In August I wrote posts about the gap between browsing and purchasing on mobile and solutions for closing the gap. The problem is that filling out forms on mobile web sites is too painful for most people and that apps aren’t good for occasional purchases because people forget they have downloaded them.
Two recent developments may be changing the game.
First, announced today, the latest version of Chrome for iOS has a form auto-fill feature which, if implemented well, might get people checking out on mobile much more. Admittedly this feature has been available on Chrome for Android for some time.
The second is deep linking into apps. Spotlight searches will now show results from apps on the device. The picture below is from an investor update our shoe-commerce portfolio company Stylect sent around earlier this week. It shows how a search for Laboutin on Spotlight returns a result from inside the Stylect app. That brings the customer back to the Stylect app without them having to remember to look there.
One of these developments favours the mobile web, whilst the other favours the app economy. That’s the Google vs Apple battle playing out right there.