Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is a form of ecommerce that takes place on mobile devices. In the past, some people were quite sceptical regarding the potential of mobile devices in online sales. This happened because of a widespread belief that the screen size was proportional to the conversion rate and that desktop and tablet were dominant ecommerce devices. Mobile commerce statistics in 2021 show that this is no longer the case.
As the number of mobile users grows, so does the importance of m-commerce. Moreover, even in traditional (land-based) retail, mobile devices’ role shouldn’t be underestimated. Various surveys show that the majority of shoppers use their phones to research their in-store purchases. Still, what are some of the most relevant m-commerce statistics? Let’s find out!
Top 7 M-Commerce Statistics in 2021 (Editor’s Pick)
- In 2021, mobile commerce sales will account for 72.9% of all ecommerce sales.
- M-commerce sales will reach $3.56 trillion in 2021.
- There are 9.42 billion mobile connections worldwide.
- 66.7% of the world’s population are unique mobile users.
- Mobile wallet payments were forecasted to grow to $500 billion in 2020.
- 79% of smartphone users have placed an order via their phone in the last six months.
- The UK is the third-largest m-commerce market in the world.
- During Cyber Week 2020, 41.1% of visitors connected via mobile devices.
Most Relevant M-Commerce Statistics in 2021
1. 49% of consumers use their smartphones for online shopping.
Previously, we’ve talked about the idea that mobile devices are somehow inferior to desktop and tablet in terms of online sales. While proportionally they may have a lower conversion rate, the sheer number of mobile users makes up for this. In the end, mobile ecommerce statistics in 2020 suggest that 49% of all consumers use their smartphones for online shopping.
2. Mobile wallet payments were forecasted to grow to $500 billion in 2020.
According to some forecasts, mobile wallet payments were expected to grow to $500 billion in 2020. In order to put this number into perspective, it’s important to mention that these payments amounted to only $75 billion in 2016. In other words, in just five years, there was an 80% growth of mobile commerce.
3. There are 9.42 billion mobile connections worldwide.
Those who follow various mobile trends must have encountered the info that there are about 9.42 billion mobile connections across the globe. The importance of this number is quite frightening, as it exceeds the number of people in the world. This also suggests that there are many people with several phones. It also indicates that the reserve of unused (probably even unsold) phones is quite impressive.
4. 66.7% of the world’s population are unique mobile users.
While the number of total mobile connections may sound impressive, it still doesn’t reveal the total number of mobile users in the world. From the perspective of mobile ecommerce trends, this figure is far more important. According to estimates from 2020, around 66.7% of the world’s population are mobile users. This figure is slightly bigger than two-thirds of the entire humankind.
5. M-commerce sales will reach $3.56 trillion in 2021.
One of the most important mobile commerce statistics in 2020 is that the sales for this year were expected to exceed $2.91 trillion. Provided that the estimates are accurate and that the metrics used for the majority of these projections are true, it is also expected that this number will reach $3.56 trillion in 2021. Seeing how the number was at merely $0.97 trillion in 2016, this marks an unprecedented growth.
6. In 2021, mobile commerce sales will account for 72.9% of all ecommerce sales.
Mobile commerce sales were already at 70.4% in 2020, which is almost three-quarters of the total market share. According to experts’ predictions, m-commerce will account for 72.9% of all online sales by the end of 2021. In other words, the world of ecommerce is predominantly mobile.
Most Relevant Mobile Commerce Trends from 2020
7. 63.4% of people accessed the internet via mobile devices.
Previously, we’ve talked about the number of mobile devices in the world and the number of unique mobile users. Still, it’s important to check how many of these users are actually active. According to m-commerce statistics from 2019, it seems that 63.4% of people accessed the internet via a mobile device in 2019. This would make the discrepancy between the number of unique users (66.7%) and the number of active users relatively low.
