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Mobile Commerce Experiences 40% Growth Rate in 2016

Mobile commerce growth is outpacing other shopping channels this year.

According to a recent Astound Commerce survey titled “Mobile Accelerates to the Express Lane,” U.S. m-commerce sales are anticipated to reach $130.92 billion in 2016. That’s 33 percent of overall e-commerce sales this year. Furthermore, m-commerce witnessed a 40 percent increase in year-over-year discretionary spending, compared to e-commerce (11 percent).

Mobile devices also play a crucial role in consumers’ purchasing and researching activities. Forty percent of respondents said they read their emails on their smartphones and often visit retailers’ websites when doing so. Another 40 percent agreed that it’s faster to complete transactions on smartphones.

Consumers also rely heavily on mobile devices before visiting other channels, including brick-and-mortar stores. More than half (55 percent) research products on their smartphones before visiting physical store locations, while another 42 percent of consumers said they research products on their devices during store visits.

When it comes to the mobile shopping experience, 68 percent of consumers value relevant product search results, 59 percent favor high-quality product images and 49 percent prefer detailed product reviews. Channel consistency is also important, with 98 percent pointing out that product pricing should be the same between m-commerce, e-commerce and brick-and-mortar locations. Consumers agree that free shipping (87 percent) and product information (86 percent) should stay the same across all channels as well.

Although many retailers have stepped up their m-commerce capabilities, the survey found there is still room for optimization. Forty-seven percent of consumers found slow load times the most frustrating when shopping for products on their smartphones. Additionally, 46 percent of consumers also said that pages not optimized for mobile format were another major issue with m-commerce.

As more consumers pursue purchases on their smartphones, it is important for retailers to take note of the benefits and drawbacks to m-commerce. Considering that the channel account for almost half of all e-commerce sales by 2020, it would be a good time for retailers to refine and reform their mobile shopping platforms.