Mobile Trends for 2016

An overview of mobile trends for the coming year, and how Zalando is tackling these

photo of Kristina Walcker-Mayer
Kristina Walcker-Mayer

Mobile Apps Product Specialist and Mobile First Evangelist

Posted on Dec 22, 2015
  1. Shopping straight from social media

Social platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, came up with the “Buy Button” this year so users can shop selected items without leaving the respective social platform. Mobile users spend most of their time on social apps, and according to Nielsen this is around 85% of their time. This offers customers a convenient way to order their favorite items straight away.

In general, we assume that the mobile landscape will become more consolidated next year: the mobile leaders (social platforms, messenger apps, etc.) will take over most of the mobile moments of the consumer. For brands, this means they have to hook up with big players in order to keep up with their customers, by still providing own mobile services and solutions.

Read more here about how we made Instagram shoppable within our Zalando fashion store app.

  1. Creating mobile-first experiences is crucial for companies.

For even more companies, mobile has become a core pillar of their global strategy in 2015, and this will only grow further in 2016. Mobile is not only a channel, but a core strategic component for every step of the shopping lifecycle. The conversation has changed in boardrooms from: “Can we afford to get into mobile?” to “We can’t afford not to get into mobile”. Only 20% of companies were creating mobile-first experiences in 2015, but this will change in the new year.

Mobile is already seen as an important engagement tool for the personal customer relationship. Brands should expect consumers to become more empowered and, therefore, demand instant gratification, whether through up to date content or purchases.

Employees need to understand that the shift from desktop to mobile is happening faster than imaginable at the moment. The culture of product development needs to shift from desktop-first to mobile-first. This is not only doable by a single mobile team, but by integrating the entire company in this shift.


  1. Internet of Things and Smart Objects

In future the average household will have several smart appliances, such as light bulbs that can be switched on and off via smart devices, heating control,sports and health tools, and toys that can be controlled via apps.

Wearables, such as smartwatches and Smart TVs, were a big topic this year. But there are only a small percentage of the wide selection of smart objects and connected household devices. Larry Page mentioned earlier this year: “We are no longer in a mobile-first world, we are in a mobile-only world.”

In 2016, we can expect the Internet of Things and the mobility trend to peak with new offerings that will connect devices to a vast array of gadgets, vehicles and further equipment.

Read more here on what we learnt whilst developing Zalando’s Apple Watch App

  1. Mobile Payment

In 2016, it can be expected that the amount of mobile payment opportunities will increase. People are becoming more comfortable paying via mobile devices, which will only become easier and safer. We’re currently facing a big alteration when it comes to financial transactions in the digital sphere. Swiping, waving or tapping are just some examples of gestures, that can be used to pay with your handset.

Here you can find out more on how we launched Apple Pay in our App in UK as one of the first Apple Pay partners in Europe:

  1. Mobile will transform more businesses & industries

Mobile services, such as UBER, Shazam, Google Maps or local transportation apps have improved the customer-experience in so many ways, transformed entire industries and come up with completely new customer propositions. Remember those times when you need to call a cab, but you didn’t have the number of the taxi operator at hand and or a clue where you were? Or you listened to a song in the radio, and you desperately wanted to find out what it was?

For the transformation of the customer-experience, mobile plays a crucial role and drives business benefits, such as new revenues and cost savings, but also the customer engagement by increasing loyalty through satisfaction and delight. Context becomes very important to a fully personal and seamless experience: time, location and situation of the user need to be adapted in order to fulfill the required needs of the consumer.

Watch the video on how we want to reshape the future of e-commerce at Zalando.

What do you think about our mobile trends for next year? Share your comments below.

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