Mobile E-Commerce Trends

mobile e-commerce

Armando Roggio put together some great observations on the state of mobile e-commerce—namely, three important recent trends that may change your outlook on the playing field. As the fastest-growing retail segment, mobile e-commerce (m-commerce) represents tremendous opportunity for business owners with the resources and foresight to use it to their advantage.

Tablet Sales

ComScore’s analysis of Q4 2012 statistics indicates that around 12% of U.S. e-commerce purchases originated from smartphones or tablets. What’s the reason? Ease of use and novel user experience, mainly. Things have really taken off since general consumer adoption exhibited an uptick in 2011. Since then, tablets in particular have hosted a number of apps designed to replicate the desktop buying experience in a bid to appropriate consumer preference. And it’s working: in 2011, Google found that 43% of tablet users spent more time there than on their desktops, not to mention the 33% who preferred their tablet to their TV.

As tablet use eases further and further into the limelight, eMarketer predicts that tablet-based purchases will capture up to 9.4% of all retail e-commerce sales this year and eventually 16.9% by 2016. It’s especially interesting to compare these figures with smartphones, which despite an early lead have fallen somewhat by the wayside, accounting for just 5.3% of this year’s retail e-commerce sales. This could generate more specialized marketing efforts down the line. For example, actual offers and clickable banners could show up more on tablets, while price comparison and similar auxiliary shopping applications could be relegated to smartphones.

Tablet Video

Meanwhile, in slightly more predictable fashion, mobile video consumption is on the rise, with Adobe reporting 10% growth in Q4 2012. Though it may be too early for definitive answers, experts say that this reflects the general tablet user demographic: early adopters with more substantial discretionary income, greater capacity for travel, and tech fluency as evidenced by multiple media subscriptions across several channels. And these studies would be remiss in omitting a central fact of tableteering: more screen real estate equals a more pleasurable viewing experience when it comes to video. Business Insider Australia points to video consumption as a primary driver for tablet usage as of late. With this in mind, it would behoove marketers to invest more into mobile video for their tablet audiences, where higher production value for explanatory animations, product demonstrations, and testimonials will be more likely to be appreciated.

The Male Gaze

This one may come as a shock: turns out that men are more likely to make online purchases via mobile than women, according to a recent report by Kantar Media Global TGI. This holds true for the U.S., U.K., and Australia, where mobile shopping affinity consistently shows up to a 2.6% lead among men in comparison with the fairer sex. Hard to say why as of right now—more opportunities for conspicuous consumption? Downtime during the commute? In any case, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy: recognizing this, marketers may utilize male-targeted advertisements and media properties to reinforce these behaviors by depicting even more widespread male mobilization. Whether the metrics even out with time remains to be seen.

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