M-commerce sales increased an amazing 81 percent or $25 billion in 2012 and are expected to outpace that mark this year.
Clark Fredricksen, vice president at eMarketer.com, observes, “This holiday season, we saw not only some of the greatest adoption of mobile devices and tablets as shopping devices, we also saw one of the largest pushes by retailers and brands to reach the mobile consumer, more so than any other year.”
He notes that while “consumers are buying more than ever before on mobile devices, mobile still represents a sliver of the overall ecommerce picture and a tiny fraction of the overall retail picture. (However, the) reason why it is so important that retailers recognize the increase in mobile adoption is that mobile is becoming more important as a shopping device. What we are seeing is many consumers are starting the shopping process on a phone if that is not the place they end up making a purchase.”
Chantal Tode, writing on mobilecommercedaily.com, says that according to IgnitionOne.com, mobile “accounted for 18 percent of paid search budgets in the fourth quarter, with search ad impressions for tablets up 212 percent year-over-year and up 20 percent for smartphones.”
IBM reports more than 22 percent of consumers used a mobile device to visit a retail site, a jump of almost 7 percent over last year. And, eMarketer.com expects that in 2013 consumers will spend $24 billion shopping on tablets, in 2014 $34 billion and $61 billion by 2016.
Tode says, “Tablets already accounted for a bigger percentage of mobile commerce sales than smartphones in 2012, at 6.2 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively. By 2016, eMarketer forecasts tablets will have a 16.9 percent share of ecommerce sales while smartphones will bring in 6.7 percent.”
As opposed to long shopping trips with bored husbands (or wives) and screaming toddlers in tow, consumers only need to spend a few minutes online. And, they can do it anywhere, anytime. Observes Tode, “By having a strong mobile program, retailers can better take advantage of those moments when a consumer’s curiosity about a product is peaked by a TV ad or when someone is trying to get some shopping done while waiting in a doctor’s office.”
“Once a consumer owns a smartphone, they get a taste for the types of deals, product information and storefronts that are at their fingertips through the smartphone experience and their reliance on the device ramps up quickly,” offers Fredricksen. “This is something that we’ve definitely seen over the past six months or so.”