Leading digital analytics firm, comScore, has confirmed the transposition from desktop computers to an increasingly mobile retail economy in its latest report, “The State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy in Q2 2012.” The study speculates that mobile technology is advancing far beyond what had previously been observed, and may eventually replace traditional retail storefronts. Retailers looking to maintain their customer base have begun to take cues from the report data, making moves towards offering more mobile features to shoppers. The report found that 15 percent more online sales were made in the second quarter of 2012 than in the second quarter of 2011, whereas brick and mortar stores reported a mere two percent hike in sales. Tablet owners in particular are more likely to use their mobile device for purchasing than smartphone users. What this means for brick and mortars is that time is running short to jump on the mobile bandwagon.
Mobile sales are reported to be so strong that mcommerce may well be the new ecommerce. Apple reigns as one of the top leaders in the mcommerce realm, thanks to the iPad, followed closely by Amazon with its Kindle Fire. mCommerce sales are expected to quadruple within the next four years, according to another study performed by eMarketer. Principal analyst, Jeffrey Grau, issued a statement attributing this to the fact that customers use their smartphones while shopping in brick and mortar stores. Furthermore, the comScore study also found that nine percent of all ecommerce sales were made on mobile devices, whereas that number was merely two percent two years ago.
The majority of retailers looking to keep up with sales trends are investigating ways to improve mobile websites by optimizing the sites to be more tablet friendly, so as to be better prepared to handle the shift from brick and mortar to mobile. This includes linking to a stronger social media presence, and improving the size and quality of product images and reviews online.