While Shopify Unite 2017 might have come and gone, the conversations generated there are continuing to make an impact.  In front of an audience made up of app developers, designers, and marketing professionals, Shopify made some announcements that will undoubtedly shape commerce over the next year and beyond.

Although they addressed a number of evolving commerce features, the focus of their efforts was on multi-channel commerce.  More specifically, Shopify demonstrated a keen desire to focus on creating a better mobile shopping experience for their merchants and, above all, the end customer.

eCommerce is Shifting to Mobile

This passion for the overarching customer experience aligns perfectly with how Smile.io is enabling mobile rewards.  Shopify has been reporting that mobile traffic has been on the rise for the past few years. However, traffic and checkouts are two very different things. This year, Shopify announced that 58% of checkouts on Shopify were on a mobile device.

mobile commerce mobile versus desktop

This is a big change for the world of commerce, but one that Shopify (and Smile.io) have been preparing for.

How Shopify is Addressing Mobile Commerce

Shopify had a few heavy-hitting announcements to address how they’re committing to these upward mobile trends.

mobile commerce create apps subtitle

Shopify announced that they are working on tools that will allow merchants to create their own shoppable apps on Android and Apple. In true Shopify fashion, they are making these as simple to edit and change as the themes that power store templates.

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Another mobile-oriented change that is coming is the ability to allow shoppers to purchase an item directly from the product page without moving to a checkout page.

mobile commerce buy now mockup

This is huge for a couple of reasons.  For starters, it avoids shoppers needing to add items to a cart before proceeding to a designated cart page and then a separate checkout. Secondly, buy buttons reduce the amount of steps required to receive payment. This is especially useful on mobile, where a cart is often required to be displayed on a separate page.

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This is by far my favourite announcement! In an effort to make the checkout process even simpler, the team at Shopify is introducing an impressive new way for customers to checkout: Shopify Pay.

This new payment system allows shoppers to save their payment info to be used on future Shopify purchases. Once that info is saved, the next purchase they make on any Shopify store simply requires an email address to be entered, followed by a simple SMS verification code.

mobile commerce shopify pay inline

This is an amazing feature, especially when you consider it’s success: Shopify reports 40% faster checkouts and an 18% increase in conversion rate! With Shopify Pay, customers won’t have to worry about filling in all those fields every time they want to make a purchase. By removing one of the biggest headaches of mobile shopping, this is going to be huge for mobile commerce.

How Smile.io is Addressing Mobile Commerce

All of these changes Shopify have been working on are amazing to see and something that Smile.io has also been preparing for. We have made some changes to our product to address mobile commerce as well.

1. Consistent Customer Experience

When compared to desktop screens, mobile devices have very minimal horizontal real-estate. This inconsistency is what prompted us to redesign the look of the Smile.io customer panel.

By changing the panel’s orientation from horizontal to vertical, customers now experience a more seamless transition from desktop to mobile – and vice-versa! This also has the benefit of freeing up more space for your customers to continue their shopping experience.

mobile commerce app store

With a Smile.io rewards program, you can be confident knowing that your customers are getting the same high quality experience across all devices.

2. Mobile-Optimized First Interactions

Screen space is at a premium on mobile devices, and we want to free up as much space as possible!   In order to do that, Smile.io gives you two options for mobile interaction with your program.

Option 1 is to use our “intent system” to launch your program from any clickable element. That means it can be launched from menu items, text links, images, and more! This option is available to anyone on the Small Business plan or higher.  However, if you are not on one of these plans don’t worry – we’ve still got you covered.

mobile commerce ivory ella mobile

Option 2 is to use our redesigned mobile launcher. This new launcher takes up less space than previous iterations and allows your shoppers to dismiss and reopen it at any time.

mobile commerce demo store mobile

Regardless of the option you choose, your customers will have a way to interact with your program that is accessible without interfering with their shopping experience.

3. Mobile-First Development and Experience

At Smile.io, we’ve been keeping an eye on general commerce traffic as well as how many of your customers are actually engaging with your Smile.io rewards program on mobile.   Through our research, we’ve found that customers interacting with a rewards program on mobile represented about 64% of all interactions with Smile.io.

mobile commerce smile.io mobile versus desktop

This is a very similar figure to what Shopify has been seeing, which is why we have been obsessing over creating a mobile first experience for your customers. Going forward, every single new Smile.io feature is designed with a mobile-first approach.

4. Customers Stay on Your Site

You may not know this, but many Shopify apps create a mobile experience by redirecting customers from your site to a mobile version of your program on a different page.

mobile commerce redirect

When you use Smile.io, you’re not moving any potential customers away from your site, giving your more opportunities to build lasting relationships that lead to long term success.

The Future of Mobile Commerce

The amount of growth in mobile commerce over the past 3 years has been astonishing, and I for one cannot wait to see what the next few years have in store! As emerging markets begin to shift online, we are going to see mobile shopping continue to skyrocket. By combining the powerful changes developed by both Shopify and Smile.io, you can ensure that your store is already riding the wave.