The upward trend makes complete sense, too. Think about it: Someone about to go home from work might be thinking about buying something from your online store. If they only have the option to buy through a computer they would have to wait through traffic or on the train until they get home. All of this time brings up thoughts of why they should hold off until later or not buy at all. Or they might simply forget. But a mobile app provides customers the opportunity to buy products while sitting on a train or bus, or even in the back of a car if they’re carpooling or taking an Uber. In short, the mobile commerce trend continues to grow, so let’s take a look at what to expect from mobile commerce in 2017 and beyond.
Direct Messages for Feedback
We expect to see far more direct messaging features in the near future. You can already send text messages through your phone, so why not the ability for a quick live chat in a mobile app? This would come in handy after a customer makes a purchase. They may not be sure about whether or not the transaction went through. Therefore, they can send your company a quick message and receive a reply faster than email.
Mobile Apps With Voice Control Features
With voice control services like Alexa and Siri, it’s clear that some consumers would rather talk into their phone to complete tasks. These tools have proven to be rather useful, so there’s no reason to assume they won’t get integrated into mobile commerce apps. Alexa already lets you buy products by talking into a speaker, so smaller businesses could take advantage of this technology so customers don’t have to click around on your app or website.
NFC-enabled Payment Options
NFC, or near field communication, lets two devices communicate as long as they’re within range. Apple Wallet is a good example of this, allowing people to make payments by tapping their phone to a receiver at the register. NFC-enabled payments provide more ways for customers to make their payments, and the businesses can streamline the transaction process.
Customer Support Chat Before Buying
This ties into the direct messages for feedback. After all, direct in-app messaging shouldn’t be limited to the post-sale situations. Customer support is most often needed prior to the sale, so we expect to see text message-like interfaces for asking immediate questions about certain products. The company would see what the customer was looking at to minimize the number of questions needed.
Multiple Purchasing Options
Amazon has made news with potential drone delivery and the prospect of walking into a grocery store, loading up your cart and walking out without going to a cashier. Customers are looking for more payment options with mobile apps, and small businesses can take advantage as well. For example, you might consider having an option for ordering online but picking up in-store. Pre-ordering is also a popular tool in restaurant mobile apps, pitching that customers can skip lines when they come to pick up their food.
Over to You…
Some of the trends we talked about above have already made their way into the mobile world. However, all are expected to flourish, or at least get a test run to see how they work. Although your small business might not be the one to bring these features to market, it’s nice to understand the potential changes that are going to occur in the future. This way you can adapt when the right features come along and try to stay one step ahead of your competition.
If you have any questions about mobile commerce in the future, let us know in the comments section below.
Joe Warnimont is a freelance tech writer who enjoys playing around with WordPress and his personal Write With Warnimont blog. When not testing new apps and gadgets, he’s brushing up on his German or riding his bike in Chicago.