M-commerce on the rise worldwide - report

Monday 7 April 2014 00:59 CET | News

Mobile shopping is transforming the retail industry worldwide, as mobile traffic to retail sites surges and the variety of products purchased on mobile grows, a recent study reveals.

According to a report by Germany-based research organization, entitled “Global M-commerce 2014: Smartphones and Tablets“, m-commerce sales worldwide were estimated to top EUR 100 billion in 2013 as the increasing penetration of smartphones and tablet computers fuels the spread of mobile shopping.

The report goes on to point out that regarding m-commerce worldwide, smartphones and tablets differ in their impact, consumer behaviour and preferences when shopping on mobile. Thus, smartphones currently have higher penetration on global population than tablets, but tablet use is rapidly growing. 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.

The report also shows that 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, the findings reveal.

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, the study suggests. A new development, coming from Asia and spreading globally is the emerging power of messaging apps in m-commerce.

The report also focuses on the regional key players in m-commerce and reveals that in North America, the US market generates several tens of billion EUR of mobile retail sales, with its share on total online retail reaching over 15%. M-commerce sales are sensitive to seasonal variation, with Q4 being especially lucrative on Cyber Monday and Black Friday, when the share of m-commerce is even higher than throughout the year. In Latin America, consumers are starting to embrace mobile shopping, as mobile penetration grows and retailers launch mobile apps. The population most engaged in mobile shopping in Latin America is Mexico which also has the highest smartphone penetration on total population. Brazil, the region’s largest market ranks next by mobile shopper penetration. In Argentina, the share of m-commerce on total online retail sales does not exceed several percentage points, which is, however, more than in many other Latin American countries.

As to the Central Europe, the study points out that Germany leads in penetration of smartphone/tablet owners who shop on mobile at least once a week. M-commerce sales in Germany have reached over 10% of the total online retail sales in 2013. In Western Europe, UK leads by share of mobile retail on total B2C e-commerce sales, with sales from tablets growing faster than sales from smartphones. In France, over a quarter of online shoppers planned to purchase from mobile in 2014, while in the Netherlands over 2 million people already engage in mobile shopping. In Eastern Europe, mobile shopping is developing in Russia as a growing share of the 143 million population obtains access to the mobile internet. According to the study, around a third of mobile internet users in Russia purchase products from online shops via their devices. In Turkey, where mobile internet already accounts for the largest share of internet subscriptions, a significant double-digit share of smartphone owners shops via mobile.

The report indicates that in Asia-Pacific, South Korea sets the newest trends for global m-commerce, such as integration of mobile shopping into messaging platforms. In Japan, a high double-digit share of mobile users shops via their devices. The number of mobile internet users in China have topped half a billion in 2013, with over a hundred million of them engaging in m-commerce.

Finally, the study shows that in the Middle East & Africa, m-commerce has a high potential, as most of the internet users access the web through their mobile phones. Both in South Africa and in the UAE the share of internet users shopping though mobile phones already reached a high one-digit number.

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Keywords: m-commerce, mobile, commerce, smartphones, tablets, retail,, shopping, global, worldwide
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce