Mobile commerce: future or present of online purchases?

Posted by media on February 9, 2017 at 9:00 AM


The exponential growth in adopting  smartphones around the world, the fact that these devices have larger screens and allow for a faster and safer navigation, and the decreasing reluctance to make purchases on a smartphone or tablet have made mobile commerce not just the choice for a few pioneers but the fastest growing e-commerce segment.  

In this post, we will reveal some of the latest numbers that support this reality, paying attention to the evolution of purchases via mobile devices in the UK, a ground-breaking market worldwide, and in Spain.

This post is also available in Spanish.

The United Kingdom: an early adopter that sets the pace

The extraordinary infiltration of mobile commerce in the UK is a good case study that can help us to determine what may be the global trends for the next few years. Since along with Japan, it is one of only two markets in the world where mobile sales have already exceeded those made through laptop and desktop computers.

According to a study by IMRG and Capgemini, half of all British retail web traffic comes from mobile devices, and these also account for 36% of all online sales - a percentage that also rises to 40% in sectors like fashion and accessories.

In the UK, 36% of all online sales
come from mobile devices.

In the United Kingdom tablets still outnumber smartphones, when it comes to purchases, as it is the device preferred by 82% of users who make online purchases.

Globally, mobile commerce is already on the scene

While the UK indicators may look exceptional, the website specialized in coupons and offers Coupofy has shared some data - from multiple sources such as Paypal, Statista o Tech Republicabout the adoption of mobile commerce worldwide. And these figures indicate that the British case is not really the exception to the rule, but the mirror that reflects what consumers in other countries are looking at.

Globally, mobile purchases account for 34% of all e-commerce, and is this figure is growing 200% faster than the rest of online commerce.

Mobile purchases are growing 200% faster
than the rest of online commerce.

It is also revealing how consumers are increasingly filling up their shopping baskets on their smartphones and tablets. These devices are no longer used just to make small transactions;   on the contrary, the average amount of the purchases is starting to be significant.

For example, the average purchase price for computers, televisions or other multimedia devices via mobile sums to $212; books, music or video games to $198; clothing and accessories to $93; and in some categories unimaginable just a few years ago, such as cleaning products or jewelry, mobile purchases have exceeded the amounts of $68 and $133, respectively.

In terms of the preferred channel to shop on a smartphone, 64% of consumers prefer to do so through an app, while 52% prefer a conventional or responsive website that can be accessed through the browser of their smartphone or tablet.

…And what's happening in Spain?

Compared to this data - and with those gathered by Criteo in the United States, where mobile phones are gaining an edge to tablets, and purchases via app are increasing more and more compared to those made via browser - Spain doesn’t operate the same way.

According to the third edition of the Mobile Report in Spain and the World made by the consultancy firm, ditrendia, in Spain 87% of mobile phones are already smartphones, and these devices outnumber laptops and desktop computers. Apart from that, one in every three homes has a tablet, and use these devices an average of 3 hours and 23 minutes and 1 hour and 41 minutes, respectively.

In Spain, 87% of mobile phones 
are smartphones.

Despite this high adoption rate, Spaniards still show some reservations to make purchases via mobile. Although 6 out of 10 users claim to have bought something with their smartphone or tablet, sales are still concentrated in the segments of leisure (31%), fashion (28%) and travel (21%), more than in other sectors popular in other countries like food(8%).

Bestselling products in mobile devices in Spain:


In addition, Spaniards are more reticent to make mobile payments: only 12% of the users state that they do so, and that fact puts Spain below the world average.

However, regarding the preferred device to make online purchases, here the ratio of the UK is reversed and Spaniards  prefer to make purchases through the smartphone (27%) rather than through a tablet (13%).

This post is also available in Spanish.
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Topics: Digital Transformation

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