you’ll be pretty limited in terms of social media reach with a few hundred or a few thousand followers.

I prefer using Facebook ads because it gives you the opportunity to target certain people. It’s the best way to reach your audience.

Facebook even has specific ad campaign objectives for driving app installs.

facebook ads

The steps are simple:

  • Pick an objective
  • Choose your audience
  • Decide where your ad is run (can be on Instagram too)
  • Choose a format
  • Set your budget

You’ll get detailed reports to measure the results of your ads as well. This is the perfect way to know if your campaigns are actually driving app downloads. 

13. Geofencing PPC with Google Ads

For those of you who have physical brick-and-mortar store locations, in addition to your Shopify site and ecommerce app, geofencing with Google PPC is definitely something you should consider.

This Google Ads tool allows you to target customers in a specific area. This can be based on neighborhoods, zip codes, or areas near your store.

So if a customer walks by your shop or into one of your stores, it will trigger an ad for them when they visit a website in the Google advertising network. 

You can take advantage of this app marketing idea, even if you don’t have a physical store presence. 

For example, let’s say your Shopify mobile app sells bathing suits, shorts, sandals, and other warm-weather apparel. It wouldn’t make sense to run ads targeting people in New York City or Chicago during the winter. But southern California, Miami, and Hawaii are perfect locations to target year-round.

14. Create a Customer Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs encourage your existing customers to spend more money. 

By integrating a loyalty program into your Shopify app, it becomes an indirect promotion of the app and its benefits. Here’s why.

For a customer to receive rewards, they must be logged into their customer profile. But this is a hassle when shopping from a computer or mobile device. The customer will either check out as a guest or just ignore the loyalty benefits. 

The app will make it easier for users to track and receive the benefits associated with the program. They’ll know exactly how many rewards they’ve earned for the month, year, or given time frame.

15. Encourage and Promote App Reviews

App reviews and ratings can impact ASO, which is something that we previously talked about. But beyond app store optimization, you can highlight the top app reviews on your website and social media platforms. 

Think of it the same way as a product review or testimonial on your Shopify site. Those reviews motivate people to buy. Well, an app review will persuade people to download. 

The only way that this works is if you’re getting app reviews in the first place. Most people won’t go out of their way to write a review unless they had a really good or really poor experience. But 90% of users will fall somewhere in the middle.

So it’s up to you to find ways to encourage Shopify app reviews. Incentives and popups are usually enough to get the job done.

Conclusion

Mobile marketing for ecommerce is crucial to the success of your app. 

Coming up with creative marketing ideas for a Shopify app is the best way to get your name out there and drive downloads. Otherwise, nobody will know that your app even exists. 

I realize that implementing 15 tactics for your new ecommerce mobile app might be a bit overwhelming. But you don’t need to use all of these at once. You can pick and choose which strategies to start with based on the status of your app.

A Shopify app that’s still in development will need a different marketing approach than an ecommerce app that launched two years ago.

Regardless of your situation, make sure you subscribe to the BuildFire blog. We’ll provide all of the tips, tricks, and ecommerce app tools you need to make sure your Shopify app is successful.

11 Reasons Why You Need an eCommerce Mobile App

The sky’s the limit for eCommerce businesses. People are shopping online, today, more than ever before. This statement holds true across all industries worldwide. The power of the Internet has made it possible for you to reach consumers anytime, anywhere, from any device. But the type of devices you’re targeting them on will have a major impact on your success.

It’s no secret that mobile consumption has taken over our lives. According to a recent study, 96% of adults in the United States own a mobile phone. 81% of the population owns a smartphone. Look around. Everyone has these devices glued to their hands nearly 24/7. 

As a business owner, you need to recognize this and adapt. How can you take this information and leverage it to increase eCommerce sales? The answer is simple—your eCommerce shop needs a mobile app.

Your eCommerce store will never reach its full potential with a website alone. If you review the most recent eCommerce trends, you’ll quickly realize that everything is heading in a mobile direction. 

But do you really need a mobile app? 100% YES!

All too often I consult with business owners who are content with the growth, sales, and revenue of their eCommerce site. So they don’t see a reason why a mobile app is necessary.

That was my inspiration for writing this guide. If you want your brand and website to be relevant in the coming years, you absolutely need to build a mobile eCommerce app. Here’s why:

1. Mobile Commerce is Trending Up

Sales from mobile devices have completely taken over the eCommerce industry. 

Take a look at your sales metrics and see what devices your customers are shopping from. There’s a good chance that a large chunk of those people are browsing and buying using smartphones and tablets. 

In fact, 67% of all eCommerce sales worldwide come from mobile devices. 

eCommerce mobile app

Within the next two years, mobile commerce will control 73% of all eCommerce sales across the globe. 

People are already used to shopping from mobile devices. It’s just so much more convenient than waiting to get on a computer. Our phones are always just an arm’s reach away, which isn’t always the case with a laptop or desktop computer.

Consumers are buying from everywhere. Mobile commerce makes it possible for people to buy on the bus, train, or Uber. They shop online during their lunch break or while they’re having a coffee walking down the street. It’s just too easy.

As mobile sales continue to trend upward in the coming years, the best way for your eCommerce site to get its share of the pie is with mobile app development. 

Why?

Well, shopping mobile apps are growing at a rate of 54% year-over-year. That’s the highest rate compared to any other app category.

Let me put that into perspective for you. The average year-over-year growth rate of mobile app usage across all industries is 6%. So shopping is a whopping 48% higher than the average.

Sometimes making a decision like this is as simple as reading in between the lines. 

Mobile sales are dominating the eCommerce world. The usage of shopping apps is growing faster than every other type of app on the market. So by default, you’ll know that eCommerce applications will contribute to mobile commerce sales. 

2. Consumers Prefer Mobile Applications

Are you currently generating eCommerce sales from mobile devices without a mobile app? I’m going to assume the answer is yes.

Some of you may look at that data and be satisfied knowing that you’re reaching a smartphone and tablet users with your mobile site. But you’re just barely scratching the surface. 

Don’t get me wrong. Whether you have an app or not, a mobile-friendly website is absolutely necessary. In fact, 85% of people say that a website should look as good or look even better than its desktop version. 

Furthermore, 88% of consumers are less likely to return to a mobile site after a bad experience. 47% of people expect a mobile site to load in 2 seconds or less.

