Everyone and everything is going mobile, so it’s no wonder that e-commerce is already giving way to m-commerce and all the m-commerce technologies that are stepping into our lives along with it. The changes are major, as mobile commerce is now transforming the largest and most lucrative industries that we rely on. The technologies it uses are familiar: AR, VR, beacons, push notifications, and more. Nevertheless, they spawn many intriguing m-commerce trends that may turn these industries on their head — slowly and in a good way.
M-commerce Trends in the Retail Industry
As we wrote in one of our latests posts, the shopping experience as we know it is transforming into something reminiscent of a sci-fi film, courtesy of buzzword m-commerce technologies like AR, VR, and AI. It is an ongoing transformation that began in the early 2010’s, when several retail giants started embracing the consolidated power of m-commerce apps and m-commerce technologies. Companies like Starbucks played it safe and simple, while others made bold decisions that both extended their brands and provided real value to the smartphone-wielding customers. In 2010 (six years before the first software supporting Google’s AR Tango technology), Converse released an iPhone m-commerce app that let shoppers point to their feet and virtually try on a sneaker to see if it fits. Three years from then, one of the retails legends, IKEA, created an AR catalogue app for phones and tablets which allowed IKEA lovers to visualize if a certain piece of furniture would fit into their homes. As of today, AR hasn’t ventured too far from these examples, but it will change quickly if the latest rumors about the next iPhone are true: according to a source, Apple hired 1000 AR engineers for the next iPhone.
2017 is set to become not only the year of Augmented Reality but also Virtual Reality. The latter is already used as an m-commerce technology in China. On top of that, AI is making fresh steps in the retail industry with “visual listening” — algorithms that analyze photos on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to let companies know what consumers are sharing about their brands. The most promising part comes when all these m-commerce technologies intersect and reshape the retail spaces into retail theaters — shops that offer entertainment and emotion as much as they offer tangible products.
M-commerce Trends in Finance & Banking Industry
Recently most of the discussions around the finance industry involve its potentially biggest disruptor — blockchain. At the same time, a San Francisco hedge fund Numerai is trying to make Wall Street an open source platform with blockchain, in an elaborate effort which involves machine learning. No doubt, blockchain deserves attention, but the groundbreaking technology overshadows other technologic developments happening in the industry. Surprising or not, they are all connected to m-commerce technologies and present the emerging m-commerce trends in the financial field.
The biggest change is coming from the new banks that are half-digital — neobanks. Certainly, traditional banks have their own apps, and they deliver on the promise of solid financial m-commerce services, which will incorporate chatbots at a large scale soon. Neobanks advance much further. As application-only banks, they offer more and demand less by gathering everything a client needs in a single financial m-commerce app. As of today, there are only a few of these organizations, each is based in Europe, and their financial m-commerce services are referred to as bank-like. Nevertheless, they might lose that “like” in the following years, as most of them are crowdfunded.
Visa is also pushing the established industry lines further, trying to leverage m-commerce technologies to deliver useful financial m-commerce services. The company’s experimental efforts include a white-label app for banks with a tap-to-pay feature (similar to Apple Pay) and an instant payment system called Visa Direct. These were introduced in 2016, and in August of the same year the credit card company also released the NFC ring — a smart wearable that allows users to make purchases simply by raising a hand.
M-commerce Trends in the Sports Industry
If the mobile future of the finance field seems cloudy, and retail’s is overstuffed with promising m-commerce technologies that still need time to become common, the future of the sports industry is close to being settled. This is largely due to the proliferation of branded m-commerce applications for sports teams. They help teams leverage a number of tried-and-true m-commerce technologies like beacons and push-notifications, and will soon incorporate AR. This will not only lead to a new, more immersive fan experience, but also smart stadiums, which will rely on these aforementioned technologies for better navigation and quicker purchases. Moreover, these m-commerce apps are becoming a single fan space for everything related to their team — news, media, statistics, buying tickets, game day experiences, and m-commerce services like mobile stores. Other than AR, all of these m-commerce technologies and features are already in use: examples include branded m-commerce apps of the Golden State Warriors and Grand Rapids Griffins.