Capitalizing on the Mobile Shopping Experience with AI

The world of retail has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past decade, with mobile devices playing an increasingly significant role in shaping consumers’ shopping habits. 

As more and more online shopping happens via mobile, retailers are presented with a unique opportunity to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to capitalize on the mobile shopping experience. By understanding and catering to the preferences and behaviors of mobile shoppers through AI-driven solutions, retailers can enhance customer engagement, boost sales, and foster long-lasting brand loyalty. In this blog, we explore how vertical AI—purpose-built for retail—can enhance the mobile shopping landscape and enable retailers to stay ahead in a fiercely competitive market.

M-Commerce: Mobile Is Dominant

Let’s start with the data: U.S. adults dedicate over 5 hours of their day to using mobile phones, making them a dominant force in terms of internet usage with mobile phones accounting for almost 57% of the total internet traffic. Furthermore, 46% of consumers prefer conducting their online shopping activities through their mobile devices and 60% of consumers report using their mobile devices in-store for activities such as price comparison, product research, QR code scanning, or utilizing scan-and-go checkout options.

What this means is that m-commerce—shopping on a mobile phone—has become the next true frontier of shopping. With $7 out of every $10 ad dollars spent on mobile advertising efforts, and consumers preferring to shop on their mobile devices to such a degree, retailers must be mobile first; it’s critical that retail organizations consider what it means to deliver relevance and personalization in this context, on this smaller form factor, whether in-app or mobile web.

The Challenge of Mobile Shopping

When it comes to mobile shopping, retailers grapple with the constraints of limited display space. Combine this with shorter attention spans and the particular privacy scrutiny unique to smartphones retailers certainly know that engaging consumers becomes ever more challenging. The cornerstone to success with m-commerce is personalization and this is precisely the landscape where vertical, purpose-build AI for retail blended with deep domain expertise can help brands think like consumers. Together, they forge a transformative solution, ensuring that retailers can optimize their offerings and provide highly relevant and captivating mobile shopping experiences for their users.

Personalization on The Mobile Device

Personalization is a goal that remains consistent across both desktop and mobile devices with 71% of consumers expecting personalized shopping experiences. The overarching aim is to deliver a tailored and relevant experience to the user, regardless of the platform because it can lessen decision fatigue and reduce the time consumers spend making choices, ultimately easing their cognitive burden. The impact of AI on the digital shopping experience is so profound that 92% of retailers are investing in AI for its ability to create more personalized interactions. However, the methods, execution, and considerations for personalization can differ between desktop and mobile devices due to several factors:

Screen Size & Layout: Mobile devices have smaller screens than desktops. This means that there’s limited real estate to display information. AI for retailers can provide consumer data that ensures personalization on mobile prioritizes showing only the most relevant content or product recommendations to avoid clutter and unnecessary long scrolling.

Contextual Awareness: Mobile devices often have access to a richer set of contextual information like location data, movement sensors, and more. AI can leverage this information to offer highly personalized experiences, such as recommending nearby stores or products based on the person’s current location (with the proper data use permissions in place, of course!).

Interaction Patterns: The way people interact with a mobile device differs from a desktop. Touch gestures, swipes, and taps are more common on mobile. AI can can interpret this data in real time to generate personalized experiences on mobile that prioritize easy-to-tap options or swipeable carousels tailored to consumer preferences.

Mobile-First Features: Some mobile devices offer features like augmented reality (AR) for virtual try-ons, camera-based functionalities, or voice enabled shopping assistance. These AI-driven functionalities provide personalized experiences, such as virtual try-ons for products or AR-based product visualizations in the user’s environment.

Usage Patterns: Many people interact with their mobile devices in shorter, more frequent bursts compared to longer, more focused sessions on desktops. AI can provide the data-driven insights that allow for mobile personalization strategies that focus on quick, impactful engagements that cater to these shorter attention spans.

Mobile App Behavior Analysis: AI can help retailers refine their app interface according to on-device behavior, highlighting, for instance, frequently browsed categories, time spent, category pathways, etc. It also recognizes and optimizes for user gestures, enhancing navigation and product exploration.

Personalized Mobile Ads: Ads within apps are tailored to user behavior and preferences. With the right permissions, ads can also be customized based on interactions across multiple apps. Generative AI can also be used in marketing to assist advertisers navigate complexity and enhance individual ad performance.

Embracing AI in Mobile Shopping: Securing Retail Success in the Future

The mobile shopping landscape presents both challenges and opportunities for retailers. Vertical AI solutions for retailers can provide more refined, effective, and efficient tools for personalization on mobile devices. As technology continues to evolve, embracing AI-powered solutions will be the key to staying competitive and thriving in the m-commerce era.

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