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Mobile Commerce Comprises 21% of All Online Commerce, comScore Says
February 14, 2017

By Kevin Woodward

How enthusiastic are consumers about shopping on their smart phones and tablets? Enough that mobile commerce grew to $22.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, up 45% from $15.6 billion in the same period a year prior, says comScore Inc., a Reston, Va.-based data-measurement firm.

That growth pace surpasses that of desktop e-commerce. Though much larger—totaling $86.6 billion in the fourth quarter—shopping via a desktop computer increased by 13% from $76.9 billion.

Mobile commerce spending accounted for 20.8% of all online shopping in the fourth quarter, up from 16.9% in the fourth quarter of 2015. In 2010, m-commerce spending accounted for 3.6% of all e-commerce shopping.

The implications of this dynamic are manifold for retailers, Paula Rosenblum, cofounder and managing partner at retail consultancy RSR Research, tells Digital Transactions News.

“Retailers are doing a better job of making their sites mobile friendly,” Rosenblum says. That’s one. Another factor is that, because many consumers are time-starved, they are taking opportunities when and where they can to shop, she says.

This growth also has consequences for the payments options retailers could offer. Rosenblum says mobile wallets may have greater appeal. Providers such as PayPal Holdings Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and Apple Inc. may fulfill the payments needs of consumers leery of using their credit cards at multiple retailers without some fraud protection, she says.

As online fraud increases—in one recent analysis it increased 42% to 3.42% in terms of the number of consumers experiencing it—merchants can use mobile wallets as a way to alleviate some of the consumer wariness, she says.

“Given all of that, the fewer retailers you give a credit card number to, the better, the safer,” Rosenblum says.

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