Despite Time Spent, Mobile Still Grabs Minute Share of Retail Dollars - eMarketer

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Despite Time Spent, Mobile Still Grabs Minute Share of Retail Dollars

Mobile accounted for just 13% of US digital retail sales in Q4 2014

April 20, 2015

Mobile is still for upper-funnel shopping activities, and research released last month by comScore illustrates mobile’s sliver of the overall digital retail dollar pie.

Share of US Digital Retail Time Spent vs. Dollars Spent, by Platform, Q4 2014 (% of total)

According to the study, smartphones and tablets accounted for 60% of time spent engaging with digital retail content in Q4 2014, vs. 40% for desktop. However, there was a 47% monetization gap between the two, with desktop taking 87% of digital retail dollars, leaving mobile to account for just 13% of the total $82.8 billion US retail ecommerce sales in the final quarter of last year.

October 2014 polling by UPS examined how digital buyers in select countries and regions worldwide used mobile devices for shopping-related activities weekly. Nearly three in 10 US respondents tracked deliveries on a smartphone or tablet each week, while one-quarter researched products before heading to the store. Over a fifth looked at products and alternatives on their smartphones while in-store, and 22% located stores or checked inventory. Interestingly, the percentage who said they made purchases wasn’t too far behind, with 18% buying products on mobile devices weekly, and 20% opening emails from retailers on their mobiles that led to purchases. Still, these were the second- and third-to-last responses.

Even if digital buyers do take the plunge on mobile, they’re likely not spending as much. Research released in February 2015 by Monetate showed average order value was consistently higher for purchases made via desktop or laptop than for those on a smartphone or tablet. In Q4 2014, the average ecommerce order value in the US was $127.28 on PCs, compared with $113.10 on smartphones and $80.69 on tablets.

While mobile is still used mostly for research during the path to purchase, retailers are working toward bettering the mcommerce experience. As mobile’s purchase process improves, comScore noted, sales growth should speed up rapidly.

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