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U.S. Mobile Commerce Grows Nearly Three Times Faster Than Desktop E-Commerce

In the offline world, retailers are struggling. E-Commerce channels are performing better, but it’s the mobile portion of the commerce landscape that’s seeing all the growth.

U.S. retail spending via mobile devices grew 31% in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year. E-commerce from PCs, meanwhile, grew 13%. Total retail grew only a paltry 1%. 

The total retail spend in the quarter via mobile rose to $5.9 billion, according to comScore’s latest State Of The Retail Economy report, or 11% of retail e-commerce. 

comScore also found that the percentage of U.S. tablet owners who make purchases from tablets is impressively high, at 37%. The proportion of smartphone owners who buy on their phones is lower at 20%.

However, comScore found that smartphone shoppers spent more over the course of the quarter than tablet shoppers, at $139 and $91 respectively. 

This result is interesting if considered alongside a 2011 Adobe study that found average order value in the U.S. was higher on tablets than on smartphones.

Average order value may be higher on tablets, but it appears that even if consumers tend to spend more in a single purchase on tablets, over time they spend more on smartphones.

comScore’s Executive Chairman Gian Fulgoni added that the high spending on smartphones relative to tablets may have been caused by showrooming, which is when smartphone users price-compare and sometimes buy online while looking at items in a store. Showrooming is known to be popular when consumers shop for expensive items like home electronics. 

So, a tablet owner may have bought two $40 bathing suits in a quarter, but a smartphone owner may have showroomed and bought a $99 DVD player, and four $5 discounted event tickets. The smartphone owner would have spent more over the course of the quarter, but show a lower average order value. 

Click here for a larger version of this chart. 

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