Digital commerce has become a formidable channel for retail trading with changing consumer trends and new mobile technologies. The question is: are these changing mobile technologies–like apps–adding any value to e-commerce? Recent reports suggest that m-commerce apps do not significantly impact e-commerce.
Businesses running online stores only generate a mere 4% of the total e-commerce revenue through mobile apps despite the fact that mobile space is growing rapidly. In 2012, all mobile channels generated 5% of the total online revenue worldwide. Only 19% of online stores can generate 25% of their online revenue through mobile applications. This is according to the latest status check report from Global M-Commerce.
Other notable statistics from the report include:
- Online stores which generate 25% and over of online revenue from mobile devices will grow by 10% in 2012.
- About 50% of online registered less than 10% of their online revenue from mobile channels in 2012.
- M-commerce applications are downloaded over 2 million times while mobile apps are downloaded a few thousand times.
- Online stores owners believe they will record about 50% of e-commerce sales from m-commerce by 2017.
These statistics are surprising given the rate at which smartphones are being shipped. The year when the market will be flooded with over 2 billion smart phones is here: 2013. Smartphones are increasingly being adopted and this has already started influencing the mobile app market. Google Android OS and Apple iOS control about 88% of the smartphone market with, with each having about 800,000 applications on their app stores.
Mobile commerce dates back to 2008, when adoption of smartphones went mainstream. Businesses have since moved to social and multi-channel commerce, and are now heading to cloud commerce (some are there already). There are approximately 4 billion people who own a mobile phone worldwide. However, China and India, which are the two biggest internet markets, contribute almost insignificantly to this percentage.
Users have become hungrier for data due to low cost of smartphones and richer experiences and capabilities. Customers are using smartphones to provide ratings and reviews, compare product and prices, pay for goods and services, etc.
Online stores should target their mobile applications based on the platform that their markets use. The release of Blackberry 10 OS and Windows Phone 8 OS are likely to create a significant shift in m-commerce globally. These new entrants will help to advance the capability of e-commerce to accelerate financial value.