Global Mobile eCommerce Stats, Trends & Forecasts

(Q2 2019 Edition)

With mobile now being the most common way for people to access the web, it’s only natural that more people are using their phone to buy products than ever before.
To illustrate the importance of Mobile eCommerce (aka mCommerce) in 2019 and beyond, we’ve charted some of the latest research and data what we will be updating periodically. 

Mobile Purchases Will Be Worth $3.56 Trillion By 2021

This chart shows you how quickly mobile eCommerce is growing, more than doubling over the past three years from just under $1 trillion in 2016 to more than $2.32 trillion in 2019.

By 2021, global mobile eCommerce sales are expected to be worth $3.56 trillion, according to eMarketer 2018 prediction.

These figures exclude mobile travel and event ticket purchases.

Mobile as a share of total e-commerce


Mobiles Generate More Transactions, Desktop/Laptops Generate 2x The Order Values

According to Monetate’s eCommerce Quarterly Report for Q3 2018, while mobile sales top eCommerce sales in terms of quantity, desktop sales are still worth significantly more on average.


Voice Controlled Devices Are Becoming A Huge Driver of Sales

A 2018 study from Juniper Research shows the number of people using voice assistant apps is going to grow by 1,000%, reaching 275 million people globally in 2023.

Meanwhile, another earlier survey of 1,622 US Consumers in 2017 by Walker Sands found 19% of people made a purchase using voice in assist in 2017 (Amazon Echo or other voice-controlled device) and the number was forecast to rise to 33% in 2018.

US Consumers using voice assistant to make a purchase in 2017
US Consumers forecast to use voice assistant to make a purchase in 2018

More Than 50% Of Smartphone Users Are Happy To Research, Plan & Book An Entire Trip Using Mobile Only

Just to give you an idea of how significant mobile travel purchases are, Google Research shows that 52.7% of smartphone users are comfortable with researching, planning and booking an entire trip with their mobile phones.

The travel booking market was valued at roughly $765 billion in 2017 and expected to be worth $1.955 trillion by 2026 (Zion Market Research).

Mobile Traffic Is Now Dominant

Mobile Share of Online Traffic

Percentage of Total Web Pages Loaded on Mobile Phones By Country

52.2% Of All Traffic Came From Mobile In 2018

This chart shows the rapid rise of mobile online traffic. The data from We Are Social’s report ‘Digital in 2018′ indicates that by 2018, 52.2% of global traffic came from mobile However, it is important to appreciate how much variance within this global average as seen in the map above. 

The Rise of Omni-Channel Shopping

While the focus of these stats is on mobile commerce, it’s important to understand the vast majority of consumer journeys these days involve multiple devices. As Harvard Business Review explains:

“Of the study participants, only 7% were online-only shoppers and 20% were store-only shoppers. The remaining majority, or 73%, used multiple channels during their shopping journey. We call them omnichannel customers.” Harvard Business Review, 2017

Mobile is a crucial channel for consumers and retailers alike but it’s only one part of a much larger omnichannel shopping experience.

Source: The Cross-Device Imperative EQ4 2017 report (Monetate)

Mobile is starting and ending more consumer journeys than ever before but its largest role is still the intermediary stages, joining the dots between customer interactions with brands.

As Monetate says in its Cross-Device Imperative EQ4 2017 report:

“It’s mobile that often keeps a multi-device purchase moving along. Consumers are using mobile as an intermediary touch (neither the first nor last) in 58% of all multi-device purchases.”

The challenge for retailers today is understanding how their customers navigate from the first touchpoint, all the way to the last – and know how to measure that progress.

Mobile Payments & eWallets Continue To Rise Rapidly

Mobile payments is defined as using a mobile device to make a in-store or point of sale payments using mobile wallets and technology like near-field communication (NFC) payments like Apple pay uses, Magnetic secure transmission (MST) payments like Samsung Pay or Sound waves-based / signal based payments.

