Commentary

Mobile Retail Passes the 50% Point, Tops Desktop

Mobile is finally beating the desktop for shopping at retailer websites.

We’ve seen this coming for some time in a monthly mobile tracking study we’ve been following for some time.

For the first time, more than half (51%) of visits to retailers’ websites came from mobile devices, according to a new report.

When the tracking started four years ago, desktop accounted for more than 90% of website visits, based on the Branding Brand mobile commerce index, which is based on an analysis of  129 million site visits, 1 billion page views and more than 3 million orders with revenue of $350 million.

It’s not just the mobile visits that continue to increase, with smartphone commerce activity increasing across the board. Here are the increases from the same month a year ago:

  • 89% -- Revenue
  • 64% -- Orders
  • 49% -- Page views
  • 24% -- Visits

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Of total retailer website visits, smartphones accounted for more than a third (36%) and tablets for 15%. It’s easy to see the pattern of visits, with smartphones increasing 24% and non-mobile visits decreasing 15% since a year ago.

The index identifies retail trends across a sample of 26 major North American brands in industries including apparel, home goods and health and beauty.

Reaching a halfway point or passing that 50% mark is significant for commerce, since it implies a move to the masses, or at least a majority. And the Branding Brand online shopping tracking is not the only indicator of the tipping point nature of mobile.

Here are just a few more 50%-and-over tidbits from recent months, with the source of the stat at the end:

  • 50% of Walgreens shoppers using the app use it in while in the store (National Retail Federation)
  • 50% of Groupon transactions occur on a mobile device (Internet Retailer)
  • 50% of mobile shoppers would provide retailers personal information for a reward (PriceGrabber)
  • 56% of consumers expect more options for obtaining service and support by phone, online and at store locations via mobile devices (Accenture)
  • 53% of Walmart Thanksgiving Web traffic originated from mobile (Venture Beat)
  • 60% of Thanksgiving sales at RueLaLa came from mobile
  • 50% of shoppers check product reviews on their smartphones (IDC)
  • 50% of retailers say mobile represents the growth in their business and are investing accordingly (e-tailing group)

Another almost halfway stat from Gallup is that 49% of consumers have made a mobile purchase.

Mobile commerce is growing, one percentage point at a time.

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