Numbers from 2021 support this finding: of 4.66 billion total internet users, 4.32 billion or 92.6% of internet users accessed the internet via mobile device.
8. 79% of smartphone users have purchased online via their phone in the last six months.
When it comes to the frequency of mobile purchases, it’s important to mention that 79% of all smartphone users have made a purchase via their phone in the past six months. Given the fact that two-thirds of the human population use smartphones, this is not a figure to be underestimated. This is probably the largest single testament to mobile commerce in retail.
9. 40% of 2020 Black Friday sales were made via smartphones.
When talking about Black Friday, the majority of people imagine an angry mob trampling each other to death in a crowded mall. Well, online mobile shopping might change this image for good. About 40% of Black Friday sales in 2020 were made via smartphones, which is a trend worth keeping in mind.
10. During Cyber Week, 41.1% of sales came via mobile devices.
Cyber Week is probably the best testament to the relevance of online shopping statistics in today’s world. Why? Well, because in Cyber Week 2020, ecommerce marked revenue of $34.4 billion. Also, 41.1% of all visitors shopped on mobile devices, 7.4% more than in the previous year.
11. 93% of all millennials use mobile devices to compare online deals.
One of the emerging trends in m-commerce is using a mobile device to compare online deals. This trend is particularly popular amongst millennials. 93% of them will use a mobile device to compare online deals. The reason this is so controversial is that they may not place the order on the phone. They might check the prices, make necessary comparisons and place an order from a desktop or tablet device.
12. 61% of companies still aren’t using AR technology.
(Digital Marketing Institute)
Augmented reality is one of the strongest selling points of m-commerce. It’s a trend that could completely revolutionise the ecommerce industry. This should be achieved by giving a shopper a greater insight into what they’re browsing and buying. A 360-degree view of the item and a chance to ‘try it on’ with the device are just some of these features. One of the most interesting mobile statistics shows that, although these fascinating options exist, 61% of companies still aren’t using AR technology.
M-Commerce Statistics by Region
13. China, the USA and the UK are the leading ecommerce and m-commerce markets in the world.
When it comes to annual online sales and the ecommerce share of total retail sales, China, the USA and the UK are at the very top of the list. China currently seems to be the leader with the annual online sales of about $672 billion. When trying to put things into the perspective of relevant online sales statistics, this is almost 16% of total retail sales in this country.
14. Five out of ten Americans already use mobile devices to buy online.
According to 2020 statistics, about 51% of Americans have used a smartphone for online shopping. These smartphone statistics sound quite impressive, especially given the fact that 79% of adult US citizens placed an ecommerce order via their phones.
15. Around 74.44% of Chinese mobile phones run on Android.
Somewhere around 74.44% of all Chinese mobile phones run on Android. This is almost three-quarters of the entire population in China. Now, given the fact that China is the largest m-commerce market in the world, this is quite big for retailers targeting China. In other words, China-centric retailers need to follow these mobile commerce trends in order to remain competitive.
16. The UK is the third-largest m-commerce market in the world.
Right after the USA and China, the UK is the third-largest m-commerce market in the world. Online shopping statistics for the UK show that m-commerce grows by 16% every year in this country. This kind of growth seems to be quite significant, especially since the country is also the third-largest market in terms of ecommerce as a whole. In other words, these online shopping UK statistics are impressive but not unexpected.
17. 55% of all online payments in the UK were made via mobile in 2020.
(Ecommerce News, PaymentsSource)
Mobile shopping statistics from 2020 put the UK at the top of the list of countries with high m-commerce adoption. Last year launched the UK into the company of countries with a predominantly mobile approach to online shopping, like China (59%), and Sweden (60%).
The percentage is no less fascinating when compared to earlier mobile commerce statistics regarding the UK. Only two years prior, in 2018, UK online purchases accounted for only 23.2% of total ecommerce.
