3.7 Mobile Commerce

Mobile ecommerce has only recently caught on the States, but a 2011 Internet Retailer survey {1} (of 54 web-only merchants, 31 retail chains, 17 catalog companies and 15 consumer brand manufacturers) noted:

1. Some 24.1% of merchants operate a mobile commerce site, and 16.4% have both an m-commerce site and mobile apps designed for specific devices.
2. Revenues were appreciable. Of such merchants: a. 54.8% were generating annual sales of more than $50,000. b. 40.6% were generating annual sales of at least $250,000, of which c. 9.5% were generating annual sales of $250,001 to $500,000, d. 7% were generating annual sales of $750,001 to $1 million, e. 14.3% were generating annual sales from $1.1 million to $10 million, f. 4.8% were generating annual sales from $10.1 million to $50 million , g. 5% were generating annual sales of more than $50 million.
3. Mobile commerce accounts for at least 3% of all web sales at 47.6% of merchants.
4. 16.7% of merchants found transactions from tablet computers accounted for at least 20% of mobile commerce revenues.
5. 85.7% of merchants saw mobile commerce as important to their future online business development, and 59.2% as very important. Some 7.1% plan to spend over $1 million in this development.
6. 59.1% will use an outside technology partner to help them build their mobile commerce site or apps.
7. Site maintenance is a problem and only 36.4% of online retailers have full-time staff devoted to mobile commerce.

The upward trend continued in the 2012 Internet Retailer survey, {4} which found that 63.8% of the retailers surveyed expected their 2012 mobile sales to be 11% higher than the previous year. Some 46.3% expected growth of 26% and higher, 13.8% of over 100% and 6.3% of over 200%. 18.4% reported that mobile accounted for 11% to 20% of sales, and another 5.3% that it accounted for more than 20%. Specific company results were included. Dover Saddlery's ecommerce sales were $34.8 million, out of $78 million total annual sales. Estee Lauder Cos.expected mobile sales to grow nearly 68% in 2012, from $12 million to $20.1 million.

Dibs Payment Services released a useful survey in September 2012. {2} Some 17% of the consumers used their mobile devices to find, shop and pay for products and services in Europe: the breakdown is: Sweden 15%, Denmark 19%, Norway 18%, Finland 13%, Poland 18%, Spain 27%, UK 19%, Germany 14% and France 12%. Consumers opt for ease, and more use mobile apps (65%) than web browsers (35%). By device, the breakdown was: 22% via iPhone apps, 13% via iPad apps, 22% via apps in other smartphones, 8% through apps in other tablets, 9% via a web browser on the iPhone, 9% via web browser on the iPad, 13% via web browser in other smartphones, and 4% via browser in other tablets.

A February 2012 Oracle white paper {3} put the business to business (B2B) revenue transacted online — not through electronic data interchange (EDI) — at approx. US$300 bn, 50% more than B2C transactions, suggesting growing opportunities in the decade ahead. A broad breakdown of figures was included.

The e-Tailing Group's 2012 survey identified outstanding m-commerce companies, and the reasons for success. {5} Key elements were usability, navigation ease, shopping cart fetures, cross-channel branding and merchandising tactics.

Two eTailer studies of January 2013 reported that US. consumers made $8 bn worth of retail purchases via smartphones in 2012, amounting to 3% of total ecommerce sales. Including tablets and other mobile devices, an eMarketer report put the figure at $ 25 bn, up 80% on the previous year. Forrester Research Inc. believes that smartphone-based retail sales will reach $12 bn in 2013, 5% of total e-commerce sales. {7} {8} Thanks to the many applications being written for them, mobiles allow customers to generated content, see review sites and conduct price comparisons, a customer-friendly trend that will only accelerate. {9}

Sources and Further Reading

1. The Internet Retailer Survey: Mobile Commerce Retailers diving into mobile commerce are coming up with significant sales by Mark Brohan. Internet Retailer. September 2011.
2. DIBS E-Commerce Survey 2012 shows that smart phones and tablet computers are transforming e-commerce. DIBS Payment Services. September 2012.
3. 2012 B2B E-Commerce Survey: Results and Trends. Oracle. February 2012.
4. The Internet Retailer Survey: Mobile Commerce. Bigger and better is the order of the day for retailers and mobile commerce by Mark Brohan. Internet Retailer. October 2012.

5. 2012 Mobile Executive Summary: Demanding Consumers Drive Retailers Toward More Sophisticated Mobile Experiences. e-Tailing Group. July 2012
6. Mobile Payments Today. 2012. Offers white Papers, Case Studies, Industry Reports and Webinars.
7. M-commerce sales via smartphones hit $8 billion in 2012 by Bill Siwicki. eRetailer. January 2013.
8. M-commerce sales near $25 billion in 2012, up 81% by Bill Siwicki. eRetailer. January 2013.

9. E-Commerce Trends for 2013 by Prasant Varghese. Ezine Articles. April 2013.