What is the real figure for m-commerce?

Mobile transactions have recently been reported as being as high as 20% of e-Commerce.

For instance Payment company Ayden recently reported that 14% of their payments are from mobile devices.

But there is mobile and mobile!

The Ayden figures indicate that transactions via tablets (mainly iPads) totalled 7.3% of transactions, with smart phones accounting for less than half of mobile transactions, only 6.4%.

Why is that important?

Because most tablet use – perhaps around 85% – is in-home or in-office. For instance TV viewing on tablets is 96% on home or office wi-fi and not mobile internet.

And therefore most purchases on a tablet are likely to be undertaken at home or at work, with the tablet device substituting for a fixed PC.

So, if only 15% of the 7.3% tablet transactions (1.1%) are truly mobile (i.e. out of home and office), then the true figure for mobile commerce is around 7.5%: impressive – but not as impressive as 20%!

The point of this is not to say “ignore mobile commerce”. Of course not. Rather it is to say “Don’t panic!” (yet).

Truly mobile commerce will generally require a different approach to in-home commerce (whatever the device being used). Couponing may be more important. Anti-showrooming tactics may be needed. And the user experience needs to be suited to the less stable out-of-home environment. 

These are difficult challenges. But, with true mobile commerce only 7.5% of total e-commerce, it is not too late to start experimenting with new approaches to sales conversion in a mobile context.

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