So having a user-friendly mobile site is definitely the first step toward generating eCommerce sales from mobile users. But at the end of the day, the following statistic is what matters most:

78% of consumers would rather use an app to buy from an eCommerce shop than a mobile website. That’s right—78%.

Let that sink in. This means that if you’re currently getting 100 mobile transactions per week, roughly 80 of those people would rather buy from your native app. And those are your existing customers. Imagine how many people you’re neglecting because you don’t have an app. 

Here are the top reasons why people prefer mobile apps over mobile websites.

Convenience and speed are the top two reasons. Overall, mobile apps just offer a better shopping experience. 

Look at the habits in your own life. When you go to buy something for yourself online, would you rather buy from a website or from an app?

No matter how fast or responsive a mobile website might be, an app’s functionality will always provide a more optimized user experience. 

So if you’re eCommerce site doesn’t have a mobile app, you’re neglecting the majority of the market while providing a less than optimal experience for your existing customers. This holds true even if you’re using a reputable ecommerce platform like Shopify or Magento. An app builder will take your online store to the next level.

3. Gain a Competitive Advantage

This piggybacks off of my last point. Right now, without a mobile app, your eCommerce website is at a disadvantage. 

Customers would rather shop from mobile apps, so it’s only a matter of time before they stop buying from your mobile site altogether. The fact that you’re still getting any mobile sales right now is fortunate, but it won’t last forever. 

On the flip side, being an early mover and building an eCommerce mobile app will give you an advantage over other websites without one. 

If a consumer is torn between your site and a competitor site, the app will give them a reason to lean towards buying from you. 

I know what some of you are thinking because I’ve heard it before from other business owners. You don’t think that your biggest competitors have a mobile app, so there’s no reason for you to rush into getting one. You’ll just focus on making a better website than your competition for now.

Unfortunately, that’s the wrong mentality. 

I don’t mean to be blunt, but you’re crazy if you don’t think your competition has a mobile app. 

Right now, every eCommerce retailer on the planet is competing with Amazon. You can basically buy everything under the sun from them. In the United States alone, 95 million people have an Amazon Prime membership. 

Sure—Amazon might not carry your branded products. But how unique are you? Can a customer get something similar from another brand on Amazon’s app? Probably.

So anytime someone visits your site, they’ll always have the “Amazon experience” in mind. If you’re unable to meet those standards, then the customer won’t have a reason to buy from you.

The only way to truly replicate this shopping experience is with a mobile commerce app.

Here’s something else to keep in mind. A mobile app will give you a competitive advantage today, but that won’t be the case forever. In the coming years, everyone will have a mobile commerce app. So it’s in your best interest to create one now, that way you’ll have a head start on everyone else who was late to the party. 

4. Higher Conversion Rates

Let’s get back to the numbers. At the end of the day, everything you do needs to boost your KPIs, and ultimately benefit your bottom line.

Tracking conversions is a great place to start. Let’s take a look at the difference between mobile app conversions and mobile website conversions. 

When you look at these numbers side-by-side, the app is obviously the clear winner.

Consumers view 286% more products and add items to their shopping cart at an 85% higher rate when they’re shopping from an app as opposed to a mobile browser. 

This is great because it translates to better exposure for your brand and products. A customer may decide that they want more than they initially came for, but we’ll talk about that in greater detail later on.

Products viewed per session and add-to-cart rates are awesome, but the only thing that really matters is conversions.

Well, as you can see from the graphic, mobile apps convert at a 130% higher rate than mobile websites. 

Imagine how much more money you can make by instantly increasing conversion rates by 130%. That doesn’t even include how many more customers you’ll have once your app is live.

The bottom line is simple. More conversions translate to more dollars, and mobile apps drive higher conversion rates. 

5. Improve Marketing Communication

When you’re considering a big decision for your business, it’s easy to let the sales metrics get you excited. While a mobile app for your eCommerce shop definitely won’t disappoint when it comes to sales, this platform goes far and beyond that.

Mobile apps are a dream for marketers. By improving your marketing campaigns, you’ll ultimately be able to generate even more profits from your current and prospective customers.

Without a mobile app, you need to rely on your customers navigating directly to your website in order to have any chance of driving conversions. 

But how often does the same person really need to come back to your website? Even your best customers won’t need to buy something every day or even every week. 

So you spend marketing dollars on email communication and social media campaigns to try and reach your customer base on other channels. But with a mobile app, you’ll have a better way to communicate with your customers—push notifications.  

Take a look at the engagement rates of push notifications compared to traditional email marketing. 

60% of users open a push notification, compared to just 20% of emails. Once the message is opened, 40% of people click or have an interaction with a push notification compared to just 5.4% of emails.

Clearly, push notifications are a better way to connect with your customers. That’s because the user doesn’t have to do anything. 

To reach a customer via social media, you need to rely on them using that social platform, seeing your post or advertisement, navigating to your website, and then get them to convert from there. It’s just too many steps.

The same goes for email communication. A person must sign up to receive emails from you, then open your message, consume the content and click a link just to get to your website. 

With push notification, a message will appear directly on a user’s home screen, just like a text. When that message gets opened, the user will be directed straight to the app, so it’s much easier for them to buy. 

6. Increase Average Order Value

We’ve already established that a mobile app improves the user experience and increases conversion rates as well. But those aren’t the only monetary benefits of building an app for your eCommerce site.

A mobile app will also boost your average order value (AOV). 

Considering we’ve previously talked about how more products are viewed per session on mobile apps, this makes sense. 

It’s easier for people to browse when they are shopping from a mobile app. This gives them more of an opportunity to see what you’re offering. 

Mobile apps have a higher average order value than both mobile browsers and desktop screens.

Increasing your AOV by $10 is huge. To keep things simple, let’s just say you currently have 1,000 mobile transactions per month.

Increasing your AOV by $10 would translate to an additional $10,000 per month and $120,000 per year. That’s without factoring in the increased number of transactions you’ll get from a mobile app. So in reality, that number should be even higher. 

7. Create a Personalized Shopping Experience

Personalization is a crucial component of eCommerce success. Some of you might already be using personalized tactics to drive eCommerce sales. 

For example, when a customer signs up to receive emails from your business, you might segment them into a category based on factors like their age, gender, or location. Then you can send them targeted emails to improve their experience.

Or when a user visits your website, you can personalize the homepage based on their location. If you sell clothing, a customer shopping from New York City in December shouldn’t be seeing bathing suits, but a customer in Miami could.