These are among the most relevant ones, as they indicate a general trend in user behaviour, rather than just a momentary trend
18. According to data from 2019, 43% of all online shoppers in the UK used a smartphone to purchase products.
Another interesting m-commerce statistics for the UK is the fact that 43% of all online shoppers used a smartphone for purchasing products in 2019. While this figure may sound quite impressive, the number of shoppers who used laptops is even greater (50% of them). Still, the number of mobile shoppers seems to be higher than the number of desktop (31%) and tablet (24%) shoppers.
Mobile vs Desktop Ecommerce Statistics
19. The majority of orders in 2018 were placed via desktop.
When it comes to the comparison of devices and platforms for ecommerce, we must look a bit further into the past. Just two years ago, mobile sales made up 35.8% of all ecommerce sales. Nowadays, they make 72.9% of them. The majority of orders in 2018 (55.6%) were placed via desktop. While the numbers still seem quite close, the pace at which mobile is overtaking is simply staggering.
20. Mobile traffic is on the rise making up more than half of all internet traffic.
The next vital issue is the mobile vs desktop internet usage statistics and an attempt to show the role of these devices in the world of m-commerce. Mobile share of traffic in 2021 is 54.46%. Compared to the 16.2% share in 2013, it becomes clear that the growth in the past eight years has been shifting in favour of mobile.
21. Online shopping conversion rates are still the highest for desktop users.
While they are the most relevant, sales are not the only metric that is important to online shoppers. Conversion rates also play a huge role in this regard, and it seems like there is a direct correlation between the screen size and the conversion rate. For instance, desktop conversion rates for mobile users in 2019 were 4.14%, while conversion rates for smartphones were just 1.53%.
22. Tablet users have a conversion rate of 3.36%.
Even when compared to tablets, smartphones have a significantly lower conversion rate (more than two times lower). The tablet shopping conversion rate is a solid 3.36%. These figures don’t seem to be evolving as much over the course of years. For instance, when talking about internet traffic, we have growth rates of several hundred percent. On the other hand, tablet traffic in 2013 was 2.79% (which is relatively close to the current 3.36%).
23. When talking about the number of orders, only mobile devices are marking growth.
When talking about mobile ecommerce stats, it is quite relevant to determine the growth in the number of orders. For instance, between 2017–2018, mobile devices were the only ones that marked growth (+10.1%). On the other hand, both desktop and tablets saw a decline of -2.9% and -20.1%, respectively.
24. Social media platforms are rapidly introducing Buy buttons.
Direct sales on social media are among the biggest ecommerce trends at the moment. Online shoppers find it incredibly convenient to buy without having to leave the platform. So, platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have already introduced the Buy button with this purpose in mind.
Biggest Names in the M-Commerce Industry and Mobile Shopper Demographics in 2020
25. According to 2016 data, 70% of Amazon’s holiday shoppers made a purchase via a mobile device.
When talking about different players in m-commerce, it is inevitable to brush on Alibaba Group and Amazon.com. In 2016, about 70% of all Amazon’s holiday shoppers made a purchase via a mobile device. The numbers are even more impressive when we take into consideration that 61% of these users were exclusive to Amazon.
26. Amazon managed to encourage repeat mobile shoppers 150% more than Walmart and 350% more than Target.
Being a titan of the ecommerce industry, it’s not surprising that Amazon tends to be more effective at retargeting and returning one-time buyers than some of its other competitors. Still, it’s an impressive fact that Amazon managed to encourage mobile shoppers to shop again with the company 150% more than Walmart and 350% more than Target.
27. In December 2020, Alibaba had 902 million active monthly mobile users in China.
Just between September 2020 and December 2020, Alibaba gained another 22 million mobile monthly users. For the sake of comparison, the number of users in Q1 of 2017 was only around 507 million.
28. Alibaba has 10.9% of the global mobile digital ad market.
When talking about ad spendings, it’s important to mention that Alibaba’s share is at a formidable 10.9%. Some may see this figure as unexpectedly high, yet, next to Amazon, Alibaba is one of the biggest names in the m-commerce field. The value generated by these ads is also quite high, which is why it is expected that the number will grow even further in the nearest future.
