Global M-Commerce Sales Growth Outpaces Total B2C E-Commerce
While computers remain the device most used for shopping online, mobile has become a close second. Smartphones and tablets are the favorite mobile devices to use in M-Commerce, with their frequency of usage being close, though tablets are significantly ahead of smartphones in terms of sales generation globally. Another important trend is that apps are preferred for mobile shopping over mobile browsers.
Furthermore, the power of mobile devices in retail has gone beyond the pure online shopping. Consumers worldwide are using their mobile phones while in-store to compare prices, scan quick response codes and make purchases. This fusion of mobile and physical is in line with the general omnichannel trend that has formed on the global retail market.
Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa were the global leaders last year in terms of usage of mobile for online shopping. Over half of online shoppers in these regions made purchases via mobile devices. In South Korea, close to a third of shoppers did so on a weekly basis, with the share of M-Commerce on total online sales topping one-third in the third quarter of 2014. In China, the number of mobile shoppers grew to more than two hundred millions, while in India the share of mobile shoppers on online buyers in the cities increased from just over 20% to more than a half. Meanwhile, in the Middle East & Africa, M-Commerce sales in the UAE grew at a triple-digit rate in 2014, and in South Africa close to a third of smartphone users already had experience with mobile shopping.
In the USA, the share of M-Commerce sales via smartphones was below that of tablets and is forecasted to decrease in the coming years. A similar trend is observed in the UK. Both in Germany and France the share of M-Commerce was a small double-digit figure, while in Russia M-Commerce sales were estimated to double last year and in Brazil they reached double-digit share of sales of large online merchants.
E-Commerce companies worldwide benefit from the boom in M-Commerce growth, with shares of mobile sales at double-digit figures. Amazon and eBay saw over 60% of their total traffic from mobile devices during the last holiday shopping season, while China-based E-Commerce giant Alibaba increased the mobile gross merchandise value on its marketplaces by more than three times.