M-commerce trends to watch in 2021

illustration of a person choosing to buy a t-shirt through an m-commerce website on their mobile phone.
Phoebe Lown
Phoebe Lown

Content Writer

Trends are like fast-moving cars. Some are fatal if you don’t see them coming. Others… well, not so much.

With mobile commerce developments evolving fast, consumer buying behavior is turning on its head, and many businesses are struggling to keep their heads above water. For many retailers, it's hard to know what m-commerce future trends are going to be the next big thing.

Or even how to implement them

In this article, we’ll be diving into the top m-commerce trends to watch out for in 2021. The advantages, driving forces and best practices to implement in your mobile checkout.

Let’s break it down, what’s m-commerce exactly?

Mobile commerce, or more popularly known as Mcommerce or m-commerce is an umbrella term for any monetary transaction happening on a mobile device – including smartphones, tablets, and wearables. That’s right, paying with your smartwatch will be the norm.

We expect wearable payments to drive more than USD100 billion in transaction volume for the first time in 2025.

While like e-commerce, m-commerce is an advancement. As it helps people to purchase goods and services from anywhere – not just on a desktop device.

But it is more than just a branch of e-commerce or mobile payments, it’s made way for new industries and spearheading the growth of others, such as:

  • e-ticketing
  • Digital content subscriptions
  • Mobile banking
  • In-store contactless / proximity payments
  • In-app payments
  • Mobile gaming
  • Hotel and travel reservations

Benefits of m-commerce

The mobile revolution is unstoppable. Over half of all consumers worldwide now own a smartphone, and they're obsessed with them. There are several distinct benefits of jumping on mobile commerce train can bring businesses of all sizes.

Reaching new consumers

Everyone with a mobile device is now a potential customer, wherever they are in the world. Long gone are the days where we were reliant on local customers to pop by your brick-and-mortar store. Now everyone can be a local if all it takes is downloading your app.

That’s a lot of potential!

Faster buying journey and a better user experience

When you’re fighting for the attention of customers and facing fierce competition – mobile commerce gives the added benefits of delivering convenient experiences such as one-click checkouts using mobile wallets.

Plus, the extra data you gather means you can give your customers personalized offers to keep them coming back for more.

The pillar of an Omnichannel strategy

If you’re taking an omnichannel approach, then mobile commerce is the most popular touchpoint to lockdown.

Shoppers today are already used to and expect omnichannel experiences. Furthermore, 73% of shoppers are willing to switch brands if they aren’t getting a consistent omnichannel experience.

Creating a frictionless experience online and offline eases the buying journey, increases loyalty, and caters to the increasingly mobile shopper.

illustration of GPS location tracking on a smart watch

Advantages of m-commerce over e-commerce

Reducing costs through direct communication

M-commerce is cost-effective as you can cut marketing expenses. You can reach your customer directly with a push notification from your mobile app to remind them to checkout or your latest promotion.

While if you’re reliant on an e-commerce store, you’ll be fighting for attention through social media and email communication – channels that are easy to ignore.

Shopping on the go

Flipping open your laptop to order something online can be tedious. But shoppers can immediately take out their mobile and browse for what they want on an m-commerce app or mobile site.

With the addition of mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, it’s becoming much easier and safer for shoppers to make spontaneous purchases on the spot.

Location tracking

Mobile commerce also offers the opportunity to increase your geo-targeting campaigns. While the only way to track e-commerce shoppers through a computer is via the IP address, which isn’t always accurate and limit's location marketing strategies.

However, m-commerce leverages GPS and cellular connections, which offers enhanced accuracy. In turn, retailers can offer their users personalized promotions when they are within their vicinity.

Top m-commerce trends to watch in 2021.

It should come as no surprise that the influences on m-commerce adoption – the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly mobile-savvy shoppers with the rise of Millennials and Gen-Z.

Not content to wait in line or to have limited features through their smartphone, the connected customer demands faster processes, personalized service, and round-the-clock customer care – across all customer touchpoints.

In the race to corner the market, the priority for all the players in the mobile payment ecosystem will be to create a platform that delivers an exceptional customer experience and engage the younger consumers, or risk becoming obsolete.

Additionally, consumers in a bid to stop the spread of germs, are now conscious about touching POS keypads and checkout machines and are embracing contactless methods such as proximity payments and mobile wallets.

Main players Apple Pay, Google Pay, and We Chat Pay are witnessing significant adoption across all global markets where these services are available.

With these driving forces spearheading m-commerce, in turn, is giving rise to these best practices to implement in your mobile checkout:

More of us will shop on social media

Social commerce means selling your products directly on social media platforms. The entire shopping experience, from discovering products, reading reviews, and now the checkout process happens right through social media.

With all of us spending more time than ever online it shouldn’t come as a shock that social media giants are getting into the m-commerce game to monetize their platforms even further.

Social commerce works by setting up a shop on Facebook, even if you’re primarily selling on Instagram, you’ll still need to set your store via Facebook.

Even better the whole process is frictionless. Right now, users can browse products on their feeds or the shopping tab and be taken straight through to the brand's webshop to complete the checkout flow.

However, we’re already seeing in the US, for eligible U.S. businesses, users can now complete transactions without ever leaving Instagram using Facebook Pay.

illustration of a finger selecting a t-shirt to purchase on a social commerce store
One-click checkouts will be standard

We’ve all been there, filling out fields upon fields of card information and billing details is tedious. Even more so if you’re purchasing on a smaller screen of a mobile device.

One of the critical factors in providing shoppers a fantastic M-Commerce experience is the quality checkout process. Nobody likes to stand in a long line at the store waiting to be served.

Think about it – how many times have you returned an item and left the store because the line was too long? The same happens when shopping online - users expect the checkout flow to be fast, convenient, and secure.

And more often, they’re not.

It’s one of the reasons why mobile shopping carts trail behind e-commerce in conversion rates – 97% of mobile shopping carts are abandoned at the checkout stage. Pretty mind-blowing.

But when it comes to mobile apps, the abandon rate is just 20%. It all comes down to easily storing the customer's card details, which makes for a frictionless experience.

By implementing the same experience, one-click ordering ensures that the customer can glide through the selling flow in just one click. Not only does it reduce frustration for the customers but it increases conversions for merchants. It’s a win-win!

illustration of a one-click checkout process on a mobile commerce store
Mobile wallets continue to rise

With the backing of powerful brands behind them, mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay have created plenty of buzz and aren’t just a fad.

Market share for these 3 wallets in terms of total in-store wallet payment transaction value will reach 27% in 2022, up from an estimated 16% in 2020; as their user base exceeds 1 billion.

With mobile wallets becoming a natural payment method for shoppers to use in-store, it makes sense that shoppers expect to use them on their preferred channel.

Mobile wallets offer a quick, safe and secure way to shop, even wearables like smartwatches can make mobile wallet transactions.

By implementing digital wallets in the mobile checkout, merchants will be offering shoppers a completely frictionless and secure way to pay in just one click.

When the user is ready to pay, the customer authenticates their wallet credentials at the checkout, either with their fingerprint, face recognition, or passcode.

illustration of a mobile wallet being selected as a payment method on a mobile phone

So, there we have it, the top mobile commerce trends to watch in 2021 which will soon enough be mobile checkout best practices.