May 15, 2013, 10:20 AM

Mobile sales surge 71% and smartphone traffic doubles for 200 retailers

Unbound Commerce clients also see a $10 jump in mobile average order value.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Lead Photo

Mobile commerce technology provider Unbound Commerce says consumer confidence in m-commerce has risen dramatically, and cites as evidence an analysis of mobile activities at 200 of its retailer clients that operated m-commerce web sites in March/April 2013 and March/April 2012.

Mobile commerce revenue for the 200 retailers jumped 71% in March and April 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, the vendor reports. What’s more, mobile unique visits and mobile page views both were up 91%.

By comparison, e-commerce sales in the U.S. are expected to slow to a growth rate of 12% in 2013 after growing 13.8% last year, according to research firm eMarketer Inc.

“Mobile commerce is expanding very fast, as consumers grow increasingly comfortable shopping on their smartphones,” says Wilson Kerr, Unbound Commerce vice president of business development and sales. “More importantly, mobile orders are increasing in both size and frequency. We saw year-to-year average mobile orders jump more than $10, from $70.62 to $80.71.”

Mobile commerce growth is being fueled by the tremendous growth in the number of smartphone owners and the amount of time they spend using their devices, says Keith Lietzke, co-founder and vice president of marketing at Unbound Commerce. Forrester Research Inc., for example, says m-commerce sales through smartphones alone totaled $8 billion in 2012 and will reach $12 billion this year and $31 billion by 2017.

“Anytime-anywhere has become reality for most adults with incomes,” Lietzke says. “Plus, familiarity with buying on mobile has increased. It’s not odd or scary. Consumers have begun to relate to it just like buying online. I should add that, in general, consumers still aren’t pulling out their smartphones with intent to buy. We see the dominant mobile uses being search, research such as price comparison and customer reviews, and reading e-mails. Purchasing is usually an outgrowth of these activities, not an intended activity itself.”

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