The Rise of Mobile Online Retail

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The Rise of Mobile Online Retail: More Consumers Are Using Their Phones to Shop

In June 2013, ComScore released an interesting set of mobile online retail findings at the Shop.org conference in Chicago. Their statistical findings indicated that as the utility and ubiquity of mobile devices has exploded within the last few years, mobile online retail activity has correspondingly increased. Mobile devices, far from being an ancillary modality, are now an important aspect of online shopping.

According to ComScore’s findings, 55% of total time spent by consumers on online retail occurred on a mobile device and 44% was spent specifically on a smartphone. The most prevalent types of purchases via smartphone were apparel and accessories, with 37% of total purchases occurring on a mobile phone, and event tickets, at 25%.

The statistics indicate that, although consumers are more likely to use a desktop than a mobile device to make a purchase, many people do most of their product research on tablets or smartphones. Among online shoppers using a desktop computer, 69% made a purchase, compared to 34% of tablet shoppers and 21% of smartphone shoppers.

The rising use of tablets and smartphones for browsing and price comparison highlights the importance of mobile optimization for retail websites. Many of your customers will be using a mobile device to browse your selection or to check out your prices, even if they’re not using the mobile device to place their order.