In 2022, for the first time in history, e-commerce plunged below 0% growth. Customers worldwide are buying fewer products and trying to save money. This means online stores need to rethink their strategies and implement some remedial actions. For one thing, you can concentrate on the mobile channel and implement m-commerce in your business. M-commerce is no magic wand, but it surely can help you in today's difficult market conditions.
Salesforce is an American company that regularly publishes the Digital Commerce Growth Index. In 2022, for the first time in the history of this study, it recorded a negative result of -4%. Thankfully, this trend is slowly going up; the result in Q4 2022 is 0% growth:
In Poland, the situation is not much better. According to Atena Research from June 2022, as much as 55% of Polish consumers are more cautious when it comes to spending money. And almost 45% want to save as much money as possible.
The reasons behind this situation are obvious. The world still hasn’t recovered after the COVID-19 pandemic, and the list of problems just goes on and on. War in Ukraine, skyrocketing inflation, higher costs of living and running a company, high prices even for basic food products, etc. It goes without saying that the majority of customers have less money to spend than just two or three years ago.
But there’s also the other side of the coin.
Some good news for the e-commerce world
Even though customers are more reluctant when it comes to spending money, they still realize that the online trade world is their best bet when it comes to prices. In the above-quoted Atena report, almost 70% of respondents said they are more eager to shop online. Another survey conducted last year showed that for almost 60% of consumers, online shopping is “more optimal”.
So even in current challenging conditions, online stores can still grow business and attract more customers. And that’s when the role of m-commerce begins.
MOBILE TRADE ON THE RISE
in the recent e-commerce report conducted by Gemius in Poland, we can read that in 2022, smartphones outran desktop devices as the number-one shopping tool. That's the very first time in the history of this study:
And another study (State of Mobile 2023) shows that advertisers clearly focus on the mobile channel to place their ads:
The conclusion is obvious – m-commerce should be the central point of your strategy to grow sales in these troubled times.
Bet on m-commerce (and omnichannel)
The omnichannel model has been around for some time now.
Od jakiegoś czasu świat e-commerce żyje podejściem omnichannel. Put shortly; this model is based on providing customers with a comprehensive shopping experience and multiple possibilities, regardless of the communication channel. In other words, the customer should be served at the same level, regardless of whether they choose a brick-and-mortar store, an online store, or a mobile application.
It's something customers just expect from you as an e-commerce entrepreneur. Yet another report conducted by the Polish Chamber of Electronic Economy confirms that for 87% of respondents, it is important for the brand to be available in various channels. Over 60% of respondents buy the same products using more than one sales channel. In such a context, a mobile application becomes a necessity.
To see how such an app can look like, take a look at one of our recent projects for the Polish retail chain Natura(en. Nature):
This app comes with a dynamic home screen that displays current offers, a product of the month, and bestsellers. It also gives access to loyalty cards and an easy purchasing process. The entire app is designed to be easy, straightforward, and clear.
Why should you be interested in creating a mobile application for your online store?
CONVENIENCE AND TRIGGER TO SHOP MORE
Undoubtedly, mobile applications are easy to use and convenient. Today, almost everyone always has a smartphone with them 24/7, so it is often the fastest way to reach your customers. How? For example, through the so-called push notifications that can be displayed directly on the device on which such an application is installed. This is a good way to inform customers about new products and promotions. Such notifications are also great for distributing promo codes, vouchers, or order status updates.
And then, we have loyalty programs. Such a program can be an important argument when it comes to more frequent and more expensive purchases in your store. When customers know they're accumulating points and are rewarded for every order, they're more likely to order products more often. Of course, here, it’s crucial to come up with a program that’s profitable both to you as a business owner and your customers.
Modern mobile applications are in no way inferior compared to standard e-commerce websites. Through the mobile application, you can give your customers easy access to:
- Your entire offer and available inventory
- The possibility of placing orders and paying for them
- Easy communication with customer service (think about adding a chat box or a chatbot to your app!)
- A loyalty program
- Other modern solutions
When it comes to the last point, our other project for Sizeer (a chain of footwear stores) is a good example. Sizeer offers an AR (augmented reality) function in their application, which makes it easier to choose the right shoe model without the need to try it on.
Summary: M-commerce is the way to go!
Today, almost half of the purchases in Polish e-commerce are made through mobile devices. At Appchance, we are fully convinced that this trend will only grow. Mobile applications are a natural communication/sales channel, especially for the young audience – millennials and generation Z. A well-thought-out m-commerce strategy is simply necessary to thrive in this difficult market sector, and mobile applications play the main role in it.
And as we mentioned in the introduction to this post, mobile apps are no magic wands. But they will surely help you get to your customers in a quick and effective way as well as encourage them to place more orders in your store.