Rattling Retail: Mobile E-Commerce Posts Eye-Popping Recent Gains

E-Commerce forced upon you

The brick-and-mortar retail universe of ten years ago is gone and won’t be coming back. The intercession of the internet has rewritten the retail equation and disrupted a great many decades-old practices in fulfilling customer need under a roof.  While it may not be news that parking, malls and traditional retail are finding more selective appeal, what is news is that the rate of change is increasing and mobile-enabled shoppers are accelerating the trend.

How fast?  The Custora E-Commerce Pulse Report published this month puts some genuinely shocking numbers together.  While retail is only a part of e-commerce as a whole, the mobile e-commerce growth in the past four years has made the previous growth patterns in e-tailing look tame by comparison. As RetailCustomerExperience.com writes:

According to the new Custora E-Commerce Pulse Mobile Report, in the past four years the percentage of traffic to e-commerce sites from mobile devices (phones and tablets) jumped from 3 percent to nearly 37 percent, while US mobile e-commerce sales grew from $2 billion in 2010 to $43 billion in 2013.

The Custora E-Commerce Pulse Mobile Report analyzed data from more than 100 retailers, 70 million consumers and $10B in transaction revenue to gain a deeper level of understanding as to which mobile e-commerce trends marketers should pay the closest attention to.

Highlights of the report include:

  • US mobile e-commerce is a $40 billion market, poised to hit $50 billion in 2014. In the past four years, the mobile e-commerce market grew nineteenfold: From $2.2 billion in 2010 to $42.8 billion in 2013. This represents 1875 percent growth over four years, and 111 percent four-year CAGR. 2014 is off to a strong start with $12.2 billion in mobile e-commerce sales in Q1 alone; it’s likely that mobile e-commerce will hit $50 billion in 2014.
  • Email marketing drives mobile purchases; social media not so much. Email marketing drove 27 percent of sales on mobile phones, compared to only 21 percent on desktop, and 23 percent on tablet. This is a surprising data point considering the challenges of displaying email correctly on mobile devices, and deep-linking into mobile apps. Social media accounted for only 0.6 percent of sales on phones and 0.2 percent on tablets.
  • Cross-device shoppers are a small but highly valuable customer segment. As of Q1 2014, just 12 percent of online shoppers make purchases on more than one device type, however this represents significant growth from only 4 percent in 2012. This customer segment is also 19 percent more valuable, in terms of customer lifetime value, than the average single-device shopper.

When markets change, we get in front of those changes or we risk disaster. The rise in e-commerce always suggests that data center and logistics property plays become more attractive.  But when a rise looks this steep – a twelvefold increase in mere years – I think we can replace “suggests” with “screams”.

(Photo credit: Rakeman)

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