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From Mobile World Congress 2017: 6 Technology Trends That Will Influence Mobile E-Commerce

We review 6 mobile technologies and trends you need to pay attention to.

Head over to Part 1


4 Mobile SEO

1) Mobile-Specific Headlines

The New York Times made waves last week when they A/B tested two different headlines, one targeting mobile devices, and the other targeting dinosaur desktops. The result? A 26% higher click-through-rate on mobile.

“I’d love to see us doing more of that in the future, when we can,” senior Times editor Mark Bulik told Digiday.

I’d count on more of that in the very near future, if I were you. It’s about “getting serious about personalization” – especially for mobile users.

New York Times: Mobile Ad vs. Desktop Ad Test
NYT: Mobile Ad vs. Desktop Ad


2) Voice Search

Amazon increased Alexa sales by 400% in 2016, and that points to one thing — consumers are hungrier than ever for adequate voice search solutions.

In fact, 20% of search queries on mobile devices came via voice search in 2016, reported Search Engine Land. And how do searchers ask questions when using voice search? They ask them conversationally.

Google’s RankBrain algorithm warms up to semantic and conversational search queries more each time it updates. If you’re still writing headlines like “Best Sweater Deals NYC,” you’d better get used to writing headline copy like “Where Can I Find the Best Clothing Deals in New York?”


3) Google Possum: Local SEO in 2017

Google “Possum” is  the name the SEO community gave to Google’s local SEO update in September 2016. The update diversified local search results to provide more listings, and it allowed businesses slightly outside of city limits to rank for city-specific terms.

While we don’t always associate local SEO with e-commerce or m-commerce, local businesses sell merchandise online too. Based on data released in May of 2016, over 50% of Google’s traffic is now mobile and within that, nearly 30% of those searches are local.

Neil Patel’s case study on the subject revealed that small businesses can outrank larger brands when a search query occurs within a certain radius of the small business’s address. Search Engine Watch ties mobile to SEO by observing that many mobile users utilize a brand’s e-commerce site to find nearby locations, but when the location information to a nearby location is not displayed, the sale (online and in-store) is usually lost.


5 Chatbots, AI, Shopping Assistants

2016 brought some astounding advancements in artificial intelligence, chat technology, and shopping assistants. Ever since Facebook launched its Messenger API and made waves at F8, brands have been investing heavily in virtual assistants.

1) Digital Shopping Assistants

The busier people are, the more they appreciate convenience and speed when shopping. Spending hours browsing online for the perfect pair of shoes or a last minute gift is a luxury of time most mobile shoppers can’t or don’t want to afford. Digital advisors help users save time, ensure they get the product that matches their needs and support them during the purchase decision-making process. Shoppers can get tailored product recommendations powered by cutting-edge algorithms, data intelligence and human expertise.

Digital advisors learn a shopper’s style, needs, preferences and other details to make relevant recommendations.

Running shoes advisor
Mobile Digital Shopping Advisor for Running Shoes – Finding the right running shoes in a few steps

There’s no doubt that these digital advice applications will influence and reshape the industry as mobile shopping continues to rise.

Want to create a digital advisor? Digital Advice Suite to create a digital advisor in 4 steps (with video and free 30-day trial)


2) Chatbots: As some people still prefer more conversational interactions, shopping assistants increasingly mimic human-to-human interaction. Chatbots rely on artificial intelligence (AI) to maintain a meaningful conversation with users. We’ll see more businesses creating their own chatbots facilitated by mobile technologies.

Shopping chatbot demo SMARTASSISTANT
Shopping Advisor Chatbot demo by SMARTASSISTANT


Flight booking chatbot demo
Flight booking chatbot demo by Isil Uzum

The following platforms allow you to develop your own chatbot:

  1. Microsoft Bot Platform
  2. ChatScript
  3. PandoraBots
  4. Facebook Bots for Messenger
  6. Imperson


6 Internet of Things (IoT)

Business Insider predicted that by 2020, Earth will hold over 24 billion Internet of Things devices.

Internet of Things simply refers to a network of devices connected to the internet. These can be wearables, refrigerators, cars, etc. — in fact, entire Smart Homes are on the rise, and will continue to gain popularity.

Related: Internet of Things – How It Is Transforming Retail

So how will the Internet of Things impact marketing to mobile devices in 2017? Marketers will have access to even more data than before, for starters. With so many digital devices collecting information every second, this equates to better insight into consumer trends and expectations, and in turn opportunities to create a customized and personalized mobile shopping experience.



Given the rise of mobile shoppers, mobile commerce trends are an important consideration for retailers to provide an experience that is differentiated, seamless, innovative and engaging.

Innovation comes in many forms and m-commerce trends will continue to evolve in 2017. What was your highlight at this year’s Mobile World Congress? Have we missed any technology – do let us know in the comments.

Back to Part 1



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Adam handles SEO, PPC, and copywriting for DMI Partners in Philadelphia, PA. When he isn’t building campaigns on Adwords and monitoring keyword rankings, he’s writing about the intersection of music and history at