Mobile E-Commerce Sales Expected To Reach $149 Billion By 2019

Smartphones aren’t just for email and Angry Birds anymore. As mobile phones are increasingly used throughout the shopping process from start to finish, shoppers are blurring the lines between shopping online and shopping in the store. Increasingly, consumers are using smartphones to research and purchase items, raising US retail mobile e-commerce sales from $79 billion in 2015 to a projected $149 billion by 2019 according to eMarketer. Tweet This Globally, annual e-commerce revenue exceeds $1.3 trillion.

Mobile Commerce Becomes Mainstream

Mobile buyers represent an increased percentage of mobile shoppers, meaning that people aren’t just browsing online anymore – but actually buying from phones and tablets. Showing a steady increase from 2014 to 2015, Facebook IQ (the social media giant’s consumer research division) found that in reported conversions (or sales), 3 in 10 of these conversions took place on mobile devices. During this same period in 2015, mobile purchased increased by 35%.

eMarketer supports this data by showing mobile buyers to be an increased percentage of total mobile shoppers. Mobile buyers represented 66.2% of shoppers in 2013, rising steadily to 69.7% in 2014, and is expected to hit 76% by 2018. The majority of these users are purchasing from smartphones, not tablets. Research from Nielsen shows that 70% of mobile shoppers use their smartphones to help find the store itself, using a store locator feature. Going beyond purchasing, this research shows a variety of popular uses in shopping including making lists (37%), checking prices (56%) using mobile coupons (34%) and even using phones for payment (23%).

Who is a Mobile Shopper?

In the United States, eMarketer estimates there were some 145 million mobile shoppers, up from 121 million from 2013. Not all buyers are mobile shoppers as listed above, with many people using mobile devices to browse for coupons and retailers, or to get feedback and reviews. App-based loyalty programs and online coupons help inspire mobile shoppers too.

The advantage of mobile for many users is the ability to use their device anywhere. This leads to amusing situations, such as the 46% of surveyed shoppers in the UK and France admitting to doing mobile business while in the bathroom. While the portability of a mobile device might seem handy, the reality is that 75% of mobile shoppers use their devices inside the retail store. Of these in-store mobile consumers, 25% of those shoppers will also purchase their desired item at this time. The changing behavior of mobile consumers is a great indicator for upcoming retail trends, helping to dictate the direction responsive web content will take in the near future.