New research highlights why retailers need a robust m-commerce strategy

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There was never much doubt that mobile commerce was set to take off in a big way in the last year or two. But what has perhaps come as a surprise is just how comfortable users have become with their devices.

Mobile now contributes more across the whole purchasing funnel, with smartphones now overtaking tablets to generate more transactions, according to the first quarterly State of Mobile Commerce report from Criteo.

The research shows that understanding cross-device behaviour will be one of the biggest challenges and opportunities for marketers this year, since most users going through their buying journey do so by interacting with the same site through multiple devices.

Asia's mature market

Criteo analysed individual transaction data covering more than $130 billion of annual sales across more than 3,000 online retailers and travel advertisers to discover current trends in the mobile field.

Their research shows that mobile sales growth continues to mushroom, now accounting for more than 30% of e-commerce sales globally and likely to reach 50% in the US very soon, as it catches up on the trends of the Asian market where conversion rates are already so much higher.

Where once potential buyers were hesitant about purchasing on a mobile, the trend has moved beyond simple research to buying. Although mobile users are more promiscuous than desktop users looking at more products before they actually buy.

However, their hesitation over buying is fast disappearing. Criteo’s research showed that the fashion and luxury industry accounts for a third of mobile's total share of e-commerce transactions with average order values close to that of the desktop.

Conversions uplift

Japan and South Korea are where mobile conversion rates are really flying at 202 for Japan compared to a US benchmark of 100. The one caveat is that Japan advertisers have been delivering transactional mobile websites for longer.

In fact Asia lead the way with close to 45% of all e-commerce transactions happening on smartphones in the region compared to very little via tablet.

Nevertheless Western markets are expected to quickly follow suit – especially as mobile websites and mobile payment methods continue to improve in quality alongside a trend for larger screen smartphones, which makes it easier than ever to choose smartphone over tablet in the mobile conversion challenge.

Indeed in the fashion and luxury and travel markets it is the smartphone that dominates purchases, with nearly two thirds of mobile transactions taking place on a smartphone rather than a tablet (65% and 62% respectively).

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