Mobile

Mobile To Fuel Holiday eCommerce

U.S. e-commerce sales are on track to beat last year’s numbers by $61.4 billion — a figure that eMarketer reported will continually increase as mobile commerce draws in a larger e-commerce audience.

E-commerce in 2014 is projected to reach $305.7 billion, a 15.7 percent increase from last year’s $264.3 billion. This year’s estimates also incorporates predictions for mobile retail sales, which are set to increase to $58.07 billion, a 37.3 percent jump from 2013. This accounts for 19 percent of the total U.S. e-commerce market. In 2013, mobile retail sales in the U.S. hit $42.38 billion, or 16 percent of all U.S. retail e-commerce sales. The holiday season is also expected to provide its own expected boost for e-commerce sites.

“During the 2014 holiday season, eMarketer estimates that e-commerce will account for $72.41 billion in the US, or 8.4% of all holiday season retail sales, compared to 6.5% share of total retail throughout the entire year,” a Chain Store Age article reported.

To put this in perspective, in 2010 mobile e-commerce was $2.2 billion, a striking $40 billion less than 2013, according to data from Custora. That’s a 1875 percent growth in four years, and a 100 percent four-year compound annual growth rate, data showed. Figures compounded by Custora also reveal that “more of a third of visits to online stores come from either phones or table,” which is roughly a 33 percent growth increase in the industry. Apple remains a dominating force in mobile commerce, even before the launch of its latest batch of iPhone 6/6 Plus.

“Apple’s mobile supremacy remains but continues to be challenged, most notably by Samsung and more recently, Amazon. Over the last two years, iPhone’s share of e-commerce orders done on mobile phones went down from 75.1 percent in 2012 to 53.6 percent in as of March 2014. Samsung phones have more than quadrupled their share of phone orders over the same time period — growing from 6.9 percent in 2012 to 30.5 percent in 2014,” the report said.

Looking ahead to the holiday season indicates how mobile e-commerce and e-commerce sales in general will shape out. A July 2014 report from Custora also concluded that mobile commerce will account for 33 percent of U.S. online holiday sales. Because merchants rely on the holiday season to generate 20 to 40 percent of their annual revenue, focus will be on fourth-quarter earnings to gauge how much the end-of-the-year blitz impacts e-commerce sales figures.

Retailers like Target, for example, announced on Oct. 22 that it would offer free shipping on all Target.com orders until Dec. 20. Many brick-and-mortar stores have started offering free in-store pickup from orders placed online, but Target has merged its two visions and made either option free for customers. Target’s recent move could be the start of retailers competing more in the e-commerce side, tipping the scales further toward more online and mobile shopping.

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