A new Shop.org/comScore report finds that consumers have become more willing to use tablets and smartphones for mobile commerce in recent years. In June 2013, 55 percent of retail-related Internet usage came from mobile devices, while only 45 percent came from desktops.
According to the report, smartphone use in particular saw growth, rising by 17 percent from 2010 to reach 44 percent of Internet retail time. E-commerce itself has grown significantly in the last couple of years, growing 16 percent between the second quarter of 2012 and the second quarter of 2013. M-commerce, however, outstripped overall growth and grew by 24 percent in the same time frame — 8 percent faster than the norm. The retail sector saw some of the most mobile activity, but the beauty and fashion sectors also did very well, as did home/lifestyle and instant messaging.
Shop.org and comScore also looked at in-store mobile commerce trends. The research showed that about 57 percent of smartphone users visited the website of the store they are currently inside. Most of them wanted to see if there was an online discount, creating plenty of potential for mobile promotions or mobile coupons. Approximately 43 percent visited other sites to compare prices. Sometimes consumers simply wanted to see a better picture of the product or discuss the purchase with friends and family.
Smartphones were also a popular way to locate stores and confirm product availability. But when it came to purchases, the desktop was still supreme: About 70 percent of purchases came from desktops and the remaining purchases were split between tablets and phones.
These results, released at Shop.org’s Annual Summit, come just in time for the traditional jump in retail sales expected this holiday season. The question is not only how much revenue smartphones and tablets will help retailers earn this season, but also how many consumers will move over to mobile devices.
Bloomberg analysis predicts that most holiday shoppers will choose tablets over desktops this year, and that the real battle over consumers’ wallets will be between large-screen smartphones and new lines of tablet computers. The difference could prove significant to retailers in 2014. After all, even the largest smartphones will impact in-store shopping, while tablets will continue to influence at-home buying habits and even potentially keep shoppers out of brick-and-mortar stores.
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