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Mobile Share of Ecommerce Sales to Grow Rapidly in Coming Years

Mobile commerce revenue will account for 50 percent of U.S. digital commerce revenue by 2017, Gartner announced Tuesday at its annual Symposium/ITxpo.

In 2013 US ecommerce sales totaled roughly $260 billion, smartphones and tablets accounting for just 15% of those sales. But US ecommerce sales are expected to grow to a robust $434.2 billion by 2017, meaning the mobile commerce floodgates are set to open—and open wide.

The research and advisory firm says one driving force behind the mobile boom will be Apple Pay and efforts by competitors such as Google, but that the major instigator will be smartphones and tablets.

“Increasingly powerful smartphones and tablets, and the correspondingly rich and powerful applications available for each, enable consumers and business customers to interact seamlessly with companies, content and commerce experiences at virtually all stages of the purchase process,” Gartner writes.

If growth in sales of these smartphones is any indication, then mobile commerce might grow even faster than expected. In 2014 more than 1.24 billion smartphones will be sold worldwide, 200 million more than in 2013. Penetration in the US is especially acute. 67% of mobile subscribers in the country own smartphones, and tablets are also experiencing a boost in popularity; shipments  increased 53% in 2013.

It ‘s an inexorable adjustment businesses will have to make if they want to survive, explains Gartner,  because an increasingly disproportionate number of customers will be those ” who were born and grew [up]… tethered to their mobile devices [and] will demand that service providers and retailers deliver on the expectation of connected and channel-agnostic commerce experiences.”

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