What’s Shaping the Future of Mobile Commerce

by Joey deVilla on February 22, 2012

mobile commerce

You might have heard that Shopify took on 20 new people recently – that’s the result of acquiring Select Start Studios, a.k.a. “S3”, an award-winning mobile company. You’ve probably already guessed the reason: to stay ahead of the curve of ecommerce’s evolution.

With the explosion of mobile phones fuelled by the Apple and Android ecosystems couple with the explosion of online shopping fuelled by Shopify and the Esteemed Competition, ecommerce is rapidly morphing into mcommerce. This explosion is outpacing its predecessors: just as the adoption of web technologies outpaced the adoption of desktop tech, mobile adoption is outpacing web adoption. And just as the desktop and then the web changed the way we work and play, mobile is doing the same: only at a greater scale and with greater speed.

Mashable recently posted an article titled 5 Paradoxes Shaping the Future of Mobile Commerce, which makes some observations of the current mobile landscape and attempts to find what they mean for the future of ecommerce. We’re thinking about all these issues as we grow the Shopify platform, and as developers, designers and shopowners, so should you.

The “5 paradoxes” mentioned in the article are:

  1. Customers spend more time on their mobile devices than desktops. Of note are tablet users and especially iPad users, who generally have a higher level of education and income than general internet users.
  2. Mobile shoppers are more focused. This is especially true of search – where 70% of desktop search tasks are done in about a week, 70% of mobile search tasks are done in an hour!
  3. Click-through rates are higher on mobile than on desktop. Smartphones and tablets are showing higher click-through rates for search advertising than desktops.
  4. Mobile shopping peaks at night. Smartphone and tablet use peaks at night, which suggests that the living room couch is often your showroom.
  5. The mobile web is important. In most cases, it’s better by far for an online shop to concentrate on their mobile web presence rather than building an app for their customers to use.

The article goes into each point in greater depth; be sure to read it to get all the details.

Mobile is increasingly important to ecommerce, and it’s probably increasingly important to you. Keep an eye on this blog: we’ll be talking more and more about mobile commerce – what’s happening, what it means to you and how to take advantage of it, from the development, design and merchant angles.

This article also appears in the Shopify Technology Blog.

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