Years of technological development continue to cut away the time we spend on buying products and services. We hail taxis through apps like Lyft or Uber, and while we are riding to some cozy dinner place, we pull out our smartphones to buy movie tickets for later, in a messaging app. From chatbots to social media purchases, commerce is rapidly changing, and there is a lot to expect this year on your m-commerce applications.
Chatbots and AI form one of the most solid m-commerce trends of 2017
For all the tech advancements that emerged in the last decade, it is surprising to acknowledge the term SMS is still relatively common. Messaging with our devices has come a long way, from sending SMS to each other with likes of large Nokia phones — to messaging everywhere: in several separate messaging apps at the same time, on social media, in the enterprise, and elsewhere. According to Business Insider’s comprehensive and telling study, messaging is the second most-performed activity we carry out on our smartphones every day. Thus, the next step in this evolution — conversational commerce — is a logical turn.
Today a lot of people already use the likes Facebook’s Messenger, WeChat, and Telegram to consume content and make purchases, and 2017 will see the trend strengthen further. Bedrock technologies include AI-based chatbots and voice control: people will order everything through universal apps like Facebook Messenger and WeChat or companies’ own custom apps. Concerning the latter, Starbucks will release the My Starbucks Barrista m-commerce app to iOS in early 2017, and it will utilise both of the aforementioned technologies. A lot of companies will follow into the company’s footsteps this year, to harness the power of these m-commerce technologies and meet the needs of their customers.
Smart Stores — giving way to frictionless m-commerce services
Back in 2013 conversations about smart stores, like Kraft’s plans to put sensors into shelves to track behaviour and identify age, could have been considered over-enthusiastic. Grocery shopping might be the last psychical stronghold that gives up its goods to digitalised tech industry and emerging m-commerce technologies. Whether it is a quick purchase or weekend shopping, buying groceries is too enrooted in our day-to-day, not to mention it’s better to see the food you buy.
However, in 2017 technology will arrive to the field with a friendly and simple solution that hides elaborate effort under the hood. The name is, of course, Amazon Go — the first smart store, the first store without lines and checkouts. Customers will use their smartphones and the Amazon m-commerce app to enter the store by QR codes and pick up the groceries they need while AI and smart sensors add items to their Amazon accounts. After the invisible checkout, shoppers will be charged for groceries with zero involvement from their side.
No doubt, Amazon Go will spur the industry in 2017, setting smart stores as one of the key m-commerce trends. It is time to leave our wallets at home when we go out for groceries.
Minor m-commerce trends to put on the radar in 2017
Social media Buy buttons and faster m-commerce services
We invest a lot of time in social media, and companies invest immense funds into carving out the narrowest ways to sell their offerings on each platform. One of them is social media Buy buttons, which allow users to perform more frictionless purchases while browsing through their newsfeeds. Though considered niche, this m-commerce trend will eventually extend to social media apps, turning them into m-commerce apps to some extent, and making purchases more convenient.
M-commerce services go local
Google and Facebook are making sales more focused by enabling greater online-to-offline retail sales attribution and allocating more digital ads from nationwide retailers to items from local stores. If this m-commerce trend grows, more local shopping would lead to even faster delivery and beneficial competition, which in turn would lead to better m-commerce services.