Mobile commerce is quickly becoming many shoppers’ primary method of buying products. In 2021, Statista found that 72.9% of all ecommerce revenue was generated from mobile commerce, an increase of 20% over the last five years. 

Pivoting to focus more on this channel opens up new ways to personalize the shopping experience and make it a more seamless process. Not only can you provide automated support to answer questions about products (saving your team time and effort), but mobile shopping opens up possibilities for more personal, convenient, and creative ways to promote products. During the pandemic, 51% of shoppers downloaded a shopping app to their phone and nearly a third of web users shopped using their mobile devices. Not only can mobile commerce boost trust in your brand, but it can also increase retention and reduce return rates. 

Here are some mobile shopping trends to pay attention to in 2023:

Social commerce

With consumers spending more time on social media, social commerce has become an important revenue stream. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube now allow you to provide content where you can tag products, allowing shoppers to click and buy an item without having to head to a separate page. More than anything, convenience has become a priority for shoppers. Making their buying process as seamless as possible will improve their overall experience. You can also create a virtual storefront, emulating an in-person experience. Shopify’s integration with Facebook and Instagram allows you to group items together in a product catalog, which helps shoppers discover new products. 

Promoting your brand on social media is an easy way to engage more users. Rather than having to collect data like email addresses, users are coming to you to learn more. Employing integrations like Facebook Marketplace is a great way to sell to local shoppers. Many online brands are starting to host pop-up shops and promote their event through Facebook or Instagram. This is a great way to connect with digital shoppers, bringing the online experience to life and strengthening brand loyalty. 

Related: 3 ways to convert your customers into brand advocates

Don’t forget to explore unlikely platforms like Pinterest, which has 445 million active users worldwide. Shoppers on Pinterest will often look for products using an unbranded search. For example, rather than typing in a specific sneaker brand, they will just search for “running shoes.” This makes it easier for them to become aware of your company because they will be looking at a variety of brands, rather than actively pursuing one specific product. 

Recently 50% of Pinterest users shopped through this app. Consumers there often create Collection Ads or Shopping Lists to create a list of desired products. You can nudge buyers into moving items from their Shopping Lists to purchasing them by sharing discounts through the Pinterest app. 

Live shopping

Live shopping has also become a widely popular method of marketing—and it enables you to connect with shoppers right from your own mobile device to theirs. 

It’s a digital version of the home-shopping network many of us have grown up with, with the ability to automatically optimize screen size and resolution based on whether the shopper is engaging via mobile or desktop device. 

When Facebook launched its Live Shopping Fridays, it provided beauty and fashion companies with an immersive way to engage audiences. Shoppers are able to comment, ask questions and buy within the app. They can also see the host try on or use the product in real-time. Utilizing a popular influencer or personality creates a genuine connection with shoppers, because the host can act the way a store associate would. They can also create a guide to your products, suggesting add-ons or upsells to the main product they are promoting. Upselling is when brands suggest a more high-end version of the original product choice or related accessories or add-ons after a buyer adds items to their shopping cart. It makes the experience even more personalized and helps ensure the buyer is getting the product they really want. 

Though more popular in countries like China, this type of content is quickly growing in the U.S. By 2026, that type of shopping is predicted to account for up to 20% of all ecommerce. It’s also a highly influential way to attract younger shoppers. Additionally, it’s a surefire way to lower return rates. 40% of consumers were less likely to return an item when purchasing it after a live shopping experience.

Shopping apps

Having a unique mobile app for your brand is a strong way to create a personalized shopping experience. Many companies are now using it as a way to create communities. Shoppers can come on the app to learn more about products, while connecting with similar-minded people. You can use the app to survey shoppers and engage them in product innovations. If your company provides a subscription, you can suggest add-ons to that month’s subscription.

You can also create loyalty programs within the app. This is a proven method of improving buyers’ attitudes toward your brand. Provide them with birthday discounts, making it an easy experience. For example, rather than having to go to the app every time they make a purchase, allow them to simply scan their receipt and text a number. 

Augmented reality

AR/VR technology is becoming a hot mobile trend being used in-store and online. Brands can offer filters in their app or on their website that allow users to try on the product or see what it would look like in their homes. Snapchat recently collaborated with clothing brand Farfetch to create an AR shopping tool. It allowed buyers to try on clothing in a highly realistic way. The app was able to create an experience that emulated the way clothes would fall in real life, making it so consumers could truly imagine wearing the item. 

When shopping in person, using AR technology is an engaging way to allow consumers to visualize the product. Mirrors in beauty stores can give shoppers a makeover, without them actually having to try on the product. Not only is this convenient but in times of concern over COVID-19, it was highly practical. AR tech can also match shoppers’ skin tones, meaning they can easily shop for products online without trying them on. You can survey them based on their concerns and needs, then recommend items and in the future, suggest additional items based on the changing seasons. 

In fitting rooms, many companies have installed smart mirrors. This tech is able to show alternative colors and size options, or suggest accessories to accompany items. 

Read more: Using a virtual dressing room

More shoppers also use their smartphones to shop in stores. They can use their phones to scan items and learn about discounts or product info.

Along with AR/VR tech, many brands are also investing in the metaverse (otherwise known as virtual worlds). In a recent McKinsey survey, 48% of respondents said they would use metaverse technology to shop in the next five years. Though still new, it has the capacity to provide immersive shopping experiences, virtual live events, and new ways to socialize. While not all consumers will have access to this VR tech, you can create similar experiences using filters in which shoppers can try on your product, then share it on social media. Not only does this engage shoppers, but it is an easy way to market your brand. 

Omnichannel presence

Above all else, having an omnichannel presence is vital. 90% of millennials, 84% of gen Xers, and 53% of baby boomers are actively utilizing mobile shopping. What’s more, they don’t differentiate between different channels and expect the shopping experience to be completely seamless. Make sure that your messaging approach is consistent across channels, whether you’re engaging with customers through email, SMS, social media, in-app messages, or other communication formats. 

If your brand has a retail presence, it’s important to provide options such as buying online and picking up in-store—this gives shoppers the chance to choose the exact product they want, without having to wait for delivery. Or, they may wish to buy products online and return in-store.

Once you’ve captured a shopper’s attention, shopping cart abandonment is a common concern. Improve confidence in your brand by increasing awareness of your security and data measures. Letting consumers know your website is secure will increase retention. Encourage them to share their email when they first sign onto your website or app with the promise of a future discount. That way if they abandon an item in their cart, you can nudge them to buy the item. 

When returns do occur, providing easy options to return products is crucial to retention. Gathering information on why they are returning the item will help you make suggestions for the future that will better fit their needs. You can also offer an easy exchange, like at-home return pick-ups, or by allowing them to switch colors, sizes, or styles instead of a simple refund. 

Learn how Loop can help optimize your brand’s mobile returns experience. Book a demo with Loop today.