These are some basic tactics that are used by the majority of eCommerce websites.

An eCommerce mobile app takes personalization to the next level. With an app, you’ll be able to track the user’s browsing and purchase history to offer custom recommendations. 

This is possible from a website as well, but it’s reliant on the customer always being logged in, so it’s much easier to accomplish from an app. 

63% of consumers want a personalized experience when they’re shopping online. This figure is up from 57% just two years ago. So overall, this is another upward trend. 

You can combine this personalization strategy with your push notification campaigns, which we talked about earlier. Rather than sending the same push notification to everyone with your mcommerce app, you can send targeted notifications based on a user’s preferences.

An app makes it easy for a customer to have access to their entire purchase history, which makes it possible for them to quickly reorder repeat purchases. These customer profiles can also be used to track customer rewards, which I’ll talk about in greater detail next.

9. Increase Customer Loyalty

A great way to get your customers to spend more money is by implementing a customer loyalty program. By having an eCommerce mobile app, it increases the chances that your customers will participate in this type of program. 

Furthermore, consumers are 82% more likely to shop from sites that offer loyalty programs.

This is something that you should definitely take advantage of. An app allows customers to see their status within a program in real-time, which relates back to our previous point about personalization. 

A loyalty program gives your customers an incentive to spend more money to reach their next reward. Here are a couple of examples to show you what I mean.

One way to set up your loyalty program is based on transactions. You can think of it as a virtual punch card. Order something from the app 5 times, and get a discount on your 6th purchase.

Another way to implement a loyalty program is to reward customers based on how much they spend in a given time period. Customers who spend $500 in a year will get some type of reward or benefit. Customers who spend $1,000 in a year will get even more rewards.

Psychologically, this encourages people to increase their average order value as well as their purchase frequency in order to reach the next spending tier. 

Some of you might already have a loyalty program on your website. But running the same promotion through a mobile app will be even more effective. 

8. Reduce Cart Abandonment Rates

Shopping cart abandonment is a major problem for eCommerce businesses. It’s one of the most important KPIs that you should be tracking. 

The reason why cart abandonment is so frustrating is because the customer is usually just one or two clicks away from finalizing the purchase. So what went wrong?

These are some of the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment.

  • Extra costs like shipping and taxes — 60%
  • Being forced to create an account — 37%
  • Long and complicated checkout process — 28%
  • Couldn’t see or calculate the total cost — 23%
  • Website crashed or had errors — 20%
  • Didn’t trust site with credit card information — 19%

Aside from money, the most common reasons for cart abandonment are related to user experience. But mobile apps eliminate those problems. 

As you can see, mobile apps have the lowest cart abandonment rate compared to mobile websites and desktop sites.

Ecommerce mobile apps reduce friction in the checkout process. Once a customer buys something, all of their preferences are saved in the settings of the app.

So when it comes time to buy something again, they won’t have to manually type in their name, shipping address, and billing information. The entire purchase process can be completed in just a couple of clicks. 

Mobile apps make it easier for you to accept alternative payment methods as well. Examples of popular mobile payment options include Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal. If you integrate these methods into your checkout page, a user can buy something just by scanning their fingerprint. 

Each additional step in the checkout process gives the customer a chance to abandon their cart. By reducing the number of steps with a mobile app, you’ll keep abandonment rates low.

This payment gateway technology is available in iOS and Android apps alike, so people can access your app from both app stores. 

10. Offer Enhanced Customer Service

People will spend more money on better customer service. In fact, 73% of retail consumers say they are encouraged to shop longer and spend more money after a good customer service experience.

So this is something that you should address when you’re designing your mcommerce mobile app.

Make it easy for customers to find your contact information. Rather than forcing them to navigate to your website or search for you on Google, offer a simple “call us” button directly in the app. 

You can even implement live chat support directly through the app as well. 

Allow your customers to track their orders, from the moment something is purchased until the second it’s delivered to their front door. 

While this is also possible from a mobile website, the UX will be significantly better if it’s facilitated in an app. A mobile site won’t be as responsive to something this resource-intensive. 

11. Increase Retention Rates

Any time you’re able to generate eCommerce sales you should be very happy. But with that said, sales don’t tell the whole story.

How many of your sales come from repeat customers? 

Studies show that attracting new customers can be up to 25 times more expensive than selling to an existing one. But increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%. 

Take a look at the average eCommerce mobile app retention rates. 

38% of users return to an eCommerce app 11 times or more after they download it. There’s a good chance that they’ll be buying on multiple occasions during those 11+ visits. 

Mobile users return to the app frequently as well.

In fact, there is a 50% chance that a mobile user will return to an eCommerce mobile app within 30 days of buying something. 

Even if a user isn’t coming back to the app as much as you’d like to see, you can always use push notifications to bring them back. Offer a flash sale or exclusive deal to encourage users to buy from your app. You won’t have these same opportunities from a desktop site or mobile site. 

Conclusion

Your eCommerce store needs a mobile app. 

The numbers speak for themselves. I’ve given you 11 data-driven reasons why this needs to be a priority for all eCommerce shops. Here’s a recap of some of the most important KPIs.

  • Increased conversions
  • Higher average order value
  • Reduced abandonment rates
  • Higher retention rates

I don’t know one eCommerce store owner that doesn’t want to improve these metrics. 

Furthermore, consumers prefer mobile apps. This is a reality that can no longer be ignored. 

Now that you understand why an app is so important for your eCommerce business, it’s time to take action. If you’ve never built an app before, this might sound a little intimidating.

But building an app is easier than you think. You can create an eCommerce mobile app using BuildFire without writing any code. Our platform makes it easy for anyone to build an app, regardless of their technical skill level. 

If you need some help or want us to build it for you, just reach out and let us know. We’ll be happy to offer you as much assistance as you need. 

How to Increase Shopify Sales With a Mobile App

Shopify has quickly become one of the world’s most popular eCommerce platforms. It powers more than one million businesses across the globe.

In fact, Shopify controls 31% of the total eCommerce market share in the United States. 

It’s the most searched for eCommerce solution on Google, and the fastest-growing eCommerce platform in existence at the moment. So if you’re currently using Shopify to sell online, you’ve definitely made the right choice.

As a Shopify store manager, it’s your responsibility to make sure that products are selling. 

