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Smartphones and tablets are geared to become an increasingly important player in the world of eCommerce, and online retailers preparing for 2016 need to take notice. Traditionally used to peruse products before purchasing on desktop, mobile devices are coming into their own as buying tools. Here’s what the mobile shopping experience will look like in the future, and how online retailers can adapt to this shift towards mCommerce.
According to eMarketer, mobile devices have finally left behind the browsing stigma. Next year, 73.9% of US mobile shoppers are slated to use their smartphones or tablets to make a purchase, instead of just using them to research or compare prices. That percentage is expected to rise in the years to come as more consumers adapt to the new paradigm.
The uptick in mobile buyers may even start this year. In a recent survey of US adult internet users, 60% said they intend to increase their mobile buying activity this holiday shopping season. Popular items to purchase via mobile include holiday staples like entertainment, gifts, apparel and toys.
Why the increase in mobile purchases? For one thing, mobile wallets have become more popular. Annual mobile transaction volume is expected to reach up to $431.1 billion in 2015, and that number is predicted to shoot to $563.4 billion in 2016. Mobile wallets make it easy for users to store financial information on their devices and then use it to make purchases, so buying on mobile devices becomes a more appealing option. Also, as newer smartphones allow users to browse on larger screens, searching and buying on mobile will become even easier.
Since mobile purchasing is becoming more prevalent, make sure you know how your customers behave on those, and all other, devices. Cross-device tracking gives you a complete picture of your customers as they move across desktop, tablets and smartphones. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to make smarter decisions about your advertising spend and your targeting strategy.
Instagram advertising is the perfect marriage of retail and mobile. The photo sharing network is already a natural choice for ecommerce companies to show off their products. Now that Instagram is opening its API, users can click directly from an ad to the mobile site where they can purchase products. Online retailers who have not yet explored Instagram should seize this new advertising opportunity.
Consider installing a mobile SDK. That way you can automatically receive mobile ad tracking data back into campaign optimization and understand the lifetime value of new customers. That knowledge is key for guiding the direction of any future advertising campaigns and the first step in building a sustainable mobile strategy that will allow you to adjust to the increasing popularity of mobile shopping.
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