February 4, 2013, 10:53 AM

U.S. m-commerce sales hit $24.7 billion in 2012, accounting for 11% of total e-commerce sales

U.S. m-commerce sales hit $24.7 billion in 2012, accounting for 11% of total e-commerce sales.

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Shoppers using their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices to buy online spent $24.66 billion in 2012, up 81% from $13.63 billion in 2011, research firm eMarketer says. The estimate excludes travel and ticket sales.

Mobile commerce sales accounted for 11% of U.S. e-commerce sales in 2012, up four percentage points from a year earlier, eMarketer says.

The research firm projects that retail sales on smartphones and tablets will continue to represent a larger slice of e-commerce over the next few years. EMarketer expects m-commerce sales to rise 55.7% to $38.40 billion this year, which it projects will be 15% of total e-commerce. Next year sales will jump another 35.8% to $52.17 billion, accounting for 18% of total e-commerce sales. Its m-commerce sales estimates for 2015 and 2016 are $68.29 billion and $86.86 billion, which it predicts will be 21% and 24% of e-commerce spending, respectively.

"EMarketer's m-commerce forecast reflects a confluence of three trends," the research firm says. "First, the expanding number of smartphone shoppers whose behavior affects commerce in all channels; second, the growing number of smartphone buyers who enjoy the immediacy of purchasing through their phone and are expected to generate just over one-third of m-commerce sales this year; and third, the rapid rise in tablet shopping, which will produce the bulk of m-commerce sales over the next four years."

Of the $24.66 billion in mobile sales in 2012, $13.86 billion, or 56.2%, came from tablets; $9.86 billion, or 40.0%, came from smartphones; and $0.94 billion, or 3.8%, came from other mobile devices, eMarketer says.

Of the $38.40 billion in mobile sales predicted for 2013, $24.00 billion, or 62.5%, will come from tablets; $13.44 billion, or 35.0%, will come from smartphones; and $0.96 billion, or 2.5%, will come from other mobile devices, eMarketer forecasts.

EMarketer analyzed more than 120 data sets from dozens of research sources that track commerce sales and consumer behavior to form its forecast, the research firm says.

EMarketer's 2012 estimate is in line with projections in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400, which found that the worldwide mobile sales of 400 leading mobile retailers, travel companies and ticket sellers totaled $12.14 billion in 2012. Combined with $13 billion in mobile commerce sales on eBay Inc., which isn't included the 400 because it is an online marketplace, Internet Retailer estimates that mobile commerce sales last year totaled $25.14 billion, not far from eMarketer's estimate of $24.66 billion.

bill@verticalwebmedia.com

@IRmcommerce

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