Having an eCommerce website is a good start, but it’s not enough to maximize the potential of your online store. A website alone, even if it’s mobile-friendly, is just the tip of the iceberg.

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling or what industry you’re in; your Shopify store needs a mobile app. 

There is a common misconception out there that mobile commerce apps are only used by enterprise stores and global chains. That’s a myth, and couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

The market dictates mobile app usage, and consumers worldwide prefer to shop via mobile apps. So any small or medium-sized business will benefit from a mobile commerce app as well.

You may not realize it, but your Shopify store is competing with big brands like Amazon. These companies have set certain expectations in the minds of your customers. So to stay competitive and reach as many people as possible, your Shopify store must adapt and launch an app.

As an expert in the mobile space, I created this guide to explain exactly how you can leverage a mobile app to boost Shopify sales. 

Push Notifications

One of the most significant advantages of a mobile commerce app is the ability to stay in contact with your customers. Communication is limited on a Shopify web store on its own.

Right now, you’re probably relying on email to reach shoppers. But lots of factors need to go your way in order for an email campaign to be successful.

First, you need to turn website visitors into email subscribers. That’s easier said than done. It usually requires a visitor to take at least a couple of steps to complete the process. If someone buys a product from your Shopify store, you might give them an option to automatically opt-in to emails, but some customers won’t go for that. 

Once someone joins your email list, communication still isn’t promised. Your emails need to be delivered and opened by the recipients. 

Considering the average person receives 121 emails per day, there is no guarantee that this will happen. 

That’s where push notifications come into play. To communicate with customers via push notifications, all they need to do is download your app from the app store.

In terms of engagement, push notifications beat emails in every category. 

That’s because push notifications appear on a user’s mobile device similar to a text message. The chances of them reading it and opening the message are much higher than a promotional email buried in someone’s inbox.

While you should definitely be using push notifications to drive Shopify sales, just make sure you do so with caution. Sending too many messages can be annoying, and it’s one of the reasons why users mute push notifications. 

As a Shopify store owner, you should only send push notifications that add real value to app users. 

  • Flash sales
  • Discount codes
  • Delivery notifications

These are ideal examples of what you should be using. Just saying hello or sending a weekly newsletter as a push notification won’t be effective and could ultimately backfire. 

Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are one of the best ways to retain your customers. 

A loyalty program gives people an incentive to spend more money and increase their shopping frequency. Both of these metrics will boost sales of your Shopify store. 

Can you have a customer loyalty program without a mobile app? Absolutely. But an app will really take your program to the next level. Here’s why.

For starters, it’s unlikely that your customers will visit your website on a daily basis. Even your best customers may only online buy from your Shopify store once or twice per month. They probably aren’t eager to check their loyalty status if they need to land on your website, log in, and navigate to their customer profile. So the program almost becomes an afterthought.

However, your customers use their phones every day. Your app is just a click away at any given moment. This makes it easy for them to track their status and gives them an incentive to reach the next level.

Take a look at some of the top reasons why people continue to participate in loyalty programs. 

Nearly 50% of people said that they participate because the program is accessible through a mobile app. 

If you look at all of the top mobile commerce apps on the market today, they all have customer loyalty programs. A simple mobile app builder, like BuildFire, has plugins that provide customer loyalty functionality for native mobile apps. This will be an easy way for you to drive customer engagement. 

I recently wrote an article about Sephora’s app and customer loyalty program. They took an old loyalty program and revamped it to drive sales and conversions on their app. You can follow their lead and take the same approach for your eCommerce app. Alternatively, you can create a loyalty program with full customization. 

Flexible Payment Options

With a mobile app, you can give your customers more choices when it comes time to collect payments. Don’t assume that everyone buying from your Shopify store has Visa or Mastercard.

You need to offer as many different payment options as possible. This will improve your conversion rates at checkout.

More than half of all checkouts on Shopify come from a mobile device. 

But 30% of mobile shoppers won’t complete the purchase process if the experience isn’t optimized for their device. An app is by far the best way to optimize mobile checkouts.

If you create an app for your Shopify store, it’s much easier for you to add different payment options to accommodate the preferences of mobile shoppers. 

  • All major credit cards
  • All debit cards
  • Gift cards
  • PayPal
  • Venmo
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay

Lots of users already have these payment apps on their mobile iOS and Android devices. You can integrate checkout functionality and payment gateways with your app, which allows users to checkout as fast as possible. Sometimes they’ll just need a fingerprint to convert. 

One-Click Purchasing

This piggybacks off my last point in terms of speed and optimization in the checkout process. Mobile apps have changed the way people shop with one-click purchasing.

Think about your current checkout process. What steps does a customer need to take if they want to buy something?

I’m guessing the process looks something like this:

  1. Find product
  2. Add product to cart
  3. Navigate to cart
  4. Enter name
  5. Provider contact information (email, phone number)
  6. Enter email address
  7. Provide billing information
  8. Enter shipping information
  9. Finalize checkout

That’s a lot of steps. With each added step, it gives your customers an opportunity to change their minds, get frustrated, or make a mistake causing them to abandon the process. 

We have already established that nearly 60% of all Shopify sales come from mobile devices. So if you don’t have an app, then you’re forcing your customers to buy from your mobile site. Going through this checkout procedure on a small screen is tedious, and won’t result in high conversion rates.

Take a look at the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment. 

Aside from the cost, the two most common pain-points were related to speed and optimization. 

34% of customers abandon their purchase because the site forces them to create an account. So while you may be able to eliminate some of those steps in the future by having your customers create an account today, one-third of them still won’t convert.

26% of shoppers don’t buy because the checkout process is too long and complicated. 

Imagine that. Someone wants to buy what you’re selling. They add it to their cart but decide that it’s too much of a hassle for them to buy it. 

The solution is simple—one-click purchasing with a mobile app.

Amazon was the pioneer behind this trend. But it’s now widely used by eCommerce retailers worldwide. All you need to do is put some form of a “Buy Now” button directly on your product pages.

This skips the complicated checkout and need for customers to enter tons of information into form fields, which is a hassle from mobile devices. Users will already have their name, contact info, shipping details, and payment method saved on their customer profile within the app.

Checkouts can be completed in a matter of seconds, which will increase your conversion rates and decrease abandonment rates. You could even use this technology to experiment with your pricing strategy. 

Referrals

Lots of eCommerce businesses have some type of referral program. But not all of those programs are successful. 

The best way to implement a customer referral program is with a mobile app. Here’s why.

