Consumers now use mobile devices to make 15 percent of all traditional retail purchases, according to payment company Adyen. That includes purchases of physical merchandise, but excludes travel, ticketing and digital goods.
About two-thirds of those mobile transactions were made on iPads, with the rest split between iPhones and Android phones. Adyen based its results on its own payments processing, which handled about $10 billion in online, mobile and in-store payments in 2012.
There's no guarantee that Adyen's results are typical of all payments processors, but they're probably in the same ballpark as other major processors. They also highlight two trends that both e-tailers and conventional retailers ignore at their peril.
One is how fast mobile buying is ramping up. Over the ten-month period from April 2012 to June 2013, the share of mobile purchases of goods of all kinds (physical and digital) jumped from just over 8 percent to almost 14 percent. If mobile kept growing at that rate, it would be 25 percent of all purchases by mid-2014 and would overtake brick-and-mortar sales sometime in 2015. That seems unlikely, but mobile clearly should now be a near-term, not a long-term, focus.
The other striking trend is that while Android phones represent about 20 percent of mobile sales, Android tablets are practically nowhere to be seen in Adyen's statistics. (They're there, but they represent a tiny sliver of sales.)
That situation may change, but for now the iPad is such a dominant device for mobile shopping—especially for customers buying physical goods—that it's possible to say that an iPad-optimized mobile-commerce site should be a retailer's first priority, followed by iPhone and Android.
The days when retailers could get by with a smartphone-optimized site that sort of scaled up to work on a tablet are gone. Either make sure your full site works well on an iPad, or make the iPad your primary M-commerce focus. That's what your customers are doing.
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