Luxury, discount retailers are widening lead in m-commerce race

Luxury goods, fashion and discount retailers are leading the industry in m-commerce, and as shoppers continue to embrace mobile devices in and out of stores, these same retailers are widening the gap between leaders and laggards.

In the United States, mobile transactions grew 10 percent in the past three months alone and smartphones now represent more mobile transactions than tablets, according to a new report from Criteo. Specifically, mobile now generates more than 20 percent of sales in most retail categories, or verticals, except for home. Fashion and luxury retailers lead with mass merchants coming in second. Both these retail groups have been investing heavily in mobile, creating more personalized user experiences.

Smartphones are overwhelmingly the device of choice for mobile shoppers with iPhones leading this segment. Overall, iOS users accounted for 10 percent of all e-commerce transactions during the the first quarter of 2015.

U.S. shoppers are using mobile devices in much the same way as desktop computers. They view roughly the same number of products and order value is quite similar. But when compared to more mature mobile markets such as Japan, where conversion rates are nearly four times that of the United States, the report's authors suggest U.S. retailers are leaving money on the table.

Luxury retailers such as Neiman Marcus have, in particular, worked to develop mobile programs that better connect shoppers to stores and sales associates, while discounters lead by Target (NYSE:TGT) and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) have created apps such as Cartwheel and Savings Catcher to deliver discounts in more engaging ways.

In all cases, these retailers have mobile programs that speak to their core customer base in meaningful ways.

Criteo found that the gap between the top performing mobile retailers and those at the bottom is widening.

In all the many studies and surveys released in the past few months, there is one common element: Those retailers early to invest in mobile were not only in place to capitalize on the shopper's enthusiastic embrace of the platform during the 2014 holiday season, but are building on this lead heading into the same season for 2015.

Mobile could grow another 10 percent by the end of this year, and Criteo predicts m-commerce will comprise 40 percent of all e-commerce for 2015.

For more:
-See this Criteo report

Related stories:
Smartphone, in-app purchases to outpace online
Retailers shift focus away from apps to optimization
26% online transactions now on mobile
Smartphones dominate mobile purchases
Mobile traffic skyrockets, drives holiday sales

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