Although desktop usage is still dominant in online shopping, mobile commerce is growing at an impressive rate, especially considering that more than 42% of small businesses have a mobile app, according to research from Clutch. The popularity of mobile commerce and the use of mobile apps, which grew significantly during the pandemic, is expected to continue its upward trajectory alongside the growth in eCommerce overall, which from March 2020 through February 2022 saw U.S. consumers spend $1.7 trillion online -- $609 billion more than the two previous years combined, based on data from Digital Commerce 360.
To understand the growing impact of mobile commerce, we sat down with Deepak “Dee” Agarwal, award-winning entrepreneur and C-suite business executive in the eCommerce space, to gain his insight on how mobile commerce has shifted post-pandemic and the benefits it's providing to business owners.
Beyond Brick and Mortar
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade Developments, people are increasingly using their mobile devices to browse the internet and make purchases. This trend only accelerated throughout the pandemic, as consumers had more time to spend on their smartphones, providing opportunities for companies that could no longer maintain a brick-and-mortar presence.
“In many ways, the pandemic de-prioritized the traditional brick and mortar storefront, and spurred smart entrepreneurs to invest in their digital and mobile customer experiences,” said Deepak “Dee” Agarwal. “If you haven't optimized your business for mobile, your company is simply missing out on potential sales.”
In addition to having a mobile-friendly website, businesses also increased their sales by investing in mobile apps. A recent figure from Statista reported that 35% of U.S. smartphone users access retail mobile apps multiple times in a week, illustrating the immense opportunity for customer engagement and acquisition.
Expanding into New Markets
While eCommerce served a critical lifeline for businesses, mobile commerce and the increased use of apps helped expand the markets that business owners could target. As consumers were confined to their homes during the pandemic, new trending product categories emerged to fill the void for in-person retail shopping. In fact, 20-30% of businesses moved online, according to McKinsey, helping to expand new categories for mobile commerce.
One prominent example is grocery eCommerce. Grocery delivery mobile apps like Instacart grew in adoption as they made it easier than ever to order and pay for groceries from your mobile.
Deepak Agarwal notes, “Mobile devices are playing an increasingly important role in eCommerce, and that trend is not going away any time soon. Through the pandemic, we saw that businesses that were able to adapt to leverage mobile eCommerce were some of the most successful.”
The importance of mobile eCommerce grew exponentially during the past two years, with the increased need to reach consumers in their homes and from behind a screen -- and its value and efficacy is only poised to evolve and expand as we develop our new normal post-pandemic.
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