In 2014, 83% of mobile users worldwide said they plan to make a purchase on a mobile device, showing the rise of M-commerce in tandem with E-commerce. In researching the topic, we developed a shortlist from our FuelUp database of M-&E-Commerce startups founded within the last 10 years that demonstrate innovative technologies and strategies for the advancement of online purchasing. Working to bring our list down to over 250 startups demonstrates just how large this space has become and the kind of capabilities that are available within it.
With these levels of growth comes interesting market trends. We’ve spotted 5 key trends that we think are crucial to the E-commerce and M-commerce markets this year, as well as 5 high impact startups that are driving these trends forward.
1. E-commerce Website Solutions
An increasing number of platforms are springing up to allow people to set up their own web shops and capitalize on the E-commerce boom. Sellers can now set up e-shop easily allowing them to compete on the open marketplace that is the Internet. We are now also starting to see the creation of smart content, allowing companies to sell products across content as well as in an e-shop.
Kiosked takes E-commerce website solutions to the next level. This Finnish startup has created technology allowing products to be connected within content easily. Coined as “smart content”, retailers can turn their content into attractive, interactive storefronts opening up a new distribution channel and providing consumers with new, creative ways to shop.
2. Social Commerce
Social media has opened the door to social commerce bringing word of mouth into the digital age. Social commerce allows shoppers to use social media as a place of research allowing them to find out about products through others’ experiences. Not only that, but it gives people a platform to sell to each other through marketplaces as actively engage with companies through loyalty schemes.
Chirpify enable companies to use social media as the place of conversation for cross-channel marketing campaigns. By using #actiontags in their content, companies can keep track of the conversation across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook allowing them to collect social profile data and direct revenue from social commerce. With social media superstar clients such as Oreo this Oregon based startup look certified for success.
3. Location based marketing
The online and offline world continue to merge with the increased usage of mobile devices opening the door to location based marketing. Businesses can personalize the content they push to consumers based on their location encouraging them to engage in their current environment. A quick ping to an indecisive customer giving them a special in-store discount could just tip the scales in the retailers favor.
Roximity introduce micro-location marketing into the fold. This US based startup uses in store beacons to monitor customer behavior and encourage increased engagement at those crucial points during the in-store customer journey. Their software can even encourage customers nearby to stop-in helping to increase footfall and potential revenue.
4. Mobile Payments
The mass adoption of mobile devices has changed the world and that includes the world of E-commerce. Mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular with a number of startups coming up with innovative technology to allow consumers to avoid carrying cash and cards.
This Swedish startup have developed the future of payments, beyond cards and even mobile. Their technology allows people to pay using their hand print as a unique ID. Transactions are accumulated onto a twice-monthly invoice that can be settled by direct debit. All you need to be able to pay is yourself removing the requirement of carrying cash and cards.
5. Customer Support
With the decrease in human interaction when buying goods online, it is important for companies to get any time they do have personal interaction to be a brilliant experience for the consumer. Typically phone and online support lags behind in-store interaction. However, there are startups looking to fix that by giving the customer support department information about who’s on the other end of the phone so they can cater to their needs accordingly.
ThinkCX have developed just the thing for companies wanting to ensure quality call center care. The Canadian startup allow customer support representatives to see whether the customer they are talking to is an advocate, high influencer or at high risk of leaving the brand, ensuring that they receive the best experience possible to turn them into a raving fan.