Most blog posts about the mobile economy usually start with a wordy explanation about how mobile is an unwavering part of our daily lives. But seeing as nearly 50% of you are probably reading this from your phone, we figure you already know that. As for the other half, we'd bet our life it's made up of more people skimming on their work computer than it is laggards who don't have a smartphone.
Anyone from 16 to 60 can tell you that mobile is a big deal. With the number of apps that have been build to overtake our daily tasks, we know that it's here to stay. We all know that. But what does this mean when it comes to the minutia of our day-in and day-out? Convenience seems to be driving the demand. We find it in the details and the habits that facilitate our decisions and push us down the path towards tomorrow.
With that in mind, we've created the Mobile Economy series, where we'll take a closer look at how mobile is changing our perception and expectations across a variety of industry. We'd say get out your plastic, but in this economy, you wouldn't exactly need it. Today, we're looking at the beginning of where the Mobile Economy reconstructed our world; your shopping experience and the expectations surrounding it.
More Than a Mobile Friendly Site
When it comes to shopping online, it's not just about a mobile-friendly site anymore. Loads of companies have a mobile-friendly online experience now. You'd be harder pressed to find ones that aren't compatible with your smartphones than those that are. With this as the new standard, companies have been working hard to stand out in the mobile shopping economy, and a few are shaking things up.
Of course, we have to begin with Amazon. Jeff Bezos didn't become the richest man on the planet selling one product; he did it selling everyone's products. This eCommerce mogul changed how we think of shopping and delivery forever.
Amazon and their two-day delivery policy have wholly reshaped the shipping game for companies in every single industry, not just shopping. And their Prime Membership, while not free (and rising every so sneakily), has spoiled most of us into expecting free shipping wherever we go. Buyers are specifically seeking out apparel and accessory websites have free shipping both before committing to an order.
Ever the pioneer, Amazon has recently begun pushing same-day shipping in select areas. Over 3 million items qualify for the service, with users selecting what they want from the app, and having it arrive at their door before 9 p.m. that night. And, if you are lucky enough to live close to a distribution center, a handy little drone may be the one dropping your package off on your doorstep. Now if that's not shipping in the palm of your hand, we don't know what is
Target and Walmart
These two have been neck and neck when it comes to changing the mobile shopping experience. Both have fine-tuned their apps to be sleek and as user-friendly as it gets. You might be shopping for someone's wedding registry or making your own, find access to it, or buy it through the app. Want to make sure your local store carries what you need, you can check the on-hand quantities and where it is in the store from the app. Don't have time to walk around the store, just order online, and they've got you covered. You'll get a notification when your order is picked and ready for you to come in and get it.
The most game-changing move these two have made in the mobile shopping experience has without-a-doubt been their implementation of grocery pick-up or delivery. Everyone knows how horrific some of these larger stores can be, especially in high-traffic times like weekends. With the mobile app, users can order online and either swing by for curbside pick-up or have them delivered right to your door.
This function has been entirely transformative for the industry. It is not just in the way that it frees up our time (which is precious these days), but also how it accommodates those who need a little assistance. Whether it's a new parent, someone who's homebound, or the hostess who is mid-party when she realizes she forgot the pizza. Both Target and Walmart have brought convenience to us in the click of a touchscreen.
Whether it's called a cart, a bag or checkout, getting the end details right is a must. Reducing pain points in the purchase process can keep your business thriving, instead of the auto-email generator busy for unpurchased items left in the cart. While the details of online retailers doing business have also changed in with the Mobile Economy, a power shift has put the consumer in charge of driving the deals to their dollars.
We'd be remiss if we talked about the Mobile Economy without a shout out to the creation of the digital wallet. No factor may shape the future of our shopping habits and daily expectations, quite like this baby. Through Apple Pay, PayPal, and Google Pay, anyone with a smartphone can make purchases at participating businesses.
No longer will you forget your wallet in the checkout line — no more sketchy payment portals. The days of identity thieves catching wifi credit card numbers out of the sky with a butterfly net are over. Digital wallets have added features to their interface to make sure your hard-earned cash doesn't go astray. Features like securely saved payment information, face identification, thumbprint recognition, and the ability to transfer money between friends or family are just a few of the technological advances. These feature-rich apps have made the digital wallet the only real currency you need.
Not only are we savvy on how to pay, but we prefer to find the discounts when we do. Sites like Honey, Rakuten (formerly E-Bates), and Wikibuy make sure we get the best deals. These web apps have extensions that you can download to be active in your browser when it's open, and you're shopping. Never miss a deal or grow the rebate or credit generator that fits your purchasing power and the rewards you want to get.
What do you think the future of the Mobile Economy means for us? What ways have your shopping experiences changed in the last ten years? Let us know in the comments below!