First, you need to offer an incentive for your customers to recommend your brand to other people. Monetary benefits will likely be the most successful. Something along the lines of a “give $20, get $20” campaign usually does the trick. Obviously, you can customize this to fit with your brand image.

Once the promotion is determined, you need to figure out how customers are going to share the offer with their friends. Without an app, this is complicated.

From a website, users will be forced to manually enter the names, phone numbers, or email addresses of people who they want to refer to. That’s not very practical, and most people will probably skip it. 

Here’s the thing. The majority of customers are willing to give referrals, but only a fraction of them actually do it. 

Mobile apps make it much easier for users to give referrals because an app can integrate with a user’s contact list. All they have to do is select the names of people that they want to refer. 

App development ultimately increases the chances that customers will send out mass referrals.

Mobile apps also integrate with social media platforms, so your customers can share promo codes directly on their profiles as well. 

At the end of the day, optimizing your referral program can drive a considerable boost in your sales. 92% of consumers trust recommendations from someone they know. So if a friend tells them about your brand, there is a good chance they will at least check you out.

That’s not all. A customer who has been referred to your brand is up to five times more likely to refer new customers. So you’re also boosting customer retention.

This will create a constant cycle of new referrals, which keeps your customer acquisition costs low and ROI high. 

Location-Based Promotions

The most successful promotions are relevant. You might be offering a great deal or discount, but if it’s not closely connected or appropriate for your customers, then it’s useless.

Earlier we discussed push notifications as a way to send offers to mobile app users. This is a benefit that you won’t get with a website alone. 

You can use your Shopify mobile app to leverage geofencing technology to deliver relevant promotions. Let me explain how this works. 

You can set up your app to integrate with the GPS on iOS and Android devices. So when a user enters a predetermined barrier within a location, you can automatically send them a push notification with a relevant offer. 

Let’s say one of your customers enters the lobby of a ski resort. You can instantly send a notification to their iphone about cold-weather gear. If a user walks by the beach, send them an offer for discounted sunscreen, sunglasses, or bathing suits. You get the idea. 

In addition to push notifications, you can also use a customer’s location to personalize the content they see when browsing on your Shopify app. 

For example, let’s say a customer with your app is located in Miami. It doesn’t make sense for snow boots to appear on their homepage. 

Using location-based services can improve the user experience and deliver relevant promotions in real-time. This increases the chances that mobile users will buy from your Shopify store app. 

Improve Customer Convenience 

Every decision you make to improve your Shopify store needs to be based on the customer. Even if something is a bit more challenging or strenuous on your end, you can always make it work if it’s what the customer prefers. 

At the end of the day, customers prefer mobile apps over mobile websites. 

The number one reason why customers like apps better than websites for retail purchases is convenience. Beyond that, the other top benefits on the graph above are related to:

  • Speed
  • Stored settings
  • Benefits and rewards
  • Personalized content
  • Better deals

All of these reasons can be connected to the topics that we’ve already discussed in this guide. 

You can’t mimic or recreate these benefits from a website or even from a mobile site. The customer experience will always be better from a mobile app. 

When customers are happy, their shopping frequency increases and they spend more money per purchase. Mobile sales can easily cover the initial investment of creating an app for your Shopify store.

Enhanced Customer Service

Let’s continue talking about how the app benefits your customers. In addition to making things more convenient for people, a mobile commerce app allows you to provide better customer service. 

Customers can track the status of an order directly in the app once they complete the purchase process. They’ll see updates on when the order has shipped, and have access to the tracking information as well. You can even send them a notification when the shipment has been delivered.

Without an app, tracking a delivery can be a pain. You’re forced to send a separate email with the third-party tracking number. Customers must open that email, copy the number, open a new tab for the carrier’s website, paste the number, and then search for it. This isn’t practical.

But from an app, they can view the status of an order and shipment in just seconds with a couple of clicks.

Beyond that, you can also offer enhanced customer support directly in the app. If a customer has a question, your app can facilitate live chat with a customer service representative. 

Customers can submit inquiries or start support tickets within the app as well. 

Obviously, you don’t want to encourage customer returns. But with that said, returns are just part of being in the eCommerce business. So you might as well make them as easy as possible for your customers.

Follow the example of successful retail giants in the eCommerce space. Amazon uses its app to facilitate simple returns by generating a QR code. Customers just have to bring the item to a shipment center or UPS store and get the code scanned directly from the app.

The customer doesn’t have to worry about printing labels or packaging anything. They just bring the item and smartphone to a shipping center. Returns don’t get much easier than that. 

If your return process causes headaches for your customers, then they probably won’t buy from you again. But if you make this process simple, people will still be willing to buy from your Shopify store in the future, even if they weren’t satisfied with their initial purchase. 

Personalization

We briefly talked about this earlier when discussing payment methods and location-based promotions. But personalization is worth mentioning again on its own.

63% of customers want personalized recommendations from retailers. 

App development is the best way to give people exactly what they need. Apps make it easy to leverage AI technology. 

This type of technology will monitor the actions of users as they interact with your app. Based on their browsing behavior and purchase history, your app can automatically recommend relevant products to each unique customer. 

When a customer sees a relevant product suggestion, it increases the chances that they’ll buy it. Personalized recommendations are a great way to upsell and cross-sell mobile app users.

Either way, the end result will be an increase in your total sales. 

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is another top trend in the technology world. This may not be for everyone, but some of you can definitely benefit from using AR to drive sales on your mobile app. 

Here’s how AR works. The app uses the device’s camera to project potential purchases in real-world scenarios on the screen. 

IKEA uses this feature to help its app users determine how furniture will look in their actual homes.

eCommerce mobile app

So if you’re selling anything that belongs in someone’s home, such as lamps, paintings, or wall hanging items, you could use this technology.

There are other ways to get creative with AR as well. 

Let’s say your Shopify store sells custom clothing. You can use a mobile app to help create a specialized, tailored fit for your customers. AR can get a person’s measurements without needing to see an actual tailor. 

The technology behind these features is a bit complex, but the opportunity is still there. 

Conclusion

Even if your Shopify store is doing well right now, it hasn’t reached its full potential if you don’t have a mobile app. 

The majority of Shopify sales come from mobile devices. So if you can’t adapt to this trend now, it could create big problems for your eCommerce business in the future. 

A mobile app gives you more opportunities to drive sales than a website ever could. 

