Annual mobile commerce -- defined as the value of stuff people purchased while using smartphones and tablets -- grew by more than 81 percent, to $24.8 billion in 2012 from $13.6 billion in 2011, according to an eMarketer report. This year, sales made on mobile devices are expected to increase by more than 56 percent, totaling about $38.8 billion.
Check out this chart, using data from the eMarketer report, that charts out the trend of shopping on mobile devices:
Smartphones aren’t just a new platform on which consumers can buy things. They’re changing the very nature of how people shop. For example, 90 percent of smartphone owners use their devices for preshopping activities such as looking up store locations and searching for deals, according to a new study by the Google Shopper Marketing Agency Council. Meanwhile, 84 percent of smartphone owners even use their devices while shopping inside brick-and-mortar stores -- to consult search engines or the stores’ websites.
Tablets are playing a much larger role as a new retail platform. Purchases made on tablets will likely account for 65 percent of all sales made on mobile devices. By 2017, tablets’ share of all U.S. retail ecommerce is expected to rise to 71.5 percent, according to eMarketer. Here’s an overview of how mobile devices are changing the face of retail: