A report on global mobile shopping habits released Dec. 10 shows that mobile transactions account for more than 30% of ecommerce worldwide. The Q4 2014 State of Mobile Commerce Report from marketing technology company Criteo shows that mobile ecommerce has progressed much further than has been previously estimated.
“There has been a significant lack of information about mobile commerce, leading many marketers to underestimate the opportunity,” Jonathan Wolf, Chief Product Officer at Criteo, said in a statement.
The document compiles individual transaction-level data and takes its information from more than 3,000 ecommerce advertisers across the globe.
One popular notion the report dispels is that people use their mobile devices for research, but don’t make purchases from them. “Consumers are more comfortable than ever making purchases from mobile devices, which makes it increasingly vital for advertisers to effectively reach them across devices,” Wolf said.
Fashion purchases make up the biggest chunk of mobile buys, at 33%, with travel coming in closely behind at 27%. What’s more, order values on fashion purchases are almost equal to orders placed via PCs.
Within the category of mobile, tablets have a higher conversion rate than smartphones (meaning that more people who look at items on tablets actually purchase them). But smartphones account for a greater sale volume. Apple and Android users buy from their devices at similar rates.
The bottom line, according to Wolf, is that “If you’re an ecommerce player and you’re not focusing on allowing mobile audiences to purchase from you, then you may not be in business in a couple of years.”
Popularity of Mobile Worldwide
While this particular report is focused on ecommerce alone, there have been many indications that mobile optimization is becoming rapidly more important as users supplement or swap traditional desktop computers for tablets and smartphones.
About 18% of the time smartphone owners spend on their devices is used to browse websites, and users quickly become frustrated with sites that are difficult to use on small, touch-screen devices.
Google has recently rolled out a “mobile-friendly” label in mobile search results worldwide, and has said that mobile usability may soon become a factor in search engine results rankings, as well.
“Although some B2B websites may not benefit from optimizing their user experience for mobile, the majority, and especially B2C sites will be losing out if their mobile user experience sucks,” says Andreas Huttenrauch, Chief Digital Strategist at Globi Web Solutions. “Many business think of phones when talking about mobile websites, but tablets fall under mobile, and these devices are rapidly replacing laptops and even desktops.”