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The 23 Mobile Commerce Statistics every online Retailer needs to Know

‘There are lies, damn lies, and statistics’, said Mark Twain. When figures are used to support weak arguments, be skeptical. When it comes to mobile commerce statistics, the numbers are too big to deceive.

Every survey, study, and data analysis shows mobile commerce is on the march. Mobile technology is advancing rapidly and shoppers now turn to their mobile devices first when they’re gripped with the impulse to buy.

Has your webstore seen big increases in mobile traffic over the last 18 months? You aren’t alone. Tapping into the wants and needs of mobile customers is deciding online winners and losers — today, and for the foreseeable future.

Below we’ve gathered all the mobile commerce statistics you need to make informed decisions for your store.

So let’s get started.

“It’s fair to say that mobile commerce is the new heartbeat of the customer journey.”

What is mobile commerce exactly?

Up ‘till now, mobile commerce (or m-commerce) has been seen as a subset of e-commerce.

Back in the early 00’s consumers started shifting their shopping habits, buying less and less from bricks & mortar stores and more and more through the internet on their computers. This is what’s called ‘e-commerce’.

That old definition is now being re-defined.

M-commerce is e-commerce when it happens on smartphones and tablets. But that’s where the similarities end. Anyone who’s tried buying anything on an iPhone knows that making a purchase on a handheld device can be frustrating. Whether the myth is true or not (it’s been said that we now have a shorter attention span than goldfish), one thing is for sure: our tech addiction combined with an infinite pool of choices has turned shopping into an extremely volatile and complex experience.

On the other hand, mobile apps such as Uber or Amazon enhanced hour on-the-go experience.In other words, how frustrating or pleasant the mobile shopping experience is, really depends on how well the brand has put the mobile user first.

With over 60% of traffic coming from mobile and mobile commerce sales are expected to rise anywhere between 54% to even 72,9% by 2021, it’s fair to say that mobile commerce is the new heartbeat of the customer journey.

Mobile phone statistics

Mobile apps are wildly popular. It’s not exactly news that apps like Instagram, Airbnb, Uber and Minecraft make our lives easier and more enjoyable. First statistics show the mobile phone penetration. How many people have access to (smart) phones and how attached are we?

1. 67% of global population owned mobile phone in 2019.
The number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to pass the five billion mark in 2019. In every country the mobile phone has become an indispensable part of our daily lives.

China, India, and the USA are the countries with the highest penetration of smartphone users, with each country easily exceeding the 1 billion user mark.

The leading smartphone vendors are Samsung, Apple, and Huawei. Taken together their unit sales account for about half of all smartphone shipments worldwide.
(Source: Statista)

2. People can’t do without their smartphones
Mobile devices are now so interwoven with our personal and professional lives, many of us can’t do without them. The average American spends 5 and half hours on their mobile phone each day.

As far back as 2014, psychologists identified a rising new form of anxiety called Nomophobia: the fear of being either without a mobile device, or without mobile internet connectivity.

People turn them into baby toys, take them to the shower, use them as make-up mirrors, and, judging by the trend to include mobile phones in burial arrangements, even try and take them into the next life.

From cradle to grave, consumers are treating their phones as extensions of themselves.

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Mobile commerce growth statistics

With so many people owning a mobile phone, are we just browsing or are we actually buying on mobile devices?

3. M-commerce sales could reach $2.91 trillion in 2021

Numbers from Statista show that mobile shopping is the number one driver of e-commerce growth globally.

The 2.91 trillion USD forecast in m-commerce sales this year would represent a 25.4% increase over 2019, when mobile commerce sales reached $2.32 trillion globally.

Since 2016, m-commerce has seen an average increase of 33.8% each year, the biggest growth rate of all channels. Statista’s forecasts show that the industry’s revenue is predicted to increase by 22.3% and hit the $3.56 trillion mark by 2021.

4. Mobile accounts for 65% of all ecommerce traffic

When people shop, their smartphone is now their go-to advisor and assistant. And this is showing in the numbers, as the majority of traffic for retail websites now comes from smartphones (65%). Desktop takes second place with more than 27% of traffic, followed by tablets at merely 4%. For fashion stores the mobile focus is even bigger, with mobile accounting for 70% of total traffic.

The mobile traffic growth is not just a trend, but has been most of the internet traffic ever since 2014/15.

5. In 2019 over 42% of retail sales was mobile

Smartphone purchases accounted for more than 42% of online sales at retailer websites in 2019. Close to 65% of retailers say the move to mobile commerce is increasing their online revenue overall.

