Mobile Devices Account for 20% of the $84.3 Billion in Q3 2016 US Digital Commerce

Thanks to Comscore, Marketing Charts and the Center For Media Research for sharing the results of a new report from comScore showing  that mobile devices accounted for 20% of the $84.3 billion in US digital commerce spending in Q3 2016. That’s the first time mobile devices have reached that mark, as e-commerce sales continue to shift from desktops to mobile devices.

Mobile Share of US Digital Retail Spending

Year/Quarter

Share of Digital Retail

Q4/2012

11.3%

Q4/2013

11.7

Q4/2014

13.0

Q4/2015

16.9

Q1/2016

18.6

Q2/2016

19.8

Q3/2016

20.0

Source, MarketingCharts/ComScore, November 2016

Mobile devices could be even more influential, says the report, if some user experience problems were taken care of. Recent research from Monetate indicates that only around half of e-commerce site visits come from mobile devices. Mobile’s smaller share of actual sales is a result of lower conversion rates relative to desktop and smartphones, as mobile users struggle with navigation, difficulty with checkouts, and security concerns.

These problems lead to lower shopping cart conversion rates, with just 1 in every 6 shopping carts on smartphones turning into orders, as opposed to 1 in 4 on desktops.

The report from comScore, says the report, notes that spending has been strong on both desktops and mobiles this year, which signals a bright holiday period ahead. Most forecasts call for a robust season, with mobiles continuing to exert influence on shopping behaviors.

And Marketing Charts, from a September release, reports that smartphones and tablets grew to account for 49% of global e-commerce site visits in Q2 2016, per a quarterly Monetate analysis of its clients. In the US, mobile devices reached roughly 48% share of site visits, while in the UK, where mobile recently surpassed 50% of retail e-commerce transactions, these devices grew to almost two-thirds of e-commerce site visits.

While smartphones far outpace tablets in e-commerce site traffic, they are well behind in conversion rates, suggesting that they continue to be used more for product research than for purchases, says the report. Forrester Research data indicates that 47% of smartphone-owning adults in the US research products on their devices on at least a weekly device, with 29% reporting actually making purchases with that frequency.

For the e-commerce clients analyzed in Monetate’s E-Commerce Quarterly for Q2:

  • Conversion rates averaged 1.48% globally on smartphones, less than half the rate for tablets (3.46%) and computers (3.99%)
  • Conversion rates stayed close to the global average in the US (1.34% for smartphones; 3.42% for tablets; and 4.11% for computers), and
  • Were considerably higher in the UK (2.8% for smartphones; 4.36% for tablets; and 5.8% for computers).

These device patterns tended to stay consistent across add-to-cart rates and page views, with computers edging tablets, and smartphones further behind, says the report. There was a bigger gulf between computers and mobile devices in order values, which averaged $138.87 for traditional devices compared to $98.70 for tablets and $82.65 for smartphones.

Finally, concludes the report, in terms of traffic sources, average order values were highest for direct traffic ($123.79), followed by search ($116.53) and email ($111.85), with social further back ($88.92).

For additional information from comScore, please visit here, and from Marketing Charts, go here.

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