The Future of Shopping. From E-Commerce to M-Commerce and C-Commerce

Viber cristina-constandache
Cristina Constandache
Chief Revenue Officer at Rakuten Viber
The Future of Shopping. From E-Commerce to M-Commerce and C-Commerce

Technologies have been evolving and influencing various industries at a tremendous pace. The retail industry is no different, and, in fact, is one of the most heavily impacted ones. The ways consumers shop and purchase products have changed dramatically in recent years, all thanks to the proliferation of technology and innovation. In this article, we will take a look at some of the major trends that are currently shaping the future of retail.

It’s not a secret that thanks to the advancement of the internet and smartphones in recent years, we've seen a major shift from traditional brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping. People see it as a more convenient, available 24/7, and often a more cost-effective option. In addition to this, the rise of social media has further changed consumer behavior as people are now able to read reviews and see what others think before they purchase a product. 

Another major trend that is currently shaping the retail industry is the emergence of artificial intelligence. AI is being used for various purposes, from customer support and product recommendations to powering chatbots. AI is also influencing the way we shop, helping retailers provide a more tailor-made experience and offer a more personalized approach. This evolution was one of the things that prompted the development of CDPs, customer data platforms, helping the retail industry use big data to better understand trends and customer preferences. 

All in all, technologies are having a big impact on the industry, making it easier for customers to shop, and helping businesses to operate more efficiently. And now, with the further development of technologies, we are seeing even more transformations.

Sell in every channel where your customers are ready to buy

The transformation of the retail industry has had a major impact on the way all businesses operate. It has made it more important than ever for companies to have a strong online presence and to be able to reach their audience through multiple channels and be available at any touchpoint where a customer might be ready to make a purchase. 

What’s more, e-commerce is now diversifying into additional ways of shopping: mobile commerce, conversational commerce, and social commerce

By using modern tools, companies can provide a more convenient and personalized shopping experience for customers, and not only increase sales but help build a close relationship with the audience, too.

What is mobile commerce?

The official definition of mobile commerce, also known as m-commerce, is “the buying and selling of goods and services through a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet”. 

M-commerce has been growing rapidly in recent years, as more and more consumers shop online. In addition to the most common m-commerce example – purchasing a product or a service through a mobile website or an app – there are many creative ways how m-commerce can be used. 

For example, Rakuten Viber Business solutions allow brands and retailers to use transactional and promotional messages with rich media content including images, videos, and even CTA buttons. They can be very useful when you want to provide more information or highlight specific features of a product. 

Here are some recommendations that we usually share with brands that are looking to take their m-commerce to the next level using Rakuten Viber for Business:

  • Use the native Rakuten Viber formatting to create visually appealing, easy-to-read messages
  • Offer exclusive, personalized discounts and promotions. For example, you can create a flash sale, or offer a limited time discount
  • Include a call-to-action (CTA) in every promotional message to encourage customers to take action
  • Use Rakuten Viber to provide customer support. You can use Rakuten Viber Business Messages to answer customer questions via live chat with your agent or respond to queries 24/7 with the help of Rakuten Viber Chatbots
  • Make sure to use high-quality images and attractive videos to showcase your products
  • If you’re selling physical goods, use Rakuten Viber to provide tracking information and delivery updates
Examples of m-commerce with Rakuten Viber for Business

These are just some of the ways you can use Rakuten Viber for Business to improve your m-commerce.

What is conversational commerce?

Conversational commerce is a type of e-commerce that allows customers to make purchases through natural conversations with the brand. Orders can be placed through chatbots, voice assistants, or live support. In other words, through a conversation that is taking place online. 

The core benefit of this emerging type of commerce is, of course, the ability for businesses to provide a more personalized shopping experience. The customer can discuss the order, choose the size and color of the product, and pay for it, all through one conversation. This format is especially convenient for those customers who aren’t sure which product to choose and want to receive advice from the brand. 

Good examples of conversational commerce include conversational search to find specific products and brands, messages to facilitate the buying process on the go, like booking a taxi or ordering food, chatbots to answer queries and provide support and services like managing account settings.

C-commerce is still relatively new, but more and more brands start using it to increase their sales and it is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. It is a new way of shopping that's emerging thanks to the rise of messaging apps like Rakuten Viber. Conversational commerce allows customers to message businesses directly to ask questions, get recommendations, and make purchases without ever having to leave the app. This new way of shopping is convenient, personal, and fast, and it's changing the way we think about e-commerce in general. 

In the past, shopping, even online, was a one-way street — you find what you were looking for and then make a purchase. But now, brands can have two-way conversations with their clients, making the shopping experience more individual and interactive. If you're a business owner, you should start thinking about how you can use conversational commerce to your advantage. It's a great way to connect with your audience, build strong relationships, and increase sales and conversions. To get started, all you need is a messaging app and a customer service strategy. Once you have those in place, you can start offering your clients a new, convenient way to shop.

Learn more about Conversational Commerce at Rakuten Viber

Examples of conversational commerce on Rakuten Viber via chatbots and business messages

The hottest topics in the business world: how retail will continue to evolve

  1. Further growth in the use of mobile devices for pretty much everything. 

    Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to research products, compare prices, find deals, and, of course, make purchases. This trend is only going to increase in the coming years.
  2. The rise of superapps. 

    Superapps offer a wide range of services, from messaging and payments to transportation and food delivery. Superapps are extremely popular in Asia, and they are starting to gain traction in other parts of the world as well. 

    Superapps will continue evolving not just through the features, but through the tools to enhance the shopping experience and make it more convenient for customers. Technologies such as augmented reality and voice-activated assistants are becoming more and more common already.
  3. Personalization. 

    Brands are using data to personalize the experience for their clients. Product recommendations, coupons, and deals are tailored individually based on the audience behavioral or other data. This trend is only going to increase as retailers collect and analyze more customer information. 

    In a rapidly digitizing world, the lines between marketing and commerce are blurring. As technology continues to evolve and the audience becomes more connected, companies are recognizing the need for a more holistic, combined approach to customer engagement. By understanding people and their needs, and by being able to offer them what they need, businesses can create a seamless, omnichannel experience for customers where they are.

We encourage all our business customers at Rakuten Viber to pay more attention to personalization as brands will be able to reach new clients, convert more sales, and save money on marketing.

About Rakuten Viber

A messaging app that on top of dozens features for users also lets businesses connect with their audiences in a very efficient way. It is a fantastic tool for customer service, public announcements, sales, and marketing. The app is available in more than 190 countries and in major stores, including Apple Store, Google Play, Huawei Store, and Xiaomi Store. So regardless of what kind of device your customers are using, they'll be able to receive your messages and stay connected. With over one billion downloads on Android, users around the world have chosen Rakuten Viber as their go-to communication tool. 

Rakuten Viber just made it even easier and more convenient for its users to enjoy the benefits of a super-app. With payments on Rakuten Viber (launched first in Germany and Greece in July 2022), people can now set up a digital wallet to store money directly within the app – no more need to switch between programs. So whether people are making personal or business transactions, payments on Rakuten Viber make it quick, easy, and convenient.

You can always reach out to us for more information on Rakuten Viber for Business products and how your brand can benefit from them.