Ecommerce sales blew up during the lockdowns, reinventing how people shop. Before owning smartphones were normal, we hardly entertained the idea of buying anything remotely. Though eBay, Amazon, and Alibaba were already big during those days, most of us still preferred to visit brick-and-mortars. In fact, some people only started shopping online because the pandemic forced them to.
But since 2013, the number of people using their phones to shop has been growing. According to statistics, mobile commerce sales more than doubled between 2013 and 2018. It had jumped from 7% to 17%. As of 2019, mobile commerce sales were at 20% and were expected to surpass PC-based buying.
The rise of mobile commerce sales suggests that fewer people are now trying things on before buying them. When online shopping was just starting to become popular, many people were hesitant to do it, because they couldn’t try or test out the products first before paying for them. Yet now, we click “Add to Cart” with almost zero second thoughts. We also wait for e-commerce sales and other special promos like our lives depend on it.
All jokes aside, mobile-based shopping will only become even more amazing in the future. Today, even, our smartphones already allow us to do things we couldn’t do with it ten years ago. That said, here are things we can now perform using nothing but our trusty smartphones:
1. Connect to the Internet
Though 3G has been around for a while now, it wasn’t reliable enough to conduct business operations or shopping from our phones. Now, we already have 5G, making our phone-based web-surfing significantly faster. It reduced our need to rely on routers to get a fast internet connection. We can now even create our own network a.k.a. hotspot. Turn it on, and allow your friends and family to surf the net using your hotspot. You can even secure your network by complicating its password.
2. Take Measurements
Thanks to Augmented Reality (AR), we no longer need to whip out a tape measure to find out the scale of a place or object. Using a measurement app, you can measure your home’s ceiling height, for instance, which would aid you in renovation projects. In addition, certain apps can count your steps, sleep hours, or measure your heart rate. However, measuring stuff using only a smartphone may not produce accurate results yet, so don’t throw away your tape measures and other measuring devices.
3. Secure Our Homes
Smart technology has extended to homes as well, giving birth to smart homes. A smart home is basically a house with its own IT network. You can connect your smartphone to that network, and control everything in your home afterward. Forgot to lock the front door before bed? Just go to your smart home’s app and lock the door from it. You can also switch off lights and appliances through the app.
What’s more, a smart home also gives you the option to control your electronics using your voice. Just assign a voice command for each gadget or appliance, and it will do your bidding whenever you issue the voice command.
4. Buy a House
If you think the pandemic is making your home-buying plans impossible to complete, you’re missing out on the convenient house for sale apps. A real estate app eases down the home-buying or selling process by a great deal. It shows you complete information about all the listed properties from the palm of your hand.
Real estate agents themselves find these apps helpful. It lets them connect to buyers who don’t have an agent yet. If you’re a buyer, that’s a win-win situation for you and an agent. Finding a trustworthy agent or realtor without leaving your home is indeed the peak of modern home-buying.
5. Pay Bills
Aside from ordering stuff from the internet, we can now use our smartphones to pay our bills as well. New iPhones already come with Apple Pay, an app that serves as a mobile or e-wallet. You can enroll your credit or debit cards in it so that you can pay your bills without having to input your card number each time.
Other payment apps, including PayMaya, are popular e-wallets as well. But Apple Pay’s largest competitor is probably Google Pay, which is originally called Android Pay. It has pretty much the same functions like Apple Pay.
Samsung also launched its own mobile payment system, Samsung Pay. It works on any modern Android phone, but not on smartwatches unlike Apple Pay and Google Pay. However, Samsung Pay has one big advantage over its competitors. You can use it in more stores since it’s compatible with both contactless terminals and old-fashioned magnetic stripe systems.
To think that a smartphone’s capabilities will further increase in the coming years is mind-blowing. At this rate, even a budget smartphone can be smarter than a human. This year alone, we are already expecting greater things from smart technology, both high-end and affordable ones. What a time to be alive, indeed.