The article below was originally published in Forbes here.
In 2021, e-commerce growth as a digital category is being driven largely by mobile commerce. In fact, eMarketer estimates (via Statista) that in 2021, mobile will make up about 73% of all e-commerce sales; as recently as 2016, it represented 52.4%. This means that almost three out of every four dollars spent on online purchases are coming from mobile, and that rate is accelerating.
Globally, according to eMarketer, mobile commerce sales will be upwards of $3.5 trillion in 2021, and there are no signs of that growth slowing down anytime soon. There are a few very good reasons why the mobile platform is driving so much e-commerce growth:
1. The number of mobile users continues to rise. As of 2021, according to a report published by DataReportal, there are 5.22 billion unique mobile phone users around the world. This represents two-thirds of the entire worldwide population. About 80% of these 5.22 billion people have internet connectivity. All the key metrics around mobile usage are rising: the amount of time spent on their device, the types of apps and websites visited, and daily internet usage are of particular note for the mobile marketing industry. If you thought any of the major KPIs in the mobile industry would be negatively impacted over the past year, you would be incorrect.
2. The convenience. This is an obvious one considering what we as consumers already know; using your mobile device for purchases is fast, easy and safe. According to research conducted by Dynamic Yield, 76% of consumers say they shop on mobile devices because it “saves them time.” There have been considerable consumer protections built into most payment apps, and the transfer or payment of funds has gotten more seamless in recent years. Being able to tap, snap or scan your mobile device is all contributing to the ease with which users can transact. In other words, it’s becoming more frictionless. According to the 2020 Worldpay Global Payments Report, the percentage of transactions that come from mobile/digital wallets is around 40% (expected to rise above 50% by 2023), and the use of debit and credit cards is expected to decline dramatically in the coming years to under 30% combined.
The Opportunities Going Forward
Both of these well-documented reasons behind the growth of mobile commerce make sense. For mobile marketers, the opportunity lies in the sheer scale of having a larger audience to target. Targeting, in itself, will take on more importance in the coming years, and specifically, having marketing and technology partners who know how to target effectively in a consumer-friendly, privacy-safe environment is of the utmost importance. That’s what can separate those who simply keep up versus those who exponentially grow. The size of the opportunity has never been clearer; whether or not marketers can effectively piggyback the growth in the mobile channel is the real challenge.
With the increasing convenience of the mobile channel clear, the importance of fraud detection will be paramount. As payment processors continue to work to make payments safe for consumers, fraud prevention of a different kind comes into view for marketers. As mobile commerce is driving the entire e-commerce category and marketing partners are looking to leverage that growth on behalf of advertisers, working with partners who have owned and operated proprietary fraud prevention tools will be important when analyzing data about the effectiveness of ads that drive purchases. Certainly, advertisers that have — or those who work with partners that have — AI capabilities can make the total lifecycle of mobile marketing safer, from ad impression, to click, to purchase and to attribution.
Another important opportunity to consider is the actual shopping experience on mobile. Dynamic Yield found that 67% of consumers cite the “pages and links being too small” as an impediment to mobile shopping. This far outpaces the percentage of people who cite security concerns (42%) as an impediment to mobile shopping. For us mobile marketers, it’s important to not lose sight of the actual usability of the platform when we’re determining effective campaign strategies, conversion rates, analysis and attribution. Always ask yourself what factors are at play that you can actually see when it comes to mobile commerce. The answers might be simple.
There really has never been a better time to invest in your mobile marketing future through both technology and partnerships. Talking to leaders in mobile marketing and mobile commerce can provide visibility into how campaigns can be optimized to leverage the massive growth in mobile usage and the convenience of the channel with consumers who are ready and willing to purchase. There’s a lot to know and understand about the mobile customer journey, but it’s an exciting time to put capital toward partners who have lived through the platform’s nascent stages.