29. About 35% of all millennials make purchases via mobile apps or websites.
(Social Lens Research)
Millennials are the primary demographic of m-commerce, and there is an estimate that about 35% of them make purchases via mobile apps or websites. The purchasing power of this demographic is also quite relevant. Moreover, according to one of the latest m-commerce statistics, 30% of them are likely to spend more than $50 per month via their smartphones.
30. 64% of millennials say that none of the ads they encounter are relevant or useful.
(Social Lens Research)
When trying to follow trends in mobile commerce, the majority of retailers need to find a way to improve their ad campaign. At least, this is what the majority of their audience believes. According to some surveys, 64% of all millennials say that none of the ads they encounter are relevant or useful in any way. This is a huge problem; yet, it represents room for improvement.
31. 39% of users complain about the lack of customisation and personalisation.
(Social Lens Research)
One of the ways to introduce this improvement is to invest substantially more in the customisation and personalisation of these ads. 39% of users agree that this is the main problem with ads. Squeezing TV ads on mobile is not an effective method, and 30% of survey takers are strongly against it.
M-commerce has become much more than another branch of ecommerce. The industry is developing at the speed of lightning-which is visible both in the growing demand and supply form numerous online mobile retailers.
Also, ecommerce and m-commerce constantly overlap. A shopper that buys from a desktop today is quite likely to place a mobile order tomorrow. Therefore, maintaining a presence across channels is vital for any business that calls itself modern.
Finally, for mobile commerce, 2020 was the year that changed everything. The channel marked the fastest growth of all. The number of mobile searches, mobile users and money spent via mobile devices is still impressive in 2021. So while desktop shopping isn’t going anywhere, the future of commerce is mobile.
Why is mobile commerce important?
Mobile devices are the most common online browsing tools in 2020. Moreover, two-thirds of the world’s population own mobile devices, and there are more phones than people in the world. When analysing various internet shopping statistics, m-commerce seems to be taking over. Also, the fact that there are so many mobile users in the world proves that there’s a huge pool of potential m-commerce shoppers that are yet to be approached.
What’s the difference between ecommerce and m-commerce?
When it comes to the difference between these two terms, it would be most accurate to say that ecommerce is an umbrella term. M-commerce is just one of many forms of ecommerce. In other words, while every form of m-commerce is ecommerce, not every instance of ecommerce is m-commerce. This is one of the reasons mobile commerce stats should sometimes be analysed and interpreted independently.
When did mobile commerce start?
The origin of mobile commerce can be traced back to 1997 when these services were first delivered. The first m-commerce form was quite interesting. New Coca-Cola vending machines were installed in Helsinki, Finland, and they accepted SMS text messages as a payment method. This is seen by the majority as the dawn of m-commerce. It is also quite logical to see how trends in mobile commerce progressed from this point onward.
What percentage of ecommerce is mobile?
In 2021, the percentage of people shopping on mobile is estimated to reach 72.9%. Moreover, somewhere around 79% of all smartphone users have made a purchase online in the past six months. This indicates that mobile audiences are not just ecommerce buyers but also ecommerce regulars.
What is the estimated revenue of mobile commerce?
Mobile retail revenue worldwide is estimated to reach $3.36 trillion in 2021. In 2020, the number was at $2.9 trillion. What is even more fascinating is the growth that mobile commerce revenue experienced in the last five years. From $0.97 trillion in 2016, it grew more than three times in size!
What is the future of m-commerce?
When it comes to the future of m-commerce, the majority of mobile commerce statistics suggest uninterrupted growth in the following period. There was an unprecedented growth of 80% from 2016 to 2020, and the majority of predictions expect this growth to continue in the future. As the purchasing power recovers, the growth might pick up its pace even further.