A study by Statista in 2015 showed that 131.4 million users have made at least one purchase using a mobile app in 2015. This number is expected to grow in the coming years as rapid adoption of mobile technology is rampant across the globe. In recognition of the importance of mobile platform, Google is offering perks to websites that are responsive.
Need for Mobile App for eCommerce
Though responsive websites are convenient for customers and the business, there are multiple features that can be added on mobile applications to deliver a highly personal shopping experience. New technologies such as the iBeacons, wallets and image recognition can be used to create a real life in-store shopping experience for customers.
From the developer’s perspective, where the product catalogue is immense, mobile websites will be unable to handle the size and deliver a seamless experience. In such cases, mobile applications are more lucrative.
Mobile App Technologies in Trend
Here are a few technologies that come in the latest mobile systems that can be used to deliver enhanced shopping experience.
- Push Notifications: Push notifications are text messages that are delivered as pop-ups or balloons and can be downloaded via the app opt-in service. It is concise and consumes little time and space.
- Geo-fencing :The mobile device has in-built GPS service and beacons which can be manipulated by app owners to send location-specific offers to customers. Burberry is currently using the technology to send personalized greetings to customers and help sales assistants to instantly recognise returning customers.
- Image Recognition Technology in eCommerce apps: Image recognition is an extension of geo-fencing and is being used in a big way by some international brands to promote personalised services to customers. By combining image recognition and social networking features, shopping recommendations are being made to customers. It is being used by customers to find products with exact features.
- Location-based mobile marketing for retail business: Location based mobile marketing or hyper-localising business helps deliver an international scale business at a local level. Multinational eCommerce platforms such as Amazon are using hyper-localisation to tap into the pulse of the local business and deliver personalised services to customers. GPS and Beacon technology is used to motivate customers to opt for in-store purchase by brick-and-mortar establishments.
- Moving to Visual Search: Visual search option responds to search based on colour, pattern, length etc. to define the style or pattern customer may be seeking.
Most of these technologies are within reach of businesses of all size and scale. Compared to the competition and returns generated, the investment is not very big and within reach of all customers.