THE STATE OF MOBILE COMMERCE: How Facebook Is Losing The Retail War

girls shopping phone mobileWindow shopping.

Photo: Pink Sherbert Photography / Flickr, CC

As more online shopping moves to mobile and tablet devices, PCs are the obvious losers in the e-commerce wars.But Facebook, which once also dominated social media referrals into e-retailers, is losing share too.

About 67 million iPads have been sold since the device was launched. Apple now claims it sells more iPads than any other PC—and that’s having a profound impact on e-commerce and social commerce retailers.

“Desktop and laptop usage is being replaced by tablet browsing,” according to a new report by Monetate, the e-commerce customisation company. “At the current rate, website traffic from PC users will dip below 75% in less than one year.”

Until very recently, nearly 100 per cent of shoppers arriving at retailers’ web sites did so on a PC.

But “at the current rate, website traffic from PC users will dip below 75% in less than one year,” Monetate’s report says, because of the iPad.

In addition, Facebook’s dominance of online shopping referrals has weakened. It once served 88 per cent of e-commerce referrals. Now it only serves 59 per cent. Pinterest is stealing its share over time, the numbers show.

The following slides are a selection from Monetate’s “EQ1 2012” report into social commerce. The data is drawn from more than 100 million online shopping experiences.

The death of the PC? Traffic to e-commerce sites from tablet devices increased 348% in one year; visits from smartphone users increased 117%. PCs, however, lost 6 points of share.

Tablets are almost as effective as PCs for converting users into customers. Phones are the least effective for purchases. The conversion rate for smartphone shoppers has never gone above 1.7%, Monetate says.

Similarly, tablets are now just as effective at getting existing shoppers to add things to virtual shopping carts. Phones aren't.

Facebook dominates shopping: It accounts for almost 60% of visits from all social media. But Pinterest went from driving 0.68% of traffic from social networks in Q1 2011, to 26% in Q1 2012.

Now let's look at trends over time: Apple's iPad and iPhone have increased their dominance in online retailing over time.

Tablets are just as effective in online retailers as PCs are. Mobile phones have failed to make inroads over time.

It's the same story when it comes to shoppers who click-to-buy: Tablets and PCs are important; phones are not.

This is huge: Facebook is losing its dominance in social commerce; Pinterest is the big gainer.

More detail on bounce rates and shopping cart conversions.

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