M-Commerce: Discover the trends of 2016


Mobile retail is as popular as ever, and it is clear that this trend is here to stay. Even though e-commerce revenue is still higher than m-commerce turnover, in 2015, m-commerce represented nearly 20% of all online spending in Europe, and is predicted to represent nearly 10% of all retail by 2019.


The m-commerce revolution could be, for some, unsurprising, considering that nearly 25% of 18-24 year olds spend over 7 hours on a mobile device each day. Shopping is the 6th most popular use of mobile devices for Brits, with 58% of phone owners using their phone for this reason. Indeed, Great Britain had the highest m-commerce to e-commerce ratio in 2015 with m-commerce representing 29% of all e-commerce. Germany ranks second, with 28%, followed by Sweden (27%), and France claims fourth with 19%. By the end of 2016, spending on mobile devices should increase by £24billion in USA and by £15.8billion in Europe. In France alone, estimates suggest a rise of £2.4billion in the year ahead.

Food and groceries is the most popular m-commmerce category in the UK, with £2.6billion worth of food bought via a mobile device in 2014. This figure is expected to grow to £8.8billion by 2019, and this growth is replicated in the second most popular category, clothing and footwear. Worth £2.3billion in 2014, the m-commerce fashion market is expected to be worth £7.8billion by the end of the decade.

Thanks to the development of ergnomic support, attractiveness of applications, simplification of payment methods, and a continuing increase in mobile ownership, m-commerce is set to have a promising future.

86% of smartphone users use them to search and/or buy products

In 2015, the number of smartphones increased so significiantly that there are now more smartphones than computers. Research conducted by Similar Web shows that people use smartphones and tablets more than PCs to search: 65% of all e-commerce searches were made on a mobile device. However, e-commerce sales still dwarf m-commerce sales, so it’s clear that consumers are still relunctant to complete the transaction on a mobile device. This tendancy to switch devices during the purchasing process could prove detrimental to online retailers. During the period of time it takes to switch between devices, potential consumers could change their mind about purchasing or similarly opt to look elsewhere. Therefore, it is vital that retailers identify why internet users are tempted to switch devices during the purchasing process, so that they can alleviate this issue.

Barriers to mobile retail

One reason that pushes customers to completing the purchasing process on a computer instead of their smartphone is mobile-unfriendly formats. Therefore, if you are looking to boost your m-commerce revenue, make sure your website is optimised for mobile usage, or better, develop an app. What’s more, customers prefer buying on bigger screens, and tablets generated more than double the amount of sales than smartphones, despite having a lower ownership. Thus, if you do decide to create an app, be sure to create a tablet-friendly version. Another barrier to mobile retail is security. It is well known that online consumers are concerned about fraud, and this worry is compounded when they are using a mobile device. Make your site as secure as possible, and communicate this message to your visitors. Of course, there are many more reasons why people are reticent about buying on mobile devices; some apply to all businesses, whilst some are specific to a certain situation. Make sure you identify the barriers facing your company, so that you can adapt your site and/or application according to the mobile users’ expectations, needs and surfing habits. If you do this, you should see an increase in sales, increased customer loyalty, and a better conversion rate.

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Lucy Bayley

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