Mobile Shopping: A Global Snapshot

Mobile shopping has no real geographical boundaries since people everywhere like to shop.

Now a new report highlighting some of the mobile activity around the globe shows just how prevalent it’s becoming.

The Global M-Commerce 2014 Smartphones and Tablets study by yStats in Germany points out that mobile commerce sales worldwide were estimated to top $138 billion last year, driven by the increase in smartphone and tablet adoption.

The report notes that neither app nor mobile browser had a distinct advantage over the other in terms of frequency for mobile shopping, with both equally important, though in different ways. While browsers score higher over apps in terms of convenience, apps are better evaluated with regard to speed.

What struck me as interesting is the region-by-region snapshot of commerce provided:

  • UK -- Leads Western Europe by share of mobile retail on total B2C E-Commerce sales, with sales from tablets growing faster than sales from smartphones.
  • France  -- More than a quarter of online shoppers plan to purchase via mobile in 2014
  • Netherlands – More than 2 million people already engage in mobile shopping.
  • Russia -- Mobile shopping developing as a growing share of the 143 million people.  About a third of mobile Internet users in Russia purchase products from online shops via their devices.
  • Turkey -- Mobile Internet accounts for the largest share of Internet subscriptions and a significant double-digit share of smartphone owners shop via mobile.
  • Latin America -- Consumers start to embrace mobile shopping, as mobile penetration grows and retailers launch mobile apps. The population most engaged in mobile shopping is Mexico, which also has the highest smartphone penetration.
  • Brazil -- The region’s largest market ranks next by mobile shopper penetration.
  • Germany—Leads Central Europe in penetration of smartphone/tablet owners who shop on mobile at least once a week. M-commerce sales in Germany reached more than 10% of total online retail sales in 2013.
  • U.S. -- One of the most advanced regions in terms of commerce, generates several tens of billion dollars of mobile retail sales, with its share of total online retail reaching more than 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 higher than throughout the year.
  • South Korea -- Sets the newest trends for global M-commerce, such as integration of mobile shopping into messaging platforms.
  • Japan -- High double-digit share of mobile users shops via their devices.
  • China -- The number of mobile Internet users topped half a billion in 2013, with over a hundred million of them engaging in mobile commerce.



While mobile shopping in all countries is not identical, it is happening pretty much everywhere.

I’m in London for the MediaPost OMMA Mobile Europe conference this week, where some of these similarities and differences by region are likely to come to light.

No matter the geographical differences, mobile shopping is only getting bigger.

2 comments about "Mobile Shopping: A Global Snapshot".
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  1. mike boland from BIA/Kelsey, April 1, 2014 at 5:20 p.m.

    I think your first paragraph means to qualify "people everywhere" within the context of developed countries? Of course in third world areas (or war-torn regions) "shopping" isn't top of mind.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, April 1, 2014 at 5:32 p.m.

    Yes, thought that was understood, Mike.

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