Mobile commerce surging, but desktop still rules for buyers

Custora has a report out today offering more evidence that the use of mobile devices in commerce continues to be strong. But it is a mixed message.

The company used data from 100 online retailers, 70 million consumers and $10 billion in revenue generated from its customers to come up with its E-commerce Pulse Mobile Report. The report projects that commerce through the use of mobile devices is on its way to hitting an all-time high, with $12.2 billion in sales recorded in the first quarter of this year. Sales from the use of mobile devices are projected to hit $50 billion this year, up 14.4 percent from 2013.

More than a third of visits to online stores were made with mobile devices at the start of the year, the report says, up from 3.4 percent at the beginning of 2010. Also, the highest share of purchases made by customers using their smartphones came was generated by responses to email marketing and direct visits to mobile websites and apps.

Customers are receptive to email marketing, the report says, with conversion rates on a par with those from direct websites. Email marketing is driving just under 27 percent of sales by smartphone users, compared to 21 percent by desktop users and 23 percent by tablet users.

Overall, smartphones and tablets accounted for close to 50 percent of consumer e-commerce traffic in the first quarter of this year.

Custora does add this caveat. The use of mobile devices for purchases continues to climb, but consumers are still likely to buy using a desktop or tablet.  The report notes that many shoppers interviewed were more comfortable using the desktop to make the first purchase with a retailer and were willing to use a mobile device on subsequent buys.

“The majority of purchases are still happening on desktop,” Corey Pierson, CEO of Custora, tells “There’s growth everywhere; we see a much bigger spike in traffic growth on mobile, as opposed to revenue growth.”


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