You’ll be able to communicate with your customers using push notifications and location-based promotions. Loyalty programs and referrals are easier to implement on an app as well. Apps optimize the checkout process and make it easy for customers to buy using their preferred payment method. 

You’ve already made the right choice by using Shopify to power your eCommerce platform. Now it’s time to take that strategy to the next level by building a mobile commerce app.

If you want to increase Shopify sales, use BuildFire’s app development solution for your eCommerce store.

 

11 Ecommerce Marketing Trends of 2021

With 2020 coming to a close, it’s the perfect time for us to take a look at the ecommerce trends that will dominate the new year.

As a marketing director or Shopify store owner, you always need to keep your finger on the pulse.

That’s because the landscape of the ecommerce industry is constantly evolving. Consumer buying habits have changed. So your sales strategy from back in 2015 won’t necessarily work on your ecommerce website today.

But once you’re able to recognize the latest trends, it will be much easier for you to adapt your sales and marketing strategies accordingly. That’s what inspired me to write this guide.

I’ve taken the time to research and analyze the latest ecommerce tendencies of 2021.

Based on the data that I’ve found, I’m expecting these trends to continue throughout the second half of the year as well.

1. Increased conversion rates

Conversion rates will always vary based on a wide range of factors.

  • Industry
  • Country
  • Product
  • Traffic source
  • Device

These are just a few categories of how conversions are measured in terms of averages and benchmarks.

For example, according to research from Growcode, the average ecommerce conversion rate for the arts and crafts industry is 3.83%. Whereas the baby and child industry has 0.84% conversion rate. Germany’s ecommerce conversion rate is 2.22% and Italy’s is 0.99%.

But with that said, the overall ecommerce conversion rates across the globe are rising.

2018 vs 2019 conversion rates

As you can see, the conversion rates for each of the first four months of 2019 were higher than those same months in 2018.

Global conversion rates in April 2019 were 14.82% higher than the previous year.

Increased conversion rates translate to higher sales. Ecommerce sales in April of this year were 20% higher than April of last year.

What does this mean for your ecommerce shop or Shopify store?

First of all, it’s encouraging news. Ecommerce has become widely accepted by consumers worldwide.

But with that said, it’s still up to you to design a website and checkout process in a way that drives conversions. Websites and mobile apps with complex checkouts won’t benefit from high conversion rates.

This is something that you need to constantly be working to improve. Run A/B tests on every element of your website.

  • Features
  • Shopping cart functionality
  • Design
  • Color scheme
  • Images
  • CTA size
  • CTA wording
  • CTA placement

The list goes on and on. That’s what industry leaders do, and that’s why some companies have higher conversion rates than others.

For example, the top 25% of companies selling health and beauty products have a 5.24% conversion rate. But the median conversion rate for the health and beauty market as a whole is 3.08%.

Ecommerce conversion rate by product type

This graph clearly shows how the top players in each product category outperform their competitors. You can use this as a benchmark to see where you stack up compared to other ecommerce sites in terms of your conversions.

2. Artificial intelligence

AI is on the rise in seemingly every industry. This technology is being used for such a wide range of purposes and applications.

But in the ecommerce world, AI chatbots are starting to become the new norm. Here’s an example of what a chatbot looks like on the Levi’s Jeans ecommerce site.

Levi's homepage

Unlike other chatbots, this one comes right out in the first message saying that it’s using AI. So there is never any doubt or deception that the customer isn’t speaking to an actual person.

Even if you don’t currently have a chatbot on your Shopify store, I’m sure you’ve seen these before when you’re browsing the web.

Adding it to your ecommerce shop will be extremely beneficial for both you and your customers.

For starters, 79% of consumers say they prefer live chat because they get their questions answered immediately. This makes sense, considering that live chat offers the fastest customer service response times compared to other methods.

Customer Service response times

Furthermore, live chat has a 73% customer satisfaction rate. This compares to 61%, 48%, and 44% for email, social media, and phone support, respectively.

Think about it. With chatbots, you don’t need to pay as many employees to answer the phone. Shorter wait times lead to higher customer satisfaction. Plus, chatbots can work 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. You don’t have to worry about giving AI vacation time or health benefits either.

That’s not all. 79% of businesses say that live chat has had a positive impact on their sales, revenue, and customer loyalty.

38% of consumers are more likely to buy from ecommerce sites that offer live chat. Customers who take advantage of live chat before buying have a 10% higher average order value.

Virgin Airlines saw a 24% boost in conversions after adding live chat to their website. Intuit benefited from a 43% increase in AOV once live chat was added to their checkout page.

So for those of you who aren’t currently using live chat, I strongly recommend that you implement this form of AI on your ecommerce site.

Experts predict that 85% of all customer support interactions will be handled without human contact by 2020. So if you don’t adjust to this trend now, your brand will be in the minority moving forward.

3. Mobile commerce

With ecommerce growing year-over-year, mobile commerce is following suit.

In the United States, mobile commerce sales have accounted for 44.7% of all ecommerce sales in 2019. That’s up more than 10% from just two years ago. By 2021, it’s expected that 54% of all ecommerce sales in the US will come from mobile devices.

These numbers are even more astonishing on a global scale.

Mobile ecommerce growth

According to Statista, mobile commerce holds 67% of ecommerce sales worldwide. Mobile commerce is expected to control 73% of the total ecommerce market by 2021.

Consumers no longer need to be on their computers to buy something from your ecommerce shop.

Look around. People seemingly have smartphones glued to their hands for every waking minute of the day. Take advantage of this.

A successful mobile commerce strategy goes far beyond an optimized mobile website.

Building a mobile app is the secret weapon for driving mobile commerce sales.

Conversion funnel by channel

Look at the data from the graph above.

When browsing from a mobile app, consumers viewed 286% more products and added items to their cart at an 85% higher rate, compared to mobile web browsers.

Mobile apps yield 130% higher conversion rates than mobile browsers.

Why?

Well, 90% of all mobile time is spent on apps. That’s just what customers have grown accustomed to.

Plus, apps are much more user-friendly. It’s easier for people to browse and make purchases from a UI standpoint.

When it’s time to check out, all of their information is saved.

  • Name
  • Shipping address
  • Credit card number
  • Phone number
  • Billing address

This is a pain to type out manually every time you want to buy something, especially from a smaller device without a full keyboard. Mobile apps have less friction, which yields higher conversions.

