Mobile commerce jumped 31% in the first quarter from a year ago, accounting for 17.4% of total online retail sales, up from 13.3% in the year-earlier period. Overall e-commerce spending was up 20% in the quarter.
Findings from an IBM’s Online Retail Index study suggested the growing role that tablets are playing in driving m-commerce. While mobile traffic overall increased 40% during the quarter, for instance, tablet traffic jumped nearly 80% from a year ago.
“This trend reflects marketers’ ability to create a positive customer experience for consumers shopping on their iPads and Kindles, by designing for the finger and making it easier for customers to browse via their mobile devices,” stated the report.
Meanwhile, an eMarketer forecast earlier this year estimated that tablet transactions accounted for more than half (57%) of the nearly $25 billion in U.S. m-commerce last year, with that proportion expected to grow to 62.5% this year. This despite that tablets so far have less than half the U.S. penetration of smartphones, at roughly 20% to over 50%.
But even with the tablet explosion, the share of online sales coming from mobile is not growing as fast as in 2012. Last year, m-commerce nearly doubled from 7% to 13.3% of total e-commerce, while the share this year grew only by 30%.