Mobile Commerce is the New Video

In Mobile Marketing by Jamie Berendsen

Video is hot right now, but mobile commerce is on fire and it’s going to blaze a new path for retail brands and marketers. Here’s a little marketplace context:

Where We Go, Our Smartphones Follow

  • There are 258 million Americans using mobile phones
  • Each day, we spend 174 minutes on our mobile devices

Mobile Commerce is Becoming Mainstream

  • 45% of all shopping journeys contain mobile
  • In 2016, eMarketer projected retail mobile commerce sales to reach a record $123.13 billion — that’s more than double the amount in 2014.

Mobile natives, like millennials, are steering the ship of this shift to mobile shopping

  • 83% use their smartphones to research products
  • 69% buy products on their smartphone

Think about it, you’re in the electronics section of a store, giving those “I want you” eyes to a new big screen TV, but there are a ton of different brands, features and prices to compare. What do you do to decide which TV you want to Netflix and chill with? You pull out your phone, read reviews on your options and check for deals (because price match).

These trends are just the beginning. As consumers become more comfortable with mobile shopping, and mobile natives like millennials’ purchasing power increases, smartphones could replace the desktop shopping cart altogether.

Here’s where social comes in:

The average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media everyday, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime
60% of that time spent on social media occurs through a mobile device.

The core features social platforms offer is ideal for shopping — images, videos, descriptions, conversations and reviews from fellow consumers. Pair those fine features with ad units like Pinterest’s buy-able pins or Instagram’s shop now feature (to name a few) sprinkle on some robust targeting capabilities and you’ve got a recipe for sales success.

To recap:

  1. We’re tethered to our mobile devices which we’re using more frequently to buy or help us make a purchase decision.
  2. A good chunk of that tethered time is spent on some sort of social media platform.
  3. The features inherent to social platforms, paired with shopper-focused ad options and robust targeting capabilities, provide the necessary context and trust for a purchase to happen.

Why Should I Care?

Social platforms have the potential to create a friction-less shopping experience between in-store and online, presented in a native, rich media format, all without leaving the apps you use the most. In addition to the mobile commerce advertising format options on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, the plethora of user data is super effective when used for targeting key consumer segments.

In the near future, consumers won’t have to look for things to buy, things to buy will come to them. Anytime, anywhere commerce.

  • Source Material:
  • “Global Mobile Landscape 2015: A Country-by-Country Guide to Mobile Phone and Smartphone Usage” by eMarketer, Jul 2015.
  • “Average Time Spent per Day with Major Media by US Adults” by eMarketer, Oct 2015.
  • “Omni-channel Shoppers” by GfK, US only (Facebook-commissioned online study of 2,407 people ages 18+ who have researched online and bought 1 of 5 key categories in last 3 months), Sep 2015.