Will this Holiday Season predict shopping behaviors moving forward?
As 2016 comes to a close, many people are reflecting on the tumultuous year it has been. And while most will focus on all of the shocking news in Entertainment, Politics, and other areas, there is one important development that is taking place late in the year – the progression of mobile commerce this holiday season.
A few weeks ago, we commented on digital commerce significantly contributing to Black Friday sales (see article here). But the interesting thing to note is that, that trend has continued through the holiday season. According to a recent PYMNTS.com article, this holiday season has paved the way for omnichannel to finally become a reality for the masses.
Payment companies have been commenting about omnichannel and predicting its impact on commerce for quite some time now, but this holiday season has shown everyone that m-commerce has finally become part of the shopping mix – in a BIG way.
So that begs the question – is this just a fad? Are consumers only using mobile applications to shop to avoid the crazy lines at malls? Or is this our first real glimpse into how shopping behaviors will change moving forward?
It’s not too long ago, we were having this same discussion about e-commerce. No one really trusted it at first. And after a while, the weaknesses that held back online shopping – the viewing of goods, shipping times and ability to make returns – became less and less of a hassle as online retailers adapted.
We think we are seeing the same thing with m-commerce. There were a lot of obstacles smartphones had to overcome to become “on par” with other digital commerce platforms. Clunky mobile browsers, sensitive data management and limited viewing capabilities were just a few of the issues. But mobile app developers have adapted over the last several years. Innovations like Apple Pay and Android Pay have made it easy to authorize payment and trust the handling of sensitive data in-app, and companies like Amazon have brought the full power of their website to their mobile app.
In conclusion, there is no way to know for sure if the rise of m-commerce this holiday season is due to the improved mobile shopping experience or if consumers just hate going to the mall this time of year, but if the past is any indication of the future, it looks like m-commerce is here to stay. All we have to do is look at online shopping and how that has evolved over the years.