By Chuck Martin
Mobile shopping is getting bigger faster, even if it still doesn’t appear to dominate the purchasing landscape.
The latest eMarketer report on mobile shows that while m-commerce spending will reach $58 billion this year, a growth of 37%, it’s still just tiny percentage of overall retail sales.
The figures also exclude travel and event ticket sales.
While tablets are expected to account for about two out of every three sales via mobile device, overall online sales are projected to increase 16% this year, to just over $300 billion, no small change.
Even if it takes the four years to hit $133 billion mobile commerce spending projected in the report, mobile is still relatively small, when viewed through this lens.
The largest amount retail spending still is, by far, happening inside stores. Whether mobile or not, shoppers prefer to go to brick and mortar outlets both to look around and to buy.
However, in the grand scheme, mobile is transforming how people shop and decide to buy.
Mobile commerce is a global phenomenon, hardly confined to inside the borders of the U.S. and when viewed in that context, it is monstrous.
In China, mobile payments alone are expected to reach $130 billion this year. Payments provider Alipay processed $870 million worth of transactions, an increase of 800%. More than 100 million people in China are estimated already to participate in mobile commerce.
In the Mideast, where I am now to conduct a mobile seminar, the top smartphone activity is shopping, followed by product research and purchase.
Overall smartphone ownership doubled in a year and almost three quarters of phone owners under 34 have a smartphone, according to one study.
There are many more stats, but you get the idea.
The final, monetary transaction data, while maybe accurate, may not paint the complete portrait of what’s happening in the world of mobile commerce. It’s really about the mobile influence points all along the way, through the entire purchase cycle.
That’s where the mobile commerce revolution is happening, and it’s transforming the entire consumer behavioral process everywhere.
Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally. He also addresses Social Media in Mobile.