The Growth of Mobile Commerce

The explosive growth of mobile commerce has left many brands and retailers wondering how they can take advantage of this market.

This is really important question to think about.

In 2010, mobile commerce took part with only 3% of e-commerce. But, by the end of last year's holiday shopping season, that number had risen to 11%.

That gives us approximately $18.6 billion in consumer spending! Of course, that doesn't include travel-related purchases at all. Thanks in part to a new ecosystem of retail and shopping apps, mobile-generated retail spend could rise to 15% of retail e-commerce by the end of this year.

Here are some of the reasons why mobile commerce is about to explode.

The critical mass of mobile consumers is a primary driver of this growth
The proliferation of Android and iOS devices, particularly tablets, have led to new mobile usage habits such as "lean-back" shopping and driving a huge explosion in mobile commerce. Currently, 54% of adults in the U.S. own smartphones and about 25% own tablets. Those are big numbers. In about three years, the number of tablets alone will most probably overtake the number of PCs!

By 2016, about 450 million tablets will be sold annually worldwide. Statistics already show that a disproportionate share of mobile traffic to e-commerce websites comes from tablets. With only a 25% penetration rate, tablets account for well over 40% of mobile traffic to e-commerce sites.

Brands are experimenting with mobile merchandising trends
So brands are doing experiments such as mobile catalogs and coupons. What's interesting is that they are proving to be very successful.
Mobile coupons have helped major retailers and brands increase foot traffic into physical stores. Also, they are a great way for companies to collect data on offline purchases and close the mobile-to-offline purchase loop.

Mobile coupons are also proving to be a path into mobile for large consumer packaged goods brands that have previously shunned the medium. By 2014 the number of mobile coupon users is expected to increase to 53.2 million a year. At about 10%, the redemption rate of mobile coupons crushes that of print coupons, which hovers around 1%.

The changing demographics of e-commerce will continue to drive business
For about 50% of 12-17 year old smartphone users, the smartphone is their primary Internet access device.

This leads us to conclusion that for younger consumers mobile commerce and buying via smartphones and tablets will be a habit. With older consumer, this will not be the case. Mobile commerce is driving incremental e-commerce revenues that would not have happened without the availability of tablets and smartphones as new shopping mediums.