To illustrate the importance of Mobile eCommerce (aka mCommerce) in 2020 and beyond, we’ve charted some of the latest global research.
The continued adoption of smartphones across all continents combined with the evolution of mobile ecommerce technology and improvements in user experience continues to drive growth in mCommerce at an unprecedented rate.
This chart shows how quickly mobile eCommerce is growing with global sales tripling over the past four years from just under $1 trillion in 2016 to almost $3 trillion in 2020.
By 2021, global mobile eCommerce sales are expected to be worth $3.56 trillion, according to an eMarketer prediction from 2018.
These figures exclude mobile travel and event ticket purchases.
A more recent report from Business Insider, The Payments Ecosystem, suggests that growth is going to continue at a similar rate over the next five years.
According to Monetate’s Ecommerce Benchmarks for Q2 2019 report, while mobile sales top eCommerce sales in terms of quantity, sales made online through desktop payment gateways are still worth significantly more on average.
Interestingly, the gap between desktop and mobile transaction values is closing worldwide and Monetate’s data indicates that the difference is significantly smaller in the UK than the US and global averages.
This chart shows how the the mobile share of traffic continues to pull away from desktop from Jan 2019 to Feb 2020 (tablet figures are removed from this but make up the remaining 2.7%).
However, it is important to appreciate how much variance there is within this global average.
A 2019 study from Juniper Research calculates there will be 8 billion voice assistants in use by 2023, up from an estimated 2.5 billion at the end of 2018.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s 2019 Voice report, which surveyed more than 2,000 consumers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and India, found that 40% of respondents had used voice technology to make online purchases.
Out of the 41.4% who said they had used a voice assistant to make a purchase, 34.9% said they enjoyed the experience and only 6.5% said they didn’t enjoy it.
Have you ever attempted to make a purchase using either a digital assistant or your smart home speaker?
Chart by MerchantSavvy.co.uk
While the focus of these statistics is on mobile ecommerce, it’s important to understand the vast majority of consumer journeys these days involve multiple channels. As a 2019 study from Periscope and McKinsey shows, more than 60% of consumers in the US, UK and Germany say they shop equally offline and online.
Online shopping itself is also an omnichannel experience. Mobile is a crucial channel for consumers and retailers alike but it’s only one part of a much larger omnichannel shopping experience.
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.
This chart on the right comes from Monetate’s Cross-Device Imperative EQ4 2017 report. As of Q2 2020, this is still the most up-to-date report of its kind but it’s still useful to get an idea of how many consumer journeys start on each device type but also how many are completed on them.
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.
Chart by MerchantSavvy.co.uk
As the report says:
“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.”
Mobile proximity payments in this case are being 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.
Worldpay’s 2018 Global Payment Reports predicts that in-store mobile proximity 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 amongst countries. In-store mobile payments are already the no.1 method in some markets with a massive 81% of smartphone users in China using mobile payment apps.
The US is a long way behind (just 29% of smartphone users using mobile payment apps) which you can see in our report on Mobile Payment Stats & Trends – although the gap is gradually closing.
The same Unbounce report gave more evidence to the growing feeling that millennials crave instant gratification, which is important for those companies with mobile commerce sites.
In their study just 26% of 18-to-24-year-olds say they’ll wait 4-6 seconds on their mobile. That is nearly half the amount who will wait this long on their desktops. If you selling online, ignore this at your peril.
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.
Despite more users using mobiles to make purchases they are more likely to fail to complete purchases compared to desktops and desktops as you can see from the average cart abandonment rates by device on the right.
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