Retail Reality: Mobile Sales Sites Grab More Moola than Apps

Retail Reality Mobile Sales Sites Grab More Moola than AppsApps may be where people spend most of their time, but retail sales sites are where it’s happening.

That’s the conclusion of recent eMarketer data, which projects that 19.0 percent of U.S. retail ecommerce sales will stem from mobile devices this year.

By 2016, the share is expected to rise to 25.0 percent.

Traditional retailers, ecommerce players and mobile-only businesses are all vying for the money consumers are increasingly spending through their smartphones and tablets, according to a new eMarketer report, “Mobile Commerce Deep Dive: The Products, Channels and Tactics Fueling Growth.”

Sure, apps command the lion’s share of mobile user time. Eighty six percent of US smartphone internet time was spent in apps in 2013, according to Flurry’s analysis of data from comScore and Net Marketshare.

But, notes eMarketer, when it comes to spending money, mobile websites are where consumers funnel their funds. For example, 55 percent of the adult shoppers polled in a December 2013 survey conducted by Baynote and the e-tailing group said they used their smartphone to make a holiday purchase directly on a website, up from 43 percent who said they did so during the 2012 holiday shopping season. Comparatively, only one-third (34 percent) sealed the deal using a retailer-branded app on their smartphone or tablet in 2013.

“The burning question on the minds of many retailers is whether apps in general are a threat to mobile website sales,” according to eMarketer. “The consensus among those interviewed for this report is they’re not. In fact, apps often drive incremental sales, especially for businesses that lead their most loyal shoppers there with the goal of increasing repeat shopping sessions and ultimately the lifetime value of these devoted customers.”

Are mobile apps a threat? Clearly, not at this point. Carry on, retailers.