For those of you who aren’t prioritizing mobile sales yet, you will likely need to build a mobile app to truly make this strategy work. Mobile sites are still necessary, but alone, they just don’t get the job done.

4. Flexible payment options

The days of businesses only accepting Visa and Mastercard are over.

In addition to all major credit cards and debit cards, ecommerce shops are starting to accept alternative payment methods as well.

  • PayPal
  • Venmo
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Cryptocurrencies

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not like these methods have taken over and made credit cards obsolete. But alternative payment options are becoming more readily available for consumers who shop online.

leading payment methods 2018

As you can see, credit and debit cards are still leading the way.

But with that said, alternative payment methods made up 38% of all online transactions last year.

Here’s something else to consider. 45% of online payments came from stored credit cards, compared to just 17% that were entered manually.

This piggybacks off of our previous point about mobile commerce. If your ecommerce brand has a mobile app, it’s easy for you to securely store payment information for your customers. Then at checkout, they won’t have to manually enter anything. They’ll be able to complete the purchase with just a few clicks.

What does this mean for your ecommerce shop?

You need to make it a priority to accept as many payment methods as possible. I know that some cards, companies, or services, charge you more money; but it’s worth it in the long run.

The last thing you want to happen is for people to buy from one of your competitors because you don’t take their preferred payment method.

5. Voice search

The way that customers are browsing online is changing in 2021 as well. Voice search is at an all-time high, and continuing to rise.

According to The Verge, roughly 25% of American households own a smart speaker. 40% of those homes have multiple smart speakers.

Furthermore, 62% of people who own a smart speaker made their purchase in the last six months, meaning this trend is very new.

Here’s something else to consider. According to Google, 41% of adults and 55% of teenagers use voice search more than once per day.

Take a look at what people are using their smart speakers for.

what people ask their smart speakers to do

37% of people use their smart speakers for shopping, and 27% of smart speaker owners use their devices to actually buy something.

As smart speakers continue to grow in popularity, it’s only natural that shopping via voice search will follow the trend as well.

So if you have a Shopify store, you need to make sure that your site has been optimized for voice search.

optimize for voice search

As you can see above from this study by MOZ, voice searches are longer than traditional text search. This makes sense since it’s easier for people to talk than type.

Voice search also needs to be taken into consideration when it comes to mobile app accessibility, which has become the new must in mobile development.

6. Video

Videos absolutely need to be incorporated into your ecommerce site.

Pictures alone are no longer acceptable. A video can show more about your products than a picture ever could. Here’s why.

Roughly 50% of consumers say their biggest concern with online shopping is that their products don’t look the same when they are delivered, compared to their online perception. This creates unsatisfied customers and will lead to higher return rates instead of repeat orders.

It’s your job to alleviate any of those concerns and make the customer feel as comfortable as possible when they’re shopping.

69% of consumers say that product demonstrations help them make a buying decision. 80% of consumers have a higher buying confidence when they purchase a product after watching a video about it.

54% of people say they want to see more videos from brands.

Businesses have recognized this and adapted accordingly. 87% of brands now use videos for marketing purposes. With video marketing, 66% of businesses get more qualified leads.

So how can you use video to improve your ecommerce shop? Here’s a great example from Thule.

Thule homepage

Every product on their website has a video demonstration that’s included along with the photos on the product page. The example above is for a hiking backpack.

Pictures alone just can’t show all of the features. Customers wouldn’t know how to adjust straps, access hidden pockets, or attach the weather protector.

But the video makes all of this very clear.

Making these videos might be a bit more time consuming, but the benefits will definitely be worth it. The great part about video content is that you can repurpose it on all of your distribution channels. So start adding more product videos to your ecommerce site and mobile app.

7. Augmented reality

On the surface, the term augmented reality sounds so intimidating. But at the core, it’s really not that complex.

Essentially, AR helps your customers experience products better when they’re shopping online.

It gives shoppers a better sense of the details of your product with a 3D view, while simultaneously showing size and scale.

If you have a Shopify store, you can take advantage of the AR features offered by 3D Warehouse.

augmented reality

You can leverage this technology for your mobile app as well.

This is a great option for those of you who are in the home goods space. If you recall, earlier I shared a graph of ecommerce conversion rates by product type. Furniture ranked last on the list.

That’s because shopping online for something like a couch can be very challenging. But AR makes that process much easier.

AR technology allows customers to see what that couch would look like in their home. All they’d need to do is point the camera in the space where the furniture would be positioned. They’d have a greater sense of how the product would fit in the room, without having to take any actual measurements.

Ecommerce shops that offer this type of technology also let customers customize options based on things like color. So you could see what a black couch looks like in your living room compared to a white leather couch.

This type of technology isn’t really necessary for those of you who are selling something simple, such as a t-shirt. But there are definitely industries that can benefit from AR.

It’s also worth noting that 66% of consumers say they’re interested in using AR for online shopping purposes. So give those people the option that they’re looking for.

8. Customer personalization

Personalizing the customer experience drives sales.

Today, more than ever before, businesses are leveraging tools and technology to make this happen. They’re monitoring browsing behavior with cookies, and then using remarketing campaigns with Google PPC ads.

Websites give customers the option to create a profile so they can recommend products, and send targeted emails based on their purchase history.

Ecommerce shops personalize content based on location. If you sell clothing, a customer who lives in Hawaii shouldn’t have the same homepage as a customer who lives in New York during the winter.

74% of ecommerce marketers say that personalization tactics have a strong impact on conversion rates. 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that offer a personalized shopping experience.

Take a look at these other benefits of personalization.

customer personalization

Personalizing the user experience is going to be crucial for those of you who have plans to build a mobile app for your ecommerce shop.

With the app, you can store information about your customers. Then you can use that information to personalize everything they do.

Offer product recommendations. Create a customer loyalty program. Make it easy for your customers to track rewards, view their purchase history, or make repeat orders.

This is much better than just offering a cookie-cutter experience for every single person who visits your ecommerce shop.

9. Influencer marketing

Your ecommerce site doesn’t exist in a vacuum. So you can’t always rely on people navigating directly to your site or mobile app to make a purchase.

You need to have a presence on other channels, like social media, to market your brand.

This is nothing new. However, the way that ecommerce brands have been advertising through social media has evolved. Sponsored content in 2021 doesn’t look the same as it did in the years prior.

Influencer marketing has completely changed the game.