Almost three quarters (74%) of retailers said mobile technology has made them more accessible to customers, while 66% said it has led to higher customer satisfaction.

6. In 2021 Mobile will overtake desktop in terms of total sales

Next year will see us reach the tipping point where more e-commerce happens more on smartphones than on desktops. Experts predict that by the end of 2021, mobile commerce will account for anywhere between 54% of total ecommerce sales according to retail emarketer or even 72.9% percent of e-commerce sales according to Statistica.

The takeaway from this is not that it’s OK to start neglecting desktop users, but it does prove that optimizing the e-commerce/m-commerce channel mix should be your top focus in 2021 and beyond. If you’re set on further growth, mobile-first is the only way.


7. 76% of consumers shop on mobile devices because it saves time.

For the vast majority of shoppers, the primary reason for shopping on smartphones is that it allows them to do it on the go, saving them time compared to desktop or laptop shopping. It is important, then, for online business owners to design shopping experiences with time savings in mind.

(Source: Dynamic Yield)

8. 70% of mobile searches lead to action within an hour.

Mobile shoppers reward a brisk shopping experience with quick buying decisions. Mobile shoppers decide in an hour or less. Desktop users can take up to a month. Impress your mobile visitors the moment they arrive and you can expect to be profitable.

(Source: Forbes)

Mobile commerce Performance Statistics

Mobile shopping isn’t just consumers making a transaction on your mobile responsive website. Mobile shopping also includes buying on mobile apps, progressive web apps and tablets. Just how mobile do these channels perform? Is there a difference in how users buy on the different mobile channels?

9. Nearly 90 percent of mobile time is spent on apps

When it comes to users’ time there is a huge disparity between mobile web browsers and mobile apps.

Research has found that apps win hands down, capturing 90 percent of users time versus 10 percent spent on mobile web browsers.

Digging deeper into the numbers, mobile app users are avid shoppers. They spend an average of 201.8 minutes per month shopping, versus the 10.9 minutes mobile website users spend making online purchases.


10. Mobile responsive sites have the highest Cart Abandon Carts rate at 85.65 Percent

Shopping cart abandonment is a major concern for e-commerce site owners. While the abandonment rate for desktop users is roughly 73 percent, at 85.65 percentit’s significantly higher for mobile users. In fact, people are more likely to abandon a shopping cart using a smartphone than on any other device.

The reason? “Sites aren’t optimised for mobile. The checkout experience is clunky and glitchy and leaves customers running,” explains CreditDonkey.

Robust mobile optimization is important for all aspects of e-commerce, but it’s especially critical during checkout. It needs to be smooth and friction free with no hiccups that could prevent shoppers from completing their purchase.

11. Only 12% of consumers find shopping on the mobile web convenient.

Shopping on the mobile web scores really low on convenience. The issues shoppers face include sites not designed with small screens in mind, intrusive pop ups, and lack of adequate information.

(Source: Dynamic Yield)

12. 60% of buyers say transaction speed makes them more (or less) likely to buy

Time, they say, is of the essence, and time-consuming mobile shopping experiences take a toll on conversions. When a mobile user gripped by the impulse to buy something, the checkout process needs to be fast and painless.

UX experts say webstores should aim for a maximum page load time of three seconds, and avoid a purchase journey with too many steps.

Too much friction and you risk losing them as time and enthusiasm begin to fade away. Research from Google says that 40% of shoppers will leave your site and never return if the mobile experience is sub-standard.

- 35% said they’d abandoned a mobile site because they were required to create an account.
- 29% said they’d abandoned an online purchase simply because the checkout took too long.

13. Mobile app users make twice as many purchases as mobile website users

When it comes to driving sales volume, apps have really begun to pull away from webstores that are only accessible on smartphones via a mobile responsive site.

In its 2019 Mobile Commerce Report, New York-based mobile partnership platform Button found that shoppers made 108 percent more purchases using apps than they did on the mobile web during the 2018 Christmas season.

14. Apps convert at least 3x better than mobile websites

The trend to drive greater online sale volumes is also reflected in apps’ proven ability to convert more visitors to buyers.

- In North America, mobile shopping apps drive 3 times more conversion
- In Asia Pacific, conversion rates are 6 times higher on app (20%) then on mobile web (3%)

Why do apps do so much better? The limitations of mobile responsive web design are a major contributor.

Responsive web design tends to clutter-up screens with content that on-the-go users don’t need. Shoppers get info overloaded and struggle to find what they want. Purchasing can force the user to leave one screen and jump to another or pinch and zoom screens to see the small print.

