It’s here. The report we’ve all been waiting for. VISIONS is a first-of-its-kind consumer and culture trends report by Future Commerce—a leading online destination for info and analysis of cutting-edge ecommerce trends.
The report itself is a madhouse whirlwind in the best way—a gravy pot of candid convos from top creators, Succession quotes, memes galore, Aristotelian (apparently that’s a word) philosophy, and surveys including 1,000 consumers across the US from 1 to 64 years old. The result is a visionary (see what we did there?) report about the—you guessed it—future of commerce.
The intensity, absurdity, and seriously expansive meat-and-potatoes of this report gave us chills. But it also gave us tons of insights on the critical role mobile apps have to play in the future of commerce—especially as consumer behaviors and trends are constantly rearranging and being influenced by the dreaded algorithm (boo, hiss).
So, here are our top three takeaways on what this all means to people who have—or are thinking of getting—a mobile app for their online store.
#1 Your website is literally boring your shoppers silly.
VISIONS reports that “64% (of surveyors) agree it’s rare to come across a website that feels unique or has unexpected functionality.” According to the report, “The SaaS era and cloud platforms have limited the quantity and quality of decisions marketers and technologists need to make. This limited scope of decision making frees up emotional margin to focus on being exceptional at selling and delivering a quality product—by not implementing commoditized software.”
We couldn’t agree more. If you are going to go the software route, you need a highly customizable experience, one that isn’t cookie cutter and allows space for unexpectedness.
Having clear, concise, and unique brand queues give you a distinct, memorable look and feel, while having an innovative space to share your brand enhances the way your customers consume and feel about it. A mobile app offers intuitive navigation and functionality while retaining the customization your brand needs to stand out in a crowded digital space.
#2 It’s time to throw best practices out the window.
The VISIONS report poses a new kind of commerce manifesto: “Dark Mode.” The idea is that brands should “give your customers the ability to engage with your brand in a way that feels like an unlock. An Easter egg. An experience that allows them to turn off the mundane and engage the unexpected.” How exactly? Two ways—targeting your biggest fans and serving them something just for them, and two, amplifying the ways your VIPs already celebrate your brand.
This is literally what mobile apps do best. An app is catered to your top shoppers—these are the people who are most likely to download your app and give your brand that precious real estate directly on their phones.
This is the digital equivalent of them inviting you into their home and making you a Manhattan. Use this intimate invitation to court shoppers and make it clear they’re in great company. Through mobile apps, brands are able to show up and show out with a premium shopping experience that rewards customers and incentivizes their loyalty.
#3 Your shoppers are actively changing the way they interact with mobile.
Your shoppers are savvy af. They know the algorithm is having a huge influence on their personal taste and interests. To get around it, 43% of respondees reported recently changing their digital behavior to protect their algorithm or identity.
From clicking into content with the intent to train their algorithm to be agitated by the swell of targeted ads delivered to them the second they innocently search for something, shoppers know exactly what’s going on.
This is just another reason why those once-holy-grail targeted ads that brands are dumping their budget into aren’t performing like they used to—shoppers are running interference on them.
In the future, shoppers are expected to take the reins and set the tone for the content they’re receiving. When a shopper opts into receiving push notifications from your mobile app, they are literally saying, “I want to hear from you—you are welcome” here.”
Delivering messages in a consensual space gives shoppers their power back and your voice back. This is ideal for a future where shoppers are being intentional in how they interact on mobile.
So, how can you take these three insights and spin them into action on mobile?
- Make sure you are delivering content creatively on mobile by launching an app with custom features, so you can keep your audience intrigued in an ever-boring world of same-y websites.
- Be ultra-creative with how you engage your top shoppers. Make them feel special, and they’ll return the favor.
- Use the features available to you in a mobile app as a means to meaningfully and consensually connect with people that want to hear from you.