The mobile commerce has emerged as the most important trend shaping the retail landscape and is being driven by two trends: (1) The rapid growth in smartphone and tablet ownership, and (2) the rapid acceptance of using these platforms as a shopping channel.
Smartphone sales have grown exponentially since their introduction 10 years ago. Over the past three years the total number of U.S. smartphone subscribers has doubled to over 135 million. In addition, more than 60 million people own a tablet device despite the segment’s introduction only a few years ago.
The advent of these new platforms led to digital media consumption to nearly double over the past three years.
Rapid growth in mobile commerce
Mobile is becoming an increasingly important channel for retailers. Today, smartphones and tablets account for almost half of digital time spent on retail websites and applications.
This development has resulted in a explosion in mobile commerce. Since 2011, mobile sales have increased almost three fold to $38.4 billion annually. According to estimates provided by eMarketer, mobile sales could double by 2016 to $86.9 billion.
Mobile commerce is the fastest growing channel in retail. During the first quarter of 2013, total retail sales increased only 1% year-over-year. In contrast, mobile commerce posted 31% sales growth during the same period.
Because mobile is growing so fast, it’s becoming an increasingly important part of the broader eCommerce category. In 2011, mobile accounted for less than 7% of total eCommerce sales in the United States. By 2016, mobile commerce will account for nearly a quarter of online business.