Essentially, businesses partner with people who have a high social media following. Then those people advertise products through their own channels and profiles.

Brands are putting more emphasis on working with micro-influencers. These are people who have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers, as opposed to celebrities with millions of followers.

First of all, working with micro influencers is much more cost-effective than partnering with a celebrity. Furthermore, micro influencers also have higher engagement rates.

influencer marketing

Your customers are more likely to trust micro influencers because they are perceived as normal people.

The average Joe can’t relate to people like Kanye West or Beyonce. But they can definitely relate to a regular guy who has a real job and just happens to have lots of followers on social media.

That’s why 30% of consumers are more likely to buy products that have been recommended by a non-celebrity influencer.

Influencer marketing is continuing to trend upward. In fact, this search term has grown by more than 1,500% over the past three years. 63% of businesses are planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets this year. As a whole, the influencer marketing industry will reach $10 billion by 2020.

10. Shoppable posts

Let’s continue our discussion about social media and its impact on ecommerce.

You can use your social platforms to directly drive sales to your ecommerce shop. All you need to do is integrate your Shopify store with your Instagram profile to set up shoppable posts.

shopify homepage

Here’s what you need to realize. You can’t expect your customers to visit your website or mobile app every day. That’s just unrealistic.

However, you can definitely expect them to be on social media daily.

With shoppable posts, you can tag products in your images, just like you would tag a person or another account. It’s that easy. You can set up shoppable stories as well.

60% of people use Instagram to discover new products. 75% of Instagram users take an action after viewing posts from brands.

Shoppable posts make this much easier for your current and prospective customers.

If they see something they like on your page, they won’t need to open a web browser, visit your website, and then search for it directly on there. That’s just too many steps.

It’s much easier for them to buy directly through shoppable posts. Plus, the Shopify integration makes it so easy for you to implement this as well.

11. D2C

Direct to consumer, better known as D2C, has also been on the rise in 2021.

Simply put, this ecommerce strategy cuts out the middleman. Here’s a visual representation of the differences between D2C and a traditional sales model.

traditional retailer vs direct to consumer

With D2C, the product goes straight from the manufacturer to the consumer, with your ecommerce site acting as the only medium between the two.

This process is simple and has become a great way for businesses to make more money since the overhead costs are significantly lower.

Ecommerce businesses don’t need to touch the products that they’re selling. This also reduces the risk in terms of buying too much inventory that can’t be sold.

Here’s a look at the future of D2C sales, according to research from eMarketer.

5 years trends d2c us consumers

This graph shows how consumers expect to purchase from D2C retailers in the next five years.

Businesses are pivoting away from the traditional sales model to D2C. Shopify dropshipping has become one of the biggest trends of 2021.

In fact, the search term for dropshipping reached an all-time high in August 2020, according to Google trends.

More businesses are starting to enter the ecommerce space because this method has made it easier than ever before. This means you can expect more competition. So you need to be sharp and follow the trends if you want to remain relevant.

Conclusion

These are the top 11 ecommerce trends that have taken over 2021.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, all of these trends have been backed up by research, facts, and statistics. Based on the data, it looks like everything on this list will continue trending upward as we close out the year and continue to remain relevant in 2020.

There are certain trends on this list that simply cannot be ignored. For those of you who haven’t been prioritizing mobile users, it’s time for you to leverage mobile apps increase your sales.

If you’ve never built an app before and need some assistance, we’d be happy to help. Here at BuildFire, we can help you design a high-converting mobile commerce app that compliments your ecommerce shop.

Make sure you keep an eye on these trends for the remainder of the year.

Mobile Ecommerce: Revenue, Usage, and Statistics (2021)

The Internet has changed the way that we consume.

Today, more than ever, buyers have the power to purchase items from virtually any retailer in the world. That’s why the ecommerce industry has been booming.

Advancements in technology are also changing how consumers behave and how they purchase products and services.

Look around you. It seems like everyone has a smartphone glued to their hands at all times.

So it’s no surprise that more than half of all Internet traffic comes from mobile devices.

But mobile users are doing much more than just using these devices to browse online. They are also using phones and tablets to buy.

In fact, 62% of people who own a smartphone have made a purchase using their device in the past six months.

Simply put, people are using mobile devices to buy.

From a business perspective, you need to recognize the latest mobile trends and adapt accordingly.

There are two main ways for consumers to make purchases from mobile devices. They can buy from mobile websites or directly from mobile applications.

Some of you may already have a mobile friendly website. But that’s just not enough.

You need to develop a mobile app to maximize your revenue opportunity.

Use the data and statistics that I’ve researched in this post to help you make an informed decision about going mobile or launching a mobile app for your ecommerce business. Continue reading “Mobile Ecommerce: Revenue, Usage, and Statistics (2021)”

13 M-Commerce App Features for Success

If you’ve got a business that offers the sale of goods through a mobile app, that’s great. You’re already on the right path to success.

You’ve recognized the latest technology trends and you understand that your current and prospective customers have gone mobile.

But just because you have a mobile app, you can’t automatically assume that it’s efficient.

There are certain features and elements that you need to include if you want to be successful.

For those of you that just built a mobile commerce app or you’re in the process of building one, you’ve come to the right place if you need some guidance. Even if you’ve had a mobile commerce app for a while, you can still use this guide as a reference to make improvements.

Sometimes just a few new or updated features can make a massive difference. As an industry expert, I’ve identified which features are the most important.

Here are the top 13 most common features that all successful mobile commerce apps have.  Learn from these examples and apply them to your own app if you want to have the same success.

Continue reading “13 M-Commerce App Features for Success”

Simple and Crazy Effective Ecommerce Mobile Revenue Hack

Your ecommerce business finally launched a mobile application.

It’s a big day.

All your time, effort, and money has finally paid off – or has it?

If you can’t get people to download your app, then it’s not going to make you any money.

But maybe downloads aren’t your problem.

You may see your download numbers rise while your revenue stream stays stagnant.

Frustrated. Disheartened. Worried.

If you’re feeling these emotions because your app isn’t performing the way you thought it would, don’t get discouraged just yet.

As an industry expert, I can teach you super effective hacks that will give your mobile platform sky-high results on your bottom line.

Even if you’re a complete newbie, my strategies and techniques are easy to understand and follow.

Here’s what you need to do.

Continue reading “Simple and Crazy Effective Ecommerce Mobile Revenue Hack”