Shopping as we know it is evolving. This month in the world of app commerce we take a look at how mobile commerce (mcommerce) is changing and the potential implications for app commerce. We’ll also touch on the latest predictions for the upcoming holiday season and take a look at how in the run-up to Christmas grocery in app commerce is growing.
The way we consume most media and spend most of our digital time is via social media channels, and naturally in order for retailers to reach their consumers, the ability to shop through social has arisen. The decline of the high street has driven social channels to become the new storefronts.
One particular social channel fuelling the ecommerce fire is the photo-sharing platform, Instagram. One of the most effective ways in which Instagram is currently being used by retailers is to drive shoppers to their native retail app, or prompting customers to download the app. This serves as a great way to steer customers back to a shopping environment that retailers have full control of. Most recently Instagram has added a shopping tab to the Explore page and is even building a standalone app for shopping. Considering as many as ‘22% of UK consumers have purchased an item after seeing something on social media’, it’s surprising that Instagram shopping has been so slow on the uptake amongst retailers in the UK.
Retailers are doing well to promote brand awareness through Instagram, however, by selling through the platform, retailers start to lose control of the customer shopping journey. Under 8% of UK retailers are currently choosing to sell through Instagram shopping and this is likely because many retailers want to take ownership of the customer relationship and shopping journey. Selling through Instagram not only takes some of the shopping journey out of the retailer’s hands but will incur costs. One way retailers can take back ownership of the shopping journey is through native retail apps, allowing retailers to manage the entire shopping journey and relationship with the consumer.
So far, many types of retailers have seen success in app commerce, from fashion to furniture, but one sector slow to pick up the pace was groceries due to the nature of perishable goods, consumers tend to prefer to shop instore. This month the latest research from eMarketer has shown that grocery app usage will grow by 50% this year as consumers are becoming more comfortable shopping through apps. One study found that 44% of consumers had used a grocery app this year, up from 39% in 2017. This growth in comfort in using mobile to shop has grown so much so that mcommerce is predicted to overtake ecommerce transactions by 2019.
Holiday sales preparations are in full swing with November rapidly approaching. According to Akamai Technologies only retailers with a focus on mobile will survive, they need to ensure mobile shopping is made easy. The State of Retail Report by Akamai suggests that a focus on mobile apps is especially important as customers have a preference for convenience. The latest research from Salesforce, predicts that mcommerce will drive 68% of holiday ecommerce traffic and 46% of transactions, up 13% from 2017. Cyber Week is even expected to generate 40% of all ecommerce sales over the holidays.
Reported by Samantha Rigg