April 18, 2012, 3:12 PM

Retailers’ m-commerce investments, traffic and revenue are up considerably

This year, 30% of retailers will invest more than $100,000, a new survey finds.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Lead Photo

11% of retailers will invest $201,000 or more in mobile commerce this year compared with 8% in 2011. And 19% will invest $101,000 to $200,000 this year compared with 8% last year.

These are among the findings of a new survey from research and advisory firm The E-tailing Group Inc. that show merchants are getting more aggressive in the field of m-commerce. The firm surveyed 147 senior e-commerce executives at retailers ranging in size from less than $1 million a year in annual sales to more than $5 billion, and selling merchandise in 32 product categories. 61% of the 147 retailers sell through m-commerce sites and/or mobile apps.

14% of retailers will invest $51,000 to $100,000 in m-commerce this year compared with 13% last year, the survey finds. The investment figure for $50,000 or less is 39% for 2012 and 49% for 2011. And 17% of merchants will not make an investment in mobile technology this year, down from 22% in 2011.

Big increases in traffic stemming from smartphones and tablets no doubt it a key factor driving investments in m-commerce technology. 26% of retailers currently receive 10% or more of their online traffic from mobile devices, while for 25% mobile represents 5-9.9% of traffic, the survey says. In 2011, only 9% had 5% or more mobile traffic.

13% have 3-4.9% mobile traffic compared with 19% in 2011, the survey finds. 20% have 1-2.9% this year compared with 27% in 2011. 8% have less than 1%, down from 24% last year. Only 1% have no mobile traffic compared with 6% last year. 7% of retailers do not know this figure, down from 15% last year.

Like traffic, revenue stemming from transactions conducted using smartphones and tablets is up considerably. For 5% of retailers, 10% or more of their annual sales come from consumers using mobile devices; for 18%, mobile accounts for 5-9.9% of sales, the survey finds. A mere 1% made 5% or more of their annual sales in m-commerce in 2011.

12% of merchants make 3-4.9% of their annual sales through mobile commerce, up from 9% in 2011, the survey says. 28% make 1-2.9%, up from 20% in 2011. 23% make less than 1% compared with 35% in 2011. 3% make no money through m-commerce, a major drop from 14% in 2011. 11% do not know their m-commerce sales figures compared with 21% in 2011, showing that many more retailers have begun to track m-commerce.

The E-tailing Group also questioned merchants about mobile conversion rates, and one finding stands out: Retailers may want to make special note of tablet shoppers. 22% of retailers say the conversion rate for shoppers on tablets is significantly or somewhat higher than that for PC shoppers, the survey finds. 21% says it is about the same, 23% say it is significantly or somewhat lower, and 34% do not know.

10% of merchants say the conversion rate for shoppers using m-commerce web sites is significantly or somewhat higher than that for PC shoppers, the survey says. 11% say it is about the same, 57% say it is significantly or somewhat lower, and 22% do not know.

3% say the conversion rate for shoppers using mobile apps is significantly or somewhat higher than that for PC shoppers, the survey finds. 6% say it is about the same, 18% say it is significantly or somewhat lower, and 73% do not have a mobile app or do not know.

Watch a video of Lauren Freedman, president of The E-tailing Group, discussing online merchandising at the 2011 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition.

Comments | 2 Responses

  • Mobile Site Builder uses simple drag-and-drop technology to create incredible landing pages for your mobile marketing & advertising campaigns.

  • This trend has been going on for several years now. Mobile has unified the web experience and broken down the walls of connectivity. Agencies and marketers who take advantage of the mobile web are skyrocketing past others who hesitate. It's crucial that businesses build optimized mobile sites as mobile is on the verge (meaning yes, within the coming year) of becoming the primary source of web traffic. In some regions - like Africa and soon to be India - it already is. And it is also crucial to realize that mobile browsers tend to spend less than 10 seconds on any given page, so not only do companies and marketers need to build mobile sites, they need to build mobile sites that are as engaging and dynamic as their desktop counterparts. That is the focus of our company, FiddleFly, but whether you use us or look elsewhere, the time to go mobile is yesterday.

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