But the real conversion killer is the lack of timer-saving functions like saved credentials. Mobile shoppers can’t rely on autofill to complete address, shipping, or payment information – straightforward, time-saving tools that make it easier for mobile shops to click ‘confirm.’

15. 61% of smartphone uses like personalized offers

Some 61 percent of smartphone users say personally tailored offers like seeing other relevant products based on previous purchases makes them more likely to buy from an m-commerce brand.

Personalization and positive UX increasingly go hand-in-hand as consumers become accustomed to retailers and brands using all the data at their disposal to recognise user preferences.

Reaching out to customers with push notifications and bespoke offers and discounts is turning out to be a sure-fire way to increase mobile sales.

16. Tablets convert mobile sales better than responsive sites

Tablets have a conversion rate of 3.36%, while responsive sites convert mobile visits at 1.53 Percent. Both still lag behind desktop and mobile apps, for reasons we’ve outlined before.

17. Progressive web apps are 50% times faster than mobile sites, says Google

Responsive sites, tablets and retail apps have been around for a while, but the new kid on the block are progressive web apps.

Basically, a progressive web app (PWA) works and feels like an app, but works directly in web browsers. Without downloading the app in an App Store, users can instantly have an app-like experience.

Although widespread research isn’t available yet, Google research has shown PWAs perform 50% better and faster than responsive sites.

Big brands Like Lancôme are seeing huge increases in performance and conversion:

Mobile retail app Statistics

From all the different channels, predictions are mobile apps (either native or progressive web apps) will have the biggest growth, because they’re able to provide the best mobile user experience. What are the current app statistics?

18. Retail apps are #4 of most used apps worldwide

Google and Facebook dominate the mobile app ecosystem – no surprise there. But after the social, entertainment and gaming, retail is in 4th place.

“The pace of innovation on mobile devices is impacting almost all industries, but perhaps none more so than gaming, travel, and retail. “ says ComScore in it’s The State of Mobile Report.


19. In 2019, people downloaded 204 billion apps, a 45% lift since 2016

Across any and all metrics, mobile continues to play a bigger role in consumers’ lives. In 2019, people downloaded 204 billion apps, a 45% lift since 2016 — excluding reinstalls and updates — and consumer spend on apps hit $120 billion, more than doubling since 2016.

These eye-popping statistics and more are revealed in App Annie’s State of Mobile 2020 report, which highlights several trends marketers must pay attention to as mobile ad spending jumps 26% to $240 billion this year.

“We’re finally seeing a big push with mobile ad spend,” Amir Ghodrati, App Annie’s director of market insights, told Mobile Marketer.

20. Shopping is the fastest growing mobile app category with 54% year-on-year growth.

In terms of app categories, shopping continues to grow faster than other big categories like entertainment, news, and finance. The 54% increase in user sessions smashes the overall average growth rate of 6%.

(Source: Statista)

Mobile commerce statistics per region

Which regions have the highest density of mobile shoppers? In other words: is mobile just as important in every country? Let’s find out.

21. At 46%, global mobile shopping penetration is the highest in the Asia Pacific region.

Improving economics and infrastructure for mobile shopping is driving mobile shopping penetration in the Asia Pacific region. For many global players like Amazon and Walmart, these markets represent the greatest growth opportunity.

(Source: Statista)

22. APAC countries, especially India and China, also show the highest consumer confidence in mobile payment adoption at 24%.

24% of shoppers in India and China say they use their mobile phones as the primary device for online shopping. That compares to 17% in the rest of the world.

(Source: Statista)

23. 51% of mobile shoppers in the US make their purchases via apps.

Apps score marginally higher than mobile websites in the shopping department. However, trends on app commerce show their share compared to mobile websites will grow, given the more streamlined experience and personalization they offer shoppers.

(Source: Statista)

The numbers don’t lie

These mobile commerce statistics clearly show that there’s a mobile revolution happening and mobile will be the norm. M-commerce is quickly leaving old-school e-commerce in the dust. Marketers across industries now expect mobile to be their main channel for online commerce.

Under COVID-19 e-commerce has surged forward, and while adoption was forced for many, it gave e-commerce holdouts their first experience with the ease of buying online — and they aren’t going back. Mobile commerce will benefit from the same trend.

The numbers don’t lie. If you’re thinking about mobile trends and how they inform a winning m-commerce strategy, we’d love to talk.

At JMango360’s we build premium mobile apps, at a price point that’s affordable to anyone. Check out our ecommerce app, B2B ordering app or progressive web app solutions, or request a demo here.

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