Moving away from desktop commerce era to mobile commerce era

In October 2016, the numbers of internet users on mobile and tablet exceeded internet users on desktop computers for the first time in the history. This is a clear indication that we are heading towards more sophisticated mobile commerce. An earlier study by ABIresearch (2012) had predicted that in 2017, the share of global mobile commerce revenue would reach 24 percent of the total e-commerce revenue. Same year, Google also carried out a study that had found 65 percent of multi-device shoppers using smartphones as the first platform to check for available goods and services online. If they found something interesting on phone, 35 percent made transactions from the same device, 61 percent continued on a desktop/laptop and 4 percent purchased desired items from a table.

Global share of internet users on desktops, mobiles and tablets (2008 – 2016). Data source:

Looking at the past research findings and existing trends among the users, I think the contribution of mobile commerce to net e-commerce would surpass all past projections. In December 2012, globally 82.42 percent users were active on desktop and only 14.04 percent and 3.54 percent of customers were active on mobiles and tablets respectively. However, in October 2016, these figures have changed dramatically. Now, only 48.74 percent of users are active on desktops. Between 2008 and 2016, users actively engaging  on mobile phones have tripled and now account for over 46 percent of the total users. During the same period, tablet users increased by one percent only and now account for 4.73 percent of these users.

These changing trends among users have also reflected in their shopping behaviors. For example, users in Asia – Pacific rely more on mobile commerce than on desktops. Similarly, Japan saw mobile transactions from fifty-five percent of the total users in the second quarter of 2016. To add more, Alibaba’s 2015 Single’s Day holiday witnessed over sixty-nine percent of customers using mobile devices for transactions – that was a rise in such transactions by twenty-six percent than in 2014 sale event. Finally, in the US as well, mobile transactions increased thirty percent year-over-year and crossed fifty percent mark for mobile transactions in 2016 Q2.


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