We are not referring to using smartphones to purchase something online through a payment processor (e.g. via paypal or entering credit card details).

In-store mobile payments & to overtake cash & credit cards by 2020

Worldpay’s 2018 Global Payment Reports predicts that in-store mobile payments are set to overtake cash and credit card purchases sometime in 2020.

However, it should be noted that these worldwide figures mask huge variations in countries. In-store mobile payments are already the no.1 method in some markets, such as China and South Korea. The US is a long way behind which you can see in our report on Global Payment Stats & Trends

Market Share Of Payment Methods

A Third Of The World’s Online Population Used Mobile Payments In Q3 2017 (2018)

A survey of 91,314 global internet users aged between 16-64 was carried out in Q4 2017 by Global Web Index and found that China (45%) and India (41%) are far ahead in adopting mobile payments. The average globally at the time was 33%. 

2.1 Billion Mobile Wallet Users Will Spend $5.4 Trillion In 2019

Research from Juniper Research (Mobile Wallets: Service Provider Analysis, Market Opportunities & Forecasts 2018-2022) predicts that 2.1 billion global mobile wallet users will spend $5.4 trillion using the technology in 2018 with 76% of that being spent by Chinese consumers.

$ 0 Trillion
Forecast Mobile wallet spend in 2019
will make instore payments using a mobile wallet in 2019
of global wallet spending will be in China in 2019

Mobile Performance & Maximising Sales

Mobile Loading Times Over 3 Seconds Will Dramatically Increase Bounce Rates

Research from Google in 2017 highlighted how damaging slow mobile loading times really are. Even for sites taking 3 seconds to load, the risk of users bouncing increases by 32% and this figure jumps to an eye-watering 90% as you approach the 5-second mark.

This research was backed up by a later 2018 study by Google’s DoubleClick which found that 52% of mobile users abandoned the session for pages that took longer than 3 seconds to load. 

Increase in probability that a user bounces when the mobile load time is:

1 to 3 seconds
Web Designer 32%
3 to 5 seconds
Web Designer 90%
5 to 6 seconds
Web Designer 106%
6 to 10 seconds
Web Designer 123%

Usability Is The Biggest Mobile Commerce Challenge, According To Merchants

According to Kount’s June 2018 survey of 600 merchants, usability and detecting fraud are the main challenges of the growing mobile ecommerce market. They publish an extensive analysis of their survey findings in their The State of Mobile Payment and Fraud report.

The Smaller The Screen Size, The Larger The Cart Abandonment Rate

Cart Abondonment Rates By Device

Global Average
of global wallet spending will be in China in 2019

Despite more users using mobiles to make purchases they are more likely to fail to complete purchases compared to desktops and desktops (source).

Optimising The Mobile Checkout Experience Has A Huge Effect On Conversion Rates

According to the Checkout Conversion Index (PDF) from which received data from 673 merchants that collectively accounted for 73 percent of eCommerce sales in the U.S, the 30 retailers with the best mobile and desktop checkout experience (i.e. those with the highest ratings in their checkout Conversion Index) had much higher conversion rates. 

This study shows how much an optimised mobile checkout experience can increase the revenue of businesses. 

Security Concerns & UX Are Still The Biggest Barrier To Mobile Conversion Rates

Mobile’s Hierarchy of Needs whitepaper produced by Comscore in 2017 indicated that user experience and security issues were negatively effecting mobile conversion rates. It is likely some of these issues will have been reduced through better checkout experiences (i.e. integration with payment channels offering quick checkouts like Amazon Pay) and users getting more comfortable with mobile checkout security.

PayPal Converts 88.7% Of Users Once They Select The Payment Method

PayPal boasts an 88.7% conversion rate once users have selected the payment method, according to data from comScore. This compared to 55.3% for other mobile wallets and 48.7% for all other digital payment methods. 

This research also found a 47% higher conversion on sites who accepted PayPal Express Checkout vs. those who did not.