Mobile commerce has great potential to skyrocket revenues. Source: Shutterstock.

Mobile commerce has great potential to skyrocket revenues. Source: Shutterstock.

Tapping into the app: How retailers can up their mobile commerce game

SINCE the advent of digitization, the business world has seen much change.

The nature of various industries has evolved, adopting new technologies and morphing into forms that best caters to the needs and wants of consumers.

The retail industry is no different. Today’s retail is being brought online, especially to mobile devices. Consumers can now ‘shop from a screen’, and are increasingly doing so, especially with cheap data plans.

With this convenience, it is unsurprising that out of the projected US$179 billion growth of the US e-commerce market by 2022, 50 percent will be driven by mobile commerce.

To harness the potential of mobile commerce, retailers can consider the following:

# 1 | Build a user-friendly mobile app

Having a user-friendly mobile app is critical in retaining a consumer’s attention, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

Apps, however, are often outdated and overcomplicated. This is understandable; the upkeep of developed apps can be costly, time-consuming, and tedious. Yet, the reality is that this puts off the consumer.

Thus, retailers can consider stripping the app back, and focus on converting browsing shoppers to buyers with an easy to use and personalized app. It is easy to lose this focus when retailers attempt to integrate other technologies like augmented reality into their app on the get-go.

Once a basic app is up and running, retailers can then consider adding technologies such as chatbots to enhance the shopping experience.

Start with building a basic and effective app, and these ‘fancy’ features can follow after.

Take Sephora as an example. Its basic mobile app was initially developed to enhance the shopping experience, and only had minimal features like reviews and ratings.

Over a decade, however, it has evolved and now features augmented reality and machine learning to help shoppers select the right make-up. They have more than 25 million loyal customers.

# 2 | Focus on the purpose

Today’s consumer is purpose-driven. With a purposeful mobile strategy, there is no need for a complex IT infrastructure to retain customer loyalty.

Depop, the creative community’s mobile marketplace, has a clear purpose. It banked in on a generation’s yearning to be an ‘influencer’, and created an app that is creative, user-friendly, and can seamlessly transact.

As seen from its user base of over 13 million, having a purpose is paying off.

# 3 | Leverage 5G technology

In terms of connectivity speed, 5G has placed mobile devices on par with desktops. The broadened bandwidth, low latency, and increased security allow for high-caliber mobile apps to be built.

5G capabilities can support heavy-duty AI and VR capabilities, allowing for the complete digitization of a brand.

Thus, retailers ought to take advantage of this, and build apps that are 5G compatible, and leverages all 5G can offer.

The above mentioned are just some of the many ways that retailers can make the most out of the mobile-commerce market.

It will, without a doubt, require effort, and for some, this might even entail a drastic change in culture and vision. However, if retailers can pull through the tough initial stages, they will be sure to reap great rewards.