A new report by Hamburg-based secondary research organization yStats.com, “Global M-Commerce 2014: Smartphones and Tablets“, covers the latest trends and developments in mobile shopping. Yücel Yelken, CEO of yStats.com notes that mobile shopping is transforming the retail industry worldwide, as mobile traffic to retail sites surges and the variety of products purchased on mobile grows.
M-Commerce sales worldwide were estimated to top EUR 100 billion last year as the increasing penetration of smartphones and tablet computers fuels the spread of mobile shopping.
The yStats.com report goes on to point out that regarding M-Commerce worldwide, smartphones and tablets differ in their impact, consumer behavior and preferences when shopping on mobile.
Smartphones currently have higher penetration on global population than tablets, but tablet use is growing at a faster rate. Mobile retail applications are more popular on smartphones, while in access via tablets mobile browsing is prevalent. Tablets are a more suitable device for making large purchases on mobile. Smartphones, on the other hand are perfect for making on the go and quick purchases.
There are other peculiarities in mobile shopping, for example, app vs browser. Neither app nor mobile browser had a distinct advantage over the other in terms of frequency for mobile shopping in 2013. They are both equally important for mobile shopping, though in different ways. While browsers score higher over apps in terms of convenience, apps are better evaluated by consumers with regard to speed. Apps also capture different customer segments than browsers.
On both mobile platforms, the sale of digital goods, tickets, and bill payments make up the largest share of M-Commerce, but sales of physical goods such as clothing are rising fast. A new development, coming from Asia and spreading globally is the emerging power of messaging apps in M-Commerce.
Variety of major players in mobile shopping worldwide
Globally, E-Commerce merchants and traditional retailers are trying to capture the booming M-Commerce market. In the USA, mobile apps of Amazon and eBay are popular, while retailers such as Walmart, Marcy’s and Home Depot report increasing traffic to the mobile versions of their websites. In Latin America, an E-Commerce merchant MercadoLibre saw its M-Commerce sales through its mobile website and app grow throughout 2013 reaching over 10% by the end of the year.
The Otto Group, Germany-based multi-channel mass merchant, adopted a new mobile initiative in early 2014, with the aim of generating 50% of online traffic to all its brands through mobile devices, while the German online clothing retailer Zalando began an upgrade of its mobile applicationfor use in international markets.