Mobile commerce (m-commerce) is becoming increasingly important for online and multichannel stores. Consider that in the United States, consumers spend about 15 hours a week researching products on a mobile device, and about 93% of shoppers that research a product from a mobile device will ultimately make a purchase, according to a Google Think Insights study.
Moreover, 7,000 app developers in 127 countries say e-commerce sales are now the best mobile monetization strategy, though only 8% of mobile app developers currently use it. On the other hand, such popular strategies as contract work/commissioned apps, pay per download and in-app advertising bring far less revenue compared to e-commerce.
Online retailers that recognize the importance of a m-commerce may be struggling to decide what exactly the mobile application should do. Here are 5 great examples of m-commerce apps: they engage customers, provide an innovative experience, and make purchasing easier than ever before.
1. Amazon – the app that is the most popular among mobile shoppers
It is a single app that customers can use to shop on any of Amazon’s sites around the world. That is why it should come as no surprise that the Amazon app has been uploaded up to 100,000,000 times using Google Play and has become the #1 app among consumers, according to App Annie. The Amazon App allows users to quickly search, get product details, and read reviews on millions of products sold by Amazon and other merchants and even place a 1-click order. It provides the fast and easy mobile shopping experience customers have come to love.
2. REI – the app that is cool to use in store
REI, the retailer famous for its outdoor clothing and gear, was awarded with the “Best Mobile App for E-commerce/Retail” at the Digiday Mobi Awards last year. The innovative shopping app provides a robust digital storefront with specs and customer reviews in addition to customer service contact. Among other features there is also an excellent opportunity to use the app in store: it allows users to scan product barcodes to view product information and customer reviews, and to add items to the wish list.
3. Starbucks – the app that rewards customers
The Starbucks mobile app is the most-used digital payment app in America, bringing in about 5 million mobile coffee buys a week! Exchanging the card swipe for a phone tap is a true technological advancement for the coffee shop. But the main ingenuity of the Starbucks app is its rewards program – My Starbucks Rewards™. Customers can collect digital stars, earn free drinks, re-fill their loyalty accounts, and more.
4. McDonald’s Sverige – the app that makes it really easy to pay with the mobile phone
McDonald’s Sweden had been working with online delivery service Seamless over the last year, and has successfully offered mobile payments in select locations. Now at a Swedish McDonald’s customers can scan a QR and enter a personal PIN to pay for that “Chicago Star” meal at the register by using the SEQR Wallet. “Adding this option to the mobile app was simply the next best step”, according to Kajsa Dahlberg, head of digital engagement at McDonald’s Sweden.
5. Fab.com – the app that offers an easily digestible presentation of products
At first glance, there is nothing special in the Fab.com app. But many brands don’t place enough value on simplifying their app to offer an easily digestible presentation. Because of the smaller size of tablets and smartphones, mobile apps have to maintain a simple presentation with a clear user interface that guides users through the experience. If your app can master a simple and approachable presentation, similar to what Fab.com has accomplished, users will be more likely to use it for shopping.
For businesses ready to amp up their e-commerce presence, it’s time to amp up m-commerce and enjoy all that mobile apps have to offer. However, smart retailers will not develop an m-commerce app just to have an app, and frankly, an app that simply shows a catalog of products is absolutely unnecessary. It is essential to build applications that customers can use for more than shopping. Most successful mobile apps are designed to entertain, build brand awareness, and may lead to shopping.
First of all you should know what it is that the app is supposed to accomplish. A mobile app should be a tool to help online and multichannel retailers better engage customers and ultimately achieve specific goals that help the customers and benefit the business.