Photo courtesy of SimpleIllustrations via Flickr Creative Commons
Apart from being a day-to-day communication medium, mobile devices are being used today as an internet device for social networking, product research, and even purchasing goods. Last year, eMarketer forecasted an expected rise of 4.55 million global users of mobile devices this 2014. This is the very reason why many companies are now investing in mobile eCommerce (mCommerce) sites.
But, with the fast paced world of mobile technology, what can we expect from mCommerce’s future? In this feature post, we will give you an idea of the kind of services we can expect from mobile commerce sites in the near future based on the existing trends.
Imagine that you see a fashionable handbag used by a bypasser down the street. You took a picture of it and scan it with a dedicated mobile application in your smartphone and viola – your phone instantly directs you to a website where you can buy it. Though the idea is still in its infancy, the mobile image recognition (MIR) technology is already here. Google’s Goggles (a functional tool for Android-powered devices) can be used to scan barcodes of international merchandise and popular logos.
In line with this, Forbes reported that LTU Technologies has already launched LTU Mobile application last year to help their partners, Adidas and L’Oreal, to experiment and embed the MIR technology into their mobile apps. Their customers can now scan on their catalogues to purchase their products instantly from online stores. As of the moment, the technology is still limited to two-dimensional scanning, but it’s only a matter of time before 3D MIR scanning enters the scene.
Video Content In mCommerce
Guy Mucklow of Econsultancy has noticed that few businesses have already dabbled with the use of video content for mCommerce sites. The results were phenomenal, since retailers can incorporate rich media content in their consumer pages. With the advent of faster mobile internet broadband and 4G LTE, video clips are now easier to stream than before.
Wise Marketing has also seen the power of leveraging short movie clips as an effective means of engaging customers online, in the form of “advertisements, customer service videos, or how-to instructions.” If companies will realize its full potential, we will be experiencing a lot of it sooner than later.
Peer-To-Peer Sharing Is On The Rise
NFC (Near Field Communication) is a mobile technology that allows peer-to-peer file transferring and mobile payment transactions by tapping two NFC-capable devices together. Right now, numerous businesses are already leveraging the technology in their physical stores. An NFC-powered point-of-sale machine is used by their cashiers to accept payments from their customers’ mobile devices (where a credit card or a bank account is synced).
For mCommerce, we are looking forward to this new era of transaction, where shoppers can pay for their online purchases by tapping their NFC-enabled bank cards on their mobile devices when they are prompted to.
More Functional Mobile Apps
Alex Campbell, co-founder and chief innovation officer of Vibes, studied the existing mCommerce trends and wrote what he foresees in the future of mobile apps the inclusion of in-store personalization. Campbell reiterated that “apps will become personalized and more helpful in-store and will adapt based on a customer’s location.” Say for instance, you are using a retailer’s app named Brand X, the moment you will enter one of their physical stores, the app will present you with the following:
· In-store map or merchant locator
· Push notifications of deals and exclusive promos
· A tailored suggestion based on your past searches and purchases
This shouldn’t be a problem these days, with app development companies like Apptive that are offering solutions for businesses to create their very own mCommerce apps. For the in-store personalization, they can use Bluetooth-powered indoor positioning devices like Beacons to deliver a whole new way of user convenience to their store visitors.
Augmented Reality For Window Shopping
Augmented Reality (AR) will play a significant role in the future of this industry. Using an app configured with the device’s mobile camera, shoppers can try on a product without physically touching it. Some small enterprises are already leveraging the tool nowadays. Web-based jewelers Ice took advantage of the technology to let their customers try on a bracelet, necklace, or a pair of earrings. Though most of these companies are using PC websites to do the trick, it’s only a matter of time before they get ported to a mobile app.
Because of these innovations, Juniper Research estimates that in 2017, the value of mCommerce transactions is expected to reach 3.2 trillion dollars. What is your insight regarding the future of mCommerce?
This post was contributed by guest author Jennifer Birch
Jennifer Birch is a tech blogger with a background in commerce and app development. She attends various annual tech conferences and events to get the latest report on mobile innovations for businesses. Get the latest from Jenni via Google +.