Mobile commerce to top $25B in 2013

M-commerce reached $10B in the first half of the year

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
August 27, 2013
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Once upon a time, I thought mobile commerce was stupid and unsatisfying. I have to enter my payment information and/or password on my tiny little touchscreen keys? Eff that noise. And then I had a baby. I needed stuff—lots of stuff—but my kid refused to be put down. So for the first month of his life, my iPhone was my lifeline. If I sat down to nurse him and realized too late that I forgot to grab my phone, book, or remote, I might as well have laid down and died.

I bought a lot of stuff in that month.

So mobile commerce wasn’t so stupid after all. Apparently, that’s the general consensus among most other Americans. Data from comScore shows that in the first half of the year, mobile commerce topped $10 billion for the first time. By the end of the year, comScore predicts that mobile commerce will reach $25 billion.

That’s still just 10% of total e-commerce dollars spent, but the m-commerce segment is growing twice as fast as traditional e-commerce, according to comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. E-commerce itself is growing at a rate in the mid-teens, said Fulgoni.

E-commerce currently accounts for 10% of all discretionary dollars spent. In 2012, consumers spent $186.2 billion online.

In Q2 2013, desktop-based e-commerce reached $49.8 billion, up 16% versus a year ago.

“Any channel shift has the potential to be disruptive to established revenue streams, and it would appear that m-commerce spending has reached enough of a critical mass that key stakeholders must begin to address this new market dynamic today or risk losing competitive advantage,” said Fulgoni, in a statement.

M-commerce spending reached $5.9 billion in the first quarter of 2013 while Q2 saw $4.7 billion in mobile spending, marking a growth rate of 24% over Q2 2012.

To put that into perspective, consumers spent just $0.6 billion in Q2 2010 (the quarter in which the iPad made its big debut—but a full three years after the iPhone was introduced).

Interestingly, smartphones actually drive more e-commerce sales than tablets—6% to 3.5% respectively. In terms of market penetration, smartphones actually outnumber tablets by more than 2X. BUT—purchases made on tablets tend to be larger than those made on smartphones. On average, consumers spent 20% more on tablets than they did on smartphones, which could be due to the fact that tablet owners tend to have higher incomes than non-tablet owners.

The top e-commerce categories for mobile commerce were event tickets and apparel & accessories. For desktop e-commerce, the top categories were consumer packaged goods, computer hardware, and consumer electronics. 


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