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M-Commerce Tops 81 Percent to $25B in 2012

16 Jan, 2013 By: Doug McPherson

NEW YORK – Mobile commerce (all purchases made on smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices) in the United States rose 81 percent to nearly $25 billion last year, according to eMarketer.

How? eMarketer says consumers have rapidly adopted tablets and smartphones as shopping devices. Mobile devices accounted for 11 percent of all U.S. retail E-commerce sales last year and more growth is expected to push mobile sales to a 15-percent share of all U.S. retail E-commerce sales for 2013.

The forecast reflects a confluence of three trends: 1) the expanding number of smartphone shoppers whose behavior affects commerce in all channels; 2) the growing number of smartphone buyers who enjoy the immediacy of purchasing through their phones and are expected to generate just over one-third of M-commerce sales this year; 3) the rapid rise in tablet shopping, which will produce the bulk of M-commerce sales during the next four years.

eMarketer says in 2013, U.S. consumers will spend $24 billion shopping on their tablets, and that figure will nearly double by 2015. M-commerce sales on smartphones will grow more slowly, reaching $13.4 billion this year and $24.3 billion by 2016. Purchases on other mobile devices, such as E-readers, will continue to make up a small but steady share of the M-commerce pie.

Purchases on tablets will account for 9.4 percent of all retail E-commerce sales this year, and 16.9 percent of the total by 2016. Smartphones, which initially led due to earlier adoption, will contribute 5.3 percent of retail E-commerce sales this year, a figure that will nudge up only slightly through eMarketer’s forecast period.

In another study by Latitude called “Next-Gen Retail: Mobile & Beyond,” smartphones and tablets aren’t just making shopping more convenient and real-time – they’re fundamentally changing how people think about shopping. Mobile shopping makes people feel more relaxed, productive and informed, as well as more open-minded and receptive to discovering new things, says the report.

But nearly 90 percent of people agreed that having a mobile device with real-time information made them more spontaneous with shopping and, in general, more open to discovering new things.

Neela Sakaria of Latitude says, “Many people prefer using their mobile devices for shopping even while at home. Mobile isn’t just about on-the-go convenience when it comes to shopping, interesting possibilities [exist] for retailers to reach people in new and … engaging ways.”

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