New eMarketer Study Suggests Big Things Ahead for Mobile Commerce

February 13, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

For anyone who doubted that mobile commerce was going anywhere worth following, there’s big news out from eMarketer, who sent on its study of the mobile commerce landscape. The report contains some real Earth-shaking material, including the revelation that, by 2021, 72.9 percent of the ecommerce market will be mobile commerce.

Retail ecommerce worldwide hit a hefty $2.304 trillion, which represented in turn a 24.8 percent increase over 2016’s figures. Mobile commerce represented better than half—58.9 percent—of ecommerce in that time, which means it’s not at all out of line to hit that 72.9 percent figure in fairly rapid fashion.

Moreover, total retail sales in general worldwide were $22.64 trillion, which is up 5.8 percent over 2016. So not only is mobile commerce up, boosting ecommerce as well, the total retail market is actually up as well, making this a rising tide that’s lifting all boats.

At last report, ecommerce represents 10.2 percent of those retail sales, which itself is up from 8.6 percent in 2016. So ecommerce is growing, but not at the pace mobile is. The Asia-Pacific region was the biggest contributor to the growing ecommerce picture, as evidenced by the 14.6 percent of retail spending that went to that region.

The sweetest plum in the mobile commerce market, however, is without question China. China accounts for a hair over two-thirds—67.1 percent—of mobile commerce sales by 2017 figures. That’s largely because most of China’s internet users are mobile users, and that’s going to spark further growth from there. In fact, the Chinese contribution to mobile commerce is expected to hit $2.595 trillion before 2021 hits.

All this more than anything proves the great power of mobile payments. Mobile payments essentially runs mobile commerce; it pretty much has to. Unless all these firms are engaging in COD or store pickup—some may well be—that means they’re taking payment from the same platform where users shop. That means mobile payments, a part of the overall economy that’s taking off and delivering downright staggering sales totals.

Those who aren’t already accepting mobile payments—particularly when it comes to ecommerce—will likely want to reconsider that stance. There’s too much at stake here—trillions, really—to let it go without at least a closer study.