Mobile commerce: The state of the global mobile nation

Mobile commerce: The state of the global mobile nation
Sakina joined Criteo in 2013 and leads global marketing for Criteo’s Mid Market and Publisher Marketplace divisions. She has more than 13 years of advertising and marketing experience.

Around the world, mobile is driving nothing short of a revolution in the way we shop. Growth in global mobile commerce continues apace, representing a huge opportunity for retailers who get it right, and a real risk for those who don’t. 

Criteo’s latest ‘The State of Mobile Commerce’ report reveals that the global trend towards shopping on mobile shows no signs of abating. The era of the ‘always on’ consumer has well and truly arrived.  

Mobile transactions across the world are up significantly on last year, with Japan and the UK leading the way and now selling more on mobile than desktop.

But are retailers keeping up with their customers when it comes to providing the best possible mobile experience?

UK leads the way in global mobile commerce

The UK continues to be one of the markets leading the field when it comes to making the most of mobile to drive sales This is backed up by the latest ONS data which shows that eCommerce sales in the UK are up 18.5% on last August.

Criteo’s own data shows that for the first time ever in the UK mobile is on a par with desktop when it comes to e-commerce transactions – with 50% of online sales in the second quarter of 2016 made on mobile, up from 46% the previous year.

This puts the UK firmly at the forefront of the mobile revolution, as the world’s second most mature mobile commerce market behind Japan. The UK also remains well ahead of the US, where only a third of sales (35%) are driven through mobile.

We are a smartphone society

Globally, it’s smartphones that are driving the surge in mobile commerce.For the first quarter ever, smartphones now deliver the majority of mobile transactions in every major market.  In the UK over a quarter (29%) of mobile transactions come from smart phones, with 21% from tablets.

Underpinning the success of smart phones is the phenomenal global rise of apps. 

In regions where there are the most mobile-friendly sites, there is the biggest proportion of mobile transaction

Criteo data finds that in H1 2016 global retailers with a sophisticated mobile app presence saw up to 54% of their mobile transactions generated in-app: an increase from 47% in 2015.

What’s more, average order values on apps now far surpass both mobile browser and desktop – with an average of $127 spent in-app versus $100 on desktop and $91 on mobile web.

Apps are also powerful tools for turning browsers into buyers, converting an impressive 3 times more product viewers than mobile web.

Savvy retailers are those who are making the most of app functionality, using ever more sophisticated and creative ways to drive app adoption, improve user experience and keep customers coming back.

Investing in app advertising, and creating home screen presence, offline content, push notifications, and personalisation are some of the ways brands can use apps to build competitive advantage.

Making the most of the mobile opportunity  

An analysis of UK trends shows that the more evolved a company’s mobile strategy is, the more sales they can expect through mobile. In the UK, the top 25% of retailers who are ahead of the mobile curve have already passed the tipping point, with a majority – 61% – of their online sales now being made on mobile.

There’s a clear link between how mobile friendly a retailer’s site is, and how well their sales perform on mobile. In regions where there are the most mobile-friendly sites, there is the biggest proportion of mobile transactions.

With 86% of sites in the UK considered to be mobile friendly according to Google’s Mobile Friendly Test, mobile conversion rates in the UK are amongst the highest in the world.

This demonstrates that the more mobile friendly a site is, the more likely a retailer is to capitalise on the mobile opportunity. Clunky and cumbersome mobile sites will no longer cut it with today’s consumer.

To get ahead, retailers must commit to improving site navigation and usability